Two Mountain Lions Compete at Mt. Sac

By Matt Sandstead published April 14, 2006

Ashley Birger finished 12th out of 29 in the 3,000-meter steeplechase at the Mt. Sac Relays in Walnut, Calif. Birger beat 10 Division I runners with a time of 11 minutes, 5.86 seconds.

Birger ran a converted time of 11:02 in Boulder earlier this year. If it hadn't been for that, Birger's time at Mt. Sac would have been a national qualifying time for her. Either way she is still provisionally qualified for nationals.

"It was a good race," said Birger. "It was slower than I wanted, though."

The weather played a big factor in the outcome of the race, however.

"It was really hot," said Birger. "I was a little disappointed the weather didn't cooperate more."

Birger was only one of the two runners the University of Colorado at Colorado Springs sent to California.

Shannon Payne was the other Mountain Lion to compete at the Mt. Sac Relays. Payne's time of 36:05.72 in the 10,000-meter run was good enough for a fifth place finish among a field of 20 of the top Divisions I and II competitors.

"I'm happy that I qualified, but disappointed that my time was short of my goal," said Payne.

Payne's time provisionally qualified her for nationals but was actually slower than her performance there last year, which had given her a 37th-place finish, as opposed to her fifth-place finish this year.

"I'm a little upset that I got the same time [this year] with an extra year of experience," said Payne.

Payne's time last year at the Mt.Sac relays was 36:05.56, exactly .16 seconds faster than her performance on Thursday.

UCCS Players/Staff Featured

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