Tum qualifies for nationals

By Doug Fitzgerald published January 24, 2004

Having practiced for only two days, the University of Colorado at Colorado Springs didn't come into its first official competition of the indoor season, the Air Force Invitational, with big expectations. The Mountain Lions left, however, with a birth at nationals.

Moses Tum ran a school record time of 4 minutes, 9.99 seconds (adjusted for altitude) in the mile Saturday, virtually stamping his ticket for the indoor national meet on March 12-13 at Boston, Mass. While Tum's time is only provisional, it should be easily good enough to qualify.

"That time will hold up," said CU-Colorado Springs coach Graeme Badger. "That's a very fast time."

Earlier in the day, Levi Brathall finished fifth in the 5,000 meters with a time of 15:47.26. While the four runners ahead of him were all from NCAA Division I schools, Brathall was too focused for any jubilation.

"(The first meet of the season is) a test to see how well you've been training in the offseason," said Brathall. "I think I've got a good, strong (endurance) base. I just need to work on some speed.

"I've got a lot of miles in; I just need to get some more time on the track."

That Aaron Rubalcaba-Lopez took ninth in the 20-runner field could be considered somewhat of a surprise, for reasons that he admitted after the race.

"It's the first time I've ever run the 5,000 on a track," said Rubalcaba-Lopez. "It was an experience."

It was almost a disaster. With runners having lapped other runners of the Air Force Academy's track and with other competitors everywhere, confusion reigned. The leaders, including Brathall, had already crossed the finish line when Rubalcaba-Lopez went past the timer's stand still needing one lap to complete the distance. He momentarily stopped, then turned and resumed the race.

"I lost track of how many laps we had left," said Rubalcaba-Lopez. "I saw everybody stopping, so I stopped and looked back. Levi (Brathall) told me to keep going."

Rubalcaba-Lopez took Brathall's advice and finished with a time of 16:34.54.

Kyle Reno, Brian Zakavec, Phil Harrison and Matt Chavez also competed in the 5,000 for the Mountain Lions.

In Friday's competition, Brad Winn took 11th in the non-seeded mile with a non-adjusted time of 4:44.15. Kyle Cloppas finished 13th in the same race.

Also Friday, Jay Luna ran with the lead pack for more than half of the 3,000 meters before tiring and falling to 15th. John Tucker, who kept a more sustained pace, finished 14th.

UCCS Players/Staff Featured

Jay LunaJay Luna
Moses TumMoses TumDistance
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Brian ZakavecBrian ZakavecDistance
Brian ZakavecBrian ZakavecDistance
Levi BrathallLevi Brathall
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Levi BrathallLevi BrathallDistance
Levi BrathallLevi BrathallDistance
Aaron Rubalcaba-LopezAaron Rubalcaba-LopezDistance
Aaron Rubalcaba-LopezAaron Rubalcaba-LopezDistance
Aaron Rubalcaba-LopezAaron Rubalcaba-LopezDistance
Aaron Rubalcaba-LopezAaron Rubalcaba-Lopez
Aaron Rubalcaba-LopezAaron Rubalcaba-Lopez
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Additional News Stories
June 2, 2004Tum named All-American in two eventsMoses Tum accomplished one University of Colorado at Colorado Springs first when he qualified for the finals in two events at the NCAA Division II National Outdoor Track and Field Championships. He managed another first on Wednesday by being named All-American in both.
May 28, 2004Tum earns chance to attempt unprecedented doubleMoses Tum will attempt a University of Colorado at Colorado Springs first after all.
May 27, 2004Tum takes second in prelims, advances to finalsMoses Tum just keeps on getting better and better.
May 18, 2004Five Lions qualify for nationalsThree Colorado Springs natives were among the school-record five athletes that earned the right to represent the University of Colorado at Colorado Springs at the NCAA Division II National Outdoor Track and Field Championships, which will be held from May 27-29 at Walnut, Calif.
May 9, 2004Men's track fries as RMAC championshipsThe University of Colorado at Colorado Springs men's track team is going from the frying pan into the fire - almost literally.
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