Six Event Victories Highlight Conference Tune-up for Mountain Lions

By UCCS Track and Field Staff published February 20, 2012

In the last tune up before the Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference Championships next weekend, the UCCS Mountain Lion Track and Field Team sharpened their competitive edge with a number of event victories and top three finishes on Friday night at Steinhauer Fieldhouse in Golden.

Jonathan Wright preserved his reputation as one of the RMAC's top 400m runners with a confident victory in the 400 meters. Travis Whitman, only a few days out of hospital after undergoing surgery to remove a blood clot from his shoulder, continued his fine recovery taking third place and an indoor personal best in the same event.

There was a clean sweep of the 800 meter events from UCCS athletes with Alexa Urban and Anthony Davis both running fine tactical races to come out on top in both the men's and women's sections. The freshmen middle distance runners, in their first ever indoor season, stepped up to another level with Kim Fitzgerald taking third place in a new indoor personal best, while Kyle McCloskey took over three seconds off his personal best in the event, winning his heat and taking fourth place overall.

The fine individual performances carried over to the relays where on the men's side there was a clean sweep of both the 4 x 400 meter relay and the distance medley relay. The men's DMR team of Carson Aberle, Alan Ford, Matt Winfrey and Matt Cameron ran to a new school record of 10:04.86 and a second national qualifying performance of the indoor season. They now rank as the 15th best team in the country in NCAA Division II, but will need to be ranked in the top nine to assure a bid to the National Championships next month in Mankato, Minnesota. Their last chance to achieve that goal will come at the RMAC Championships where they will compete against the 1st, 5th and 7th best teams in the rankings, in conference rivals Colorado School of Mines, Western State and Adams State respectively.

The womens 4 x 400 meter relay, after not being able to compete most of the season, came out in full force with a solid performance taking second place behind NCAA Division I Northern Colorado. The team of Jessica Todd, Alexa Urban, Emi Weeks and Kim Fitzgerald had all come off great performances in their individual events earlier in the meet, and capped the night off with seasons best performance. Todd had earlier set a personal best in the long jump and Weeks had come off a second place finish in the 200m where she ran an indoor best as well.

On the distance side it was a solid night for the Mountain Lions as well. In the men's mile Mike English, Oliver Williams and Sam Feldotto placed fourth, fifth and sixth overall in indoor personal bests of 4:21.44, 4:21.99 and 4:23.06. Ted Schultz and David Marino also ran personal bests of 4:29.33 and 4:39.67 as well.

In the men's 3000 meters Ian Penn, Casey Weaver and Michael Johnson all ran personal bests as well to place fifth, seventh and ninth overall in 8:59.07, 9:01.74 and 9:03.38.

For the women, Veronica Sandoval placed fourth in the mile in an indoor best of 5:22.44, followed by Samantha Bauer also in a personal best of 5:28.66. Also competing for the ladies in the 3000 meters were freshmen Madison Neher and Sarah Treese in personal bests of 10:55.66 and 11:17.36.

In the field events, the Mountain Lions were once again led by freshman Seth Martin. Martin finished in a 4-way tie for first place in the high jump, clearing 2.01 meters (6'7"). Martin currently sits second in the RMAC in the high jump and 20th in the nation. The RMAC men's high jump competition should be an exciting event, as the conference currently has 6 athletes who have hit national qualifying marks.

Sophomore triple jumper Chelsie Overocker finished runner-up in her event with another effort over 11 meters. In the women's long jump, Jessica Todd (5.13 meters), Emily Weeks (5.01 meters), and Lauren Roberts (4.97 meters) led a strong UCCS contingent, placing 3rd, 4th, and 6th, respectively.  Alex Colvin was the top Division II athlete in the pole vault, clearing 3.42 meters while TJ Frison had another consistent outing in the long jump, finished fifth at 6.75 meters. Colvin and teammate Christy Carmody are currently tied for first place in the RMAC women's pole vault, whereas Frison sits in fourth heading into next week's RMAC Indoor Conference Championships in Chadron, NE.

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