Mountain Lions Compete at KU Relays

By Shannon Payne published April 18, 2009

LAWRENCE, Kan. - The 10 Mountain Lions competing at the 82nd annual Kansas Relays Thursday were able to leave with several P.R.'s and season bests as every runner finished in the top 30 of every field in their respective events.

Alex Tiernan was only four seconds off of a National provisional qualifying time in the 3,000-meter steeplechase as he took third overall with a personal best time 9:30, just three seconds behind Butler Community College's Jackson Toroitich. Joel Kientiz was the only other competitor in the men's steeple, clocking a 10:00.59.

Alex Vazquez and Chris Reynolds started things off on day one in the 800 meters. Vazquez, despite the uneven pace of the field, took 9th in the 83-man field with a time of 1:55.39. Reynolds struggled through hamstring problems on his second lap, but still crossed the line in 20th with 1:56.30.

Excitement was not lacking for Kelsey Barry as she had to fight for a spot just to toe the line as she, along with nearly the entire field, was nearly disqualified for not being in the warm-up corral at a specific time, which had not been specified. At the urging of several coaches, all runners were permitted into the race and despite the upset, Barry managed to come from behind to overtake the leader and win her heat in 2:21.28.

"She ran really well," said assistant coach Corey Kubatzky. "The leader went out at a ridiculous pace, Kelsey caught her and basically ran the second half of her race alone."

Later that night, Kait Frier ran the best 5000 meter run of her life, clocking a personal best time of 18:27 to take 19th overall.

In the women's 10000 meters Alicia Del Pardo returned from having run the same race the previous year on a stress fracture, to prove that she is better than ever as she ran a personal best time of 39:12 to place 11th. Tavia Hammond, despite some of her own injury problems, nonetheless finished 19th in 41 minutes flat.

On the men's side of the 10000, Carlos Ruibal took a 21st place berth in 32:59 followed by Micheal Johnson in 29th with 33:23.

"It went pretty well the last couple days. We had a few PRs and Tiernan is now in the top-5 of all UCCS men's steeplers. I think that people performed as well as they could have under all of the circumstances," Kubatzky said.

UCCS Players/Staff Featured

Carlos RuibalCarlos Ruibal
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Alex TiernanAlex Tiernan
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Alex VazquezAlex VazquezMid-Distance
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