Reno scores win at Air Force

By Doug Fitzgerald published January 17, 2004

The Division II heat of the men's mile at the Air Force All-Comers meet had turned into a two-man race. Jonathan Garcia from national powerhouse Western State was expected to be there. CU-Colorado Springs' Kyle Reno was not.

"I'd never won a varsity race before," said Reno. "Not even in high school."

Reno had stayed with the leaders through the first three of six laps on the 289-meter track in the Cadet Fieldhouse.

"Kyle's going to go for the "˜W,'" shouted CU-Colorado Springs coach Graeme Badger. "Look at his position!"

On cue, Reno elbowed his way past Garcia and Jason Graham, who was running unattached, to take the lead near the end of Lap 4. As Reno accelerated, only Graham could respond and the two moved well ahead of the rest of the pack. Then, as the pair entered the final curve of the race, Garcia surged ahead and led by as much as four meters.

"It's really hard when you get passed near the end (of a race)," said Reno, who has shed 20 pounds of baby fat since high school. "It's easy to fall apart."

Instead, Reno pulled everything together. In the final 60 meters, he caught and passed Garcia. Reno's finishing time of four minutes, 47.59 seconds was a career best for the sophomore from Pueblo, Colo.

"I just started to sprint," said Reno. "About a quarter of the way down (the back stretch) I was pretty sure I had him."

"That's the beginning of a legendary kick," laughed Badger, referring to Reno's final burst.

Reno was one of three CU-Colorado Springs men's runners to compete at the season-opening meet. His success is even more impressive considering the Mountain Lions' track team doesn't even begin practicing until Monday.

Moses Tum and Brad Winn both ran in the 3,000 meters. Tum ran among the top three for most of the race, but was outdistanced by a pair of unattached runners, Jason Hubbard and Michael Nicks, in the final lap. Tum's attempt to keep pace with the leaders would cost him, as Western State's Kelly Christianson passed him at the end for third place.

Tum finished with a time of 8:50.22. Winn came in 16th at 9:30.16.

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