UCCS pole vaulter Graham headed to nationals

By Doug Fitzgerald published March 1, 2011

COLORADO SPRINGS - University of Colorado at Colorado Springs pole vaulter Lauren Graham was named the Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference Female Athlete of the Month for February, the RMAC announced Saturday.

Nebraska-Kearney's T.J. Hepburn received the male athlete of the month honor. The league's sports information directors nominate the student-athletes that are then selected by the league office.

Graham enters the NCAA Division II National Indoor Track & Field Championships on Friday as the top-seeded pole vaulter.  The sophomore from Lancaster, Calif. cleared 4.06 meters at the Air Force Invitational on Feb. 11, which put her 0.4 meters ahead of the No. 2 qualifier from Minnesota State.  She broke the RMAC indoor pole vault record on the first day of the RMAC Indoor Track & Field Championships with a mark of 3.83 meters.  The mark also set a new field house record for Nebraska-Kearney's Health & Sports Center.

Graham is the first UCCS athlete, male or female, to be honored at the RMAC's athlete of the month. The RMAC began recognizing athletes of the month in 2009.

A junior from East Hampton, Conn., Hepburn was named the 2011 RMAC Wrestler of the Year after winning his first RMAC/NCAA Super Regional title in the 149-pound weight class.  In February, Hepburn went 10-0 that included five falls, two majors, two forfeit wins and one decision.  He enters the NCAA championships with a 35-3 record (all matches) and riding a 25-match win streak.

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