Steady Climb Leads No. 11 UCCS to National Championships

By Jared Verner published November 16, 2012

JOPLIN, Mo. - In a season that has seen the University of Colorado Colorado Springs women's cross country team continue to gradually climb the national rankings, the No. 11 Mountain Lions look to make their return to the national stage memorable on Saturday when they compete in the 2012 NCAA Division II Women's Cross Country National Championships. The women's six-kilometer race begins at 10:30 a.m. MST from the Missouri Southern State University Cross Country Course in Joplin, Mo.

The NCAA will provide a free video stream of the championship race. Visit ncaa.com/liveschedule before the race to ensure that your device has the capability to view the stream, which can be during the men's championship race at 9:30 a.m. MST. Live updates specific to UCCS will be posted when they become available on the Mountain Lions' twitter account, @GoMountainLions.

It's the first trip to the national championships for the Mountain Lions since a program-best seventh-place finish in 2006. All-American Shannon Payne led UCCS in that race when she finished No. 10 during the inaugural NCAA Division II Championships Festival in Pensacola, Fla.

This season, it's a program-record four all-region runners leading UCCS into the national championships. Veronica Sandoval, Megan Burrell, Madison Neher and Angie Martell finished within six spots of each other at the NCAA Division II South Central Region Championships two weeks ago as the Mountain Lions qualified as the third-place team in the regional championships. UCCS also finished third in the RMAC Championships a month ago in Colorado Springs.

The Mountain Lions have moved from unranked in the national polls at the beginning of the season to No. 11 in the pre-national rankings last week. UCCS was originally picked to finish sixth in the RMAC Preseason Coaches' Poll at the beginning of the season and sixth in the regional poll.

UCCS is sending both the men's and women's teams to the national championships for the second time in school history and the first time since 2004.

Division II Joplin Tornado Relief
In addition to the championship events, the Division II Coaches Association will present a check of approximately $30,000 to Missouri Southern State University and to the Joplin Public School District to assist in disaster relief from the 2011 Joplin Tornado. T-shirt sales from the RMAC Championships hosted by UCCS were part of the check, which will be presented Saturday night at the awards banquet.

Individuals can still contribute to the fund by making a check out to the Missouri Southern Foundation with "XC Tornado Relief" in the memo line. Checks can be mailed to:
Missouri Southern Foundation
Missouri Southern State University
3950 East Newman Road
Joplin, MO 64801

Additional News Stories
May 1, 2013Shaswar and Burrell Receive McLaughlin AwardUniversity of Colorado Colorado Springs senior student-athletes Mash Shaswar and Megan Burrell were honored as the recipients of the Thomas F. McLaughlin Award at the University's annual Awards Banquet tonight in Berger Hall.
April 4, 2013UCCS Adds Two to Signing Class from Early PeriodUniversity of Colorado Colorado Springs Head Women's Cross Country Coach and Co-Head Track and Field Coach David Harmer is excited to announce the addition of two student-athletes to the 2013 signing class.
February 25, 2013Three Mountain Lions Earn USTFCCCA All-Academic HonorsWomen's cross country All-American Megan Burrell and teammates Angie Martell and Madison Neher earned U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association All-Academic honors for cross country this morning.
February 8, 2013Harmer Signs Two, Adds One Transfer for 2013-14David Harmer, the University of Colorado Colorado Springs Head Women’s Cross Country Coach and Co-Head Men’s and Women’s Track and Field Coach, is excited to announce the addition of two student-athletes who signed National Letters of Intent.
December 13, 2012Neher Earns RMAC All-Academic Second Team SpotMadison Neher, an All-RMAC and all-region runner for the University of Colorado Colorado Springs women's cross country team, earned a spot on the RMAC All-Academic Second Team announced on Wednesday.
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