UCCS Closes to Within Point of Clinching Steel & Silver Series at RMAC Meet
CHADRON, Neb. - The second day of the Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference indoor track championships drew to a close Saturday evening with the Mountain Lions in sixth place on the men's side and seventh place on the women's side.
"Overall I was really pleased with the efforts of our team. We had a few kids competing who have been battling injuries and illness that came out and gave it their best. Everyone knows the RMAC is as good as it gets and you have to scrap and claw and fight for every single point you can get," said head coach Mark Misch.
By virtue of the UCCS women's team's scoring more points than Colorado State-Pueblo, UCCS moved to within a point of clinching the 2008-09 Steel & Silver Series. UCCS leads this season's series 22-8 with 23 points needed to win.
Brian Hopkins finished third overall in the men's heptathalon with 4442 points, narrowly missing the school record by nine points. Carl Lum, the men's other competitor in the heptathalon, fought through injury to take eighth in 2600 points.
Hopkins was awarded All-Conference honors as a result. Hopkins also earlier placed 11th in the 55 meter hurdles with a school record time of 8.31 seconds.
David Mueller had a very busy 48 hours. The freshman competed in five events throughout two days, as he qualified for the finals in everything he competed in. Mueller took fourth in the 55 meter dash and also posted a new school record of 6.63 seconds. In the 200 meter dash, Mueller placed sixth.
Kelsey Barry ran a tactical and gutsy race to yet another new school record in the 800 meter run as she moved through the pack up to fifth place in 2:20.64. Tracey Falsetto followed in 15th.
Alex Vazquez and Chirs Reynolds placed fifth and sixth in the men's 800 meters.
Considering the elevation and the track's small size""which slows race times considerably with its tight turns""all times will be converted based upon their distance.
Meaning that the times posted in distance and middle distance events will be converted to be faster than what was actually run on Chadron's track.
The women's 4x400 meter relay continued to impress in one of the closest and most exciting finishes of the afternoon. The team of Jenny Hunt, Kylie Honigford, Dawn Eckertt, along with Barry finished in 4:05.95 to take fourth. The women's finish was incredibly close consider that the victors, Western State, finished in 4:05.24. The next closest finisher to UCCS was nearly two seconds slower.
"Basically, we went into it just wanting to have a good race and come out with a success," explained Eckertt. "We all competed really well and it was really rough with all the jostling. We wanted to get in the top three, but considering how close it was, we were really happy with it because the time range of times was so close"
The men's 4x400 team of Joel Kienitz, Josh Jones, Anthony Davis and Brad Kachigan took sixth.
In the men's mile, Alex Tiernan rebounded from a bout of food poisoning from the previous night to take 15th in a packed field. Tiernan was followed by Keinitz in 18th, Kachigan in 19th, Allen Browne in 21st and Jones in 22nd.
The women's 3000 featured a quartet of Mountain Lions as Katilin Frier and Alicia Del Pardo took sixth and seventh. The two were flowed by Christy Severy in 12th and Leslie Bennett in 22nd.
For most of the Mountain Lions, the meet topped off the indoor season.
"We had some very, very close finishes in a few events where points could've gone one way or another. Sometimes you catch a break, sometimes you don't, but that doesn't change our efforts or the way you compete," said Misch. "We came out of this meet with more combined points then any team in school history, more all-RMAC performers then ever and a few more school records. It was a very solid indoor season for our program on many levels and of course we still have Steven Gomez and Shannon Payne competing at the NCAA Indoor Championships in two weeks so we're not done yet. We're a very young team and the foundation has been set to build upon for the next few seasons."
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