Brathall earns qualifying time
The University of Colorado at Colorado Springs men's track team earned one provisional qualifying time for nationals and established two new school records at the Air Force Invitational on Friday and Saturday.
Levi Brathall posted an altitude-and-track-adjusted time of 14 minutes, 48.64 seconds in the men's 5,000-meter run to earn a provisional qualifying time for nationals. Brathall also took third place overall, defeating two Division I runners to do so.
On the women's side, Shannon Payne also earned a provisional qualifying time in the 5,000 meters.
"We are very excited to have so many good marks at only our second competition," said CU-Colorado Springs coach Graeme Badger. "The team made strong improvements in both the sprints and the distances.
"Having two NCAA national qualifying marks at such a high altitude shows real determination for our athletes."
That two school records fell was not only the result of a fine effort by the athletes, it was also a clear indication of the direction of the track program. In past years, the Mountain Lions concentrated primarily on the distance events - and did so with great success, producing several All-Americans. This season, new athletic director Stephen Kirkham gave Badger a new mandate - to become competitive in a wider array of track and field events.
With that goal in view, CU-Colorado Springs entered eight runners (five men and three women) in the 400-meter dash on Friday; by far the most Mountain Lions to compete in that event in a single meet. That the 400 was so full of Mountain Lions was no accident.
"We need to start by developing the quarter-milers," said CU-Colorado Springs assistant track coach Bob Graf. "Everything else will build from that."
One of those quarter-milers was Dan Strishock, who set a new school record by covering the distance in 51.98 seconds. Strishock said it was difficult to maintain his own pace with the field loaded with Division I runners.
"Today was really hard. Those guys were really fast; they were really smoking,"said Strishock, who broke the school record he set a week ago on the same track. "Now it's in my head to break (the record) every time I run."
Strishock was also a part of the men's mile relay (with Mark Brehm, Steve Perfors and Matt Creech) that set a new school record.
UCCS Players/Staff Featured
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