2003 outdoor track season wrap-up
For the University of Colorado at Colorado Springs' 2003 track team, the outdoor season was filled with high expectations. And as they see it, the Mountain Lions turned most of those expectations into reality.
First, there was a myriad of new school records either set or broken, from the women's pole vault to the men's 400-meter relay. That was just the start, though.
Things got exciting when the provisional marks for nationals started to pour in. It all started with discus thrower Craig Galaydick, who qualified provisionally for the Division-II Track and Field National Championships - the first non-thrower to so in school history.
Not far behind were freshman Megan Lund, who qualified provisionally for the 10,000-meter run as did Kelly Smith. Tina Gray was next in the line of qualifiers, doing her damage in the 3,000-meter steeplechase.
After starting the season on a terror, winning every race in sight, Paul Mann was sidelined with an injury. Also hampered with injury was Moses Tum, an 800-meter specialist and the team's lone male qualifier in 2002.
When a select few members traveled to the Mt. Sac and Pamona-Pitzer Relays, things got even better.
Freshman Levi Brathall clocked one of the fastest 10,000-meter times in school history-placing him amongst the best runners in the nation. In somewhat more of a shocker, freshman Ashley Birger became a provisional qualifier in the 3,000-meter steeplechase.
Freshman Brad Winn just missed the mark in the 3,000-meter steeplechase, while Sarah Vigil missed the mark in the 5,000-meter run by less than a second. Despite that, both went on to be honored as All-Conference athletes.
Along with Winn and Vigil, eight other Mountain Lions earned All-Conference honors at the Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference Championships in Alamosa, CO. Those athletes include: Brathall, Lund, Smith, Gray, Birger, Chelsey Cerrillo, Galaydick, and Tiffany Flint.
Gray earned All-Conference twice, in the 3,000-meter steeplechase and the open 3,000. Birger accomplished the same feat, earning All-Conference in the 3000-meter steeplechase and the 1,500-meters.
At the conference meet, which was plagued by windy conditions, Gray set a stadium record in the 3000-meter steeplechase.
Also deserving of accolades was Brathall's performance in the 5,000-meter run, where he took fourth in a field with ten All-Americans. In the process, Brathall set a personal best time and provisionally qualified for nationals.
Tiffany Flint did something that not even she thought was possible.
Flint had never run the 400 under 60 seconds prior to the meet. Then, she went under 60 not once, not twice, but three times. First in the preliminaries of the 400, then in the finals (where she finished sixth), and then in 1,600-meter relay. She also found time to throw in a 400-meter relay too.
When the selection list for the national meet was finalized, two Mountain Lion runners made the cut.
For the men, Brathall was the first freshman finisher in the 10,000-meter run en route to earning All-American status with a seventh place finish. Gray took fifth in the 3,000-meter steeplechase and also picked up All-American honors.
"It was a great season-that's all I can say," said Coach Greame Badger.
UCCS Players/Staff Featured
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|August 11, 2003||You can't keep an All American down||It's cold and snowing, and you are alone and tired. Mud and ice make cover the trail you know is there, but just can't find. The goal was ten miles for the day, and after thirty minutes and just over four miles, you're heading home.|