Women go 3-for-3 at Mt. Sac

By Sarah Shepard published April 16, 2004

The University of Colorado at Colorado Springs women's track team went 3-for-3 Friday at the Mt. Sac Relays at Walnut, Calif. Sophomore Ashley Birger, freshman Sarah Shepard and junior Tina Gray all ran the 3,000-meter steeplechase for the Mountain Lions, and all three earned provisional qualifying times for nationals.

Should the times hold up, the experience at Mt. Sac will prove invaluable. The NCAA Division II Track and Field Championships will be held at the same track on May 28-29.

Birger led the team with an outstanding performance, running a time of 11 minutes, seven seconds. Gray followed with a time of 11:15. Shepard rounded out the trio with a time of 11:25.

"I was kind of freaked out being in the fast heat, so I went out conservatively. I ran at the back of the pack and got bumped around quite a bit, but I didn't let it bother me. After the third lap I got into a rhythm and felt good," said Birger. "I felt good on the jumps and kept up a strong pace."

Birger is looking forward to returning to Mt. Sac in a month for the NCAA Division II Championships.

Despite just recovering from a respiratory infection, Gray solidified another qualifying time in the steeplechase.

"I was disappointed in my race and ran a lot faster last year at Mt. Sac," said Gray. "I know once I am healthy I will run a faster time."

Gray was an All-American in the event last year and is looking to achieve that honor again.

"I am looking forward to racing again and feeling better," said Gray. "I just had a hard time breathing, it was really frustrating."

Shepard improved her steeple time by nearly 50 seconds in only the third time she has run the event.

"I was happy with my performance, especially after the last time I ran the race, but I still feel weak," said Shepard. "Now that I am beginning to feel healthy again, I am looking forward to being able to train harder. Hopefully, I will be able to gain back my strength that I have lost, and improve my time when I run the race at conference."

The women's track team will compete at the Jack Christiansen Invitation this Saturday in Ft. Collins.

UCCS Players/Staff Featured

Ashley BirgerAshley BirgerSteeplechaseSo.
Ashley BirgerAshley BirgerSteeplechaseSo.
Ashley BirgerAshley BirgerSteeplechaseSo.
Ashley BirgerAshley BirgerSo.
Ashley BirgerAshley BirgerSo.
Ashley BirgerAshley BirgerSo.
Ashley BirgerAshley BirgerSo.
Sarah ShepardSarah ShepardDistanceFr.
Sarah ShepardSarah ShepardDistanceFr.
Sarah ShepardSarah ShepardDistanceFr.
Sarah ShepardSarah ShepardFr.
Sarah ShepardSarah ShepardFr.
Sarah ShepardSarah ShepardFr.
Sarah ShepardSarah ShepardFr.
Tina GrayTina GrayJr.
Tina GrayTina GrayJr.
Tina GrayTina GraySteeplechase
Tina GrayTina GraySteeplechase
Additional News Stories
June 4, 2004Birger named Academic All-AmericanCross country/track athlete Ashley Birger was named second team academic All-American, the University of Colorado at Colorado Springs announced Friday.
June 2, 2004Gray named All-American for second straight yearTina Gray was named All-American for the second consecutive year, the University of Colorado at Colorado Springs announced Wednesday.
May 27, 2004Gray advances to finals at national championshipsTina Gray qualified for the finals in the women's 3000-meter steeplechase at the NCAA Division II Outdoor Track and Field Championships Thursday by finishing ninth in the preliminaries.
May 9, 2004Women's track beats the heatThe CU-Colorado Springs Men's and Women's Track teams are accustomed to racing in tough conditions, but the RMAC Championships took it to a new level.
April 24, 2004Final tuneup successful for women's trackSaturday, April 24, Colorado State University hosted the Jack Christiansen Invitational where the University of Colorado at Colorado Springs women's track team competed in their last outdoor meet of the regular season.
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