UCCS athletes compete, one brings home hardware from track nationals

By Matt Rigby published May 22, 2010

The weather came into play in Charlotte, N.C., during the NCAA Division-II Outdoor Track and Field National Championship. Stop me if you have not heard that one from the University of Colorado-Colorado Springs 2010 track season. I have never seen as many extreme weather conditions during a track season as I have during the 2010 track season. So of course, the weather could not let up during the National Championship. The women's pole vault and men's high jump were suppose to be contested and completed on Friday, May 28th but the event conclusions were pushed to Saturday due to lighting delays. It is official USA Track and Field and NCAA policy that an outdoor event can not be contested with 30 minutes of a lightening strike within 30 miles of the competition site.

In the women's pole vault Lauren Graham was the top placing freshman. She finished fifth due to the missed jump tie breaker with a mark of 3.83 meters, which is also good for Division-II Third Team All-American. Graham was seeded sixth coming into the event. Graham was also the youngest athlete in the field along with being just a freshman. Graham won every pole vault competition she was entered into except the National Championship during the outdoor season. In all regards that is a great season. She will be back for some more and by the time Graham is a senior, pending being injury free, she make hard charging attempts at couple pole vault National Championships.

"To bring home some hardware as a freshman, while at the national championship for the first time is pretty sweet." said Jumps Coach Brandon Masters

There still may be more of the season left for Graham since she has achieved the qualifying standard for the U.S. Junior National Championship, which will be held on June 23-27 in Des Moines, Iowa. The U.S. Junior National Championships is for athletes age 19 and younger. Currently the top entry for the U.S. junior women's pole vault is Rachel Fisher, a freshman at Brigham Young, with a mark of 4.25 meters. Past junior world champions include athletes like Usain Bolt, Carl Lewis and Jackie Joiner-Kersey.

In the men's high jump, it wasn't as good a go for Steven Gomez. The opening height was 2.04 meters and Gomez did not clear the opening along with about a third the field.

Gomez is a speed jumper, which puts a lot of pressure on the curve portion of the J approach, and use that momentum into the launch over the high jump bar. In most extreme weather conditions like snow, wind and heat the speed jumpers have an advantage, but in the rain the advantage goes to the power jumpers since the water causes a lot of slippage during the curve portion of the approach. Such was the case with Gomez and most of the other speed jumpers.


UCCS Players/Staff Featured

Steven GomezSteven GomezJumps
Steven GomezSteven GomezJumps
Lauren GrahamLauren GrahamJumps
Lauren GrahamLauren GrahamJumps
Lauren GrahamLauren GrahamJumps
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May 11, 2010Graham Wins Pole Vault, Freshman of the Year at RMAC Track ChampionshipsPUEBLO - Lauren Graham of the University of Colorado at Colorado Springs not only won the women's pole vault competition at the Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference Outdoor Track & Field Championships Tuesday, she also set a new RMAC meet record in the process.
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