UCCS men's cross country/track recruiting class announced

By Doug Fitzgerald published May 12, 2006

University of Colorado at Colorado Springs cross country and track coach Graeme Badger announced the Mountain Lions' 2006 men's recruiting class on Friday.

The incoming class features sprinters and middle distance runners, which illustrates two things: 1) Last year's cross country/distance runners class was particularly strong and 2) the UCCS Athletic Department's increased focus on making track competitive as a team sport.

"(This is) the largest, strongest class in school history," said Badger. "We finally have the luxury of recruiting some middle distance and sprint athletes for the Track and Field Team. This class will add some life blood to the program."

The class' top distance runner, based on high school times, is Aric Holmes from Columbine High School in Littleton. A USATF cross country All-American, Holmes has shown his track paces by clocking 15 minutes, 48 seconds in the 5,000 meter run.

To improve the team's sprints, Badger signed Almir Hodzic from Gateway High School in Aurora. A two-time state finalist, Hodzic owns times of 23.8 seconds in the 200-meter dash and 48.3 in the 400 meters. He has also long jumped 22 feet.

In the middle distances, Badger signed Matt Philson, Dustin Simoens, Shea Wilfong and Joel Keinitz.

Philson was a three-time state qualifier at Pueblo's Centennial High School. He brings times of 51.1 in the 400, 1:58.88 in the 800 and 17:32 in the 5,000 to UCCS.

Simoens earned a 12th-place finish at state in the 1,600 with a time of 4:26. He also owns times of 1:59 in the 800, 10:12 in the two mile and 16:20 in the 5,000.

Wilfong finished 15th at the Colorado State Cross Country Meet while competing for Liberty High School in Colorado Springs. In track, he's clocked 2:02 in the 800, 4:40 in the mile, 12:15 in the two mile and 16:07 in the 5,000.

Rocky Ford's Kienitz completes the class. A third-place finisher at the state cross country meet, he also took second in the state in the two mile in 2005. His times include a 4:39 mile, 10:03 two mile and 16:39 5,000.

UCCS Players/Staff Featured

Almir HodzicAlmir HodzicSprints
Almir HodzicAlmir HodzicSprints
Almir HodzicAlmir HodzicSprints
Aric HolmesAric HolmesDistance
Aric HolmesAric Holmes
Joel KienitzJoel Kienitz
Joel KienitzJoel Kienitz
Joel KienitzJoel Kienitz
Joel KienitzJoel KienitzDistance
Joel KienitzJoel KienitzDistance
Joel KienitzJoel KienitzDistance
Joel KienitzJoel KienitzDistance
Joel KienitzJoel Kienitz
Matthew PhilsonMatthew PhilsonDistance
Matthew PhilsonMatthew Philson
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