Graham wins pole vault as UCCS completes RMAC championships

By Doug Fitzgerald published May 10, 2011

GOLDEN, Colo. - Lauren Graham won the pole vault Tuesday during the final day of the Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference Outdoor Track & Field Championships. In doing so, she set new records in the event for the RMAC, the University of Colorado at Colorado Springs and the Stermole Track & Field Complex.

Her vault of 4.05 meters, which equates to 13 feet, 3.5 inches for those of us not fluent in the metric system, broke those three records which were all previously held by, um, Lauren Graham.

"All the girls are jumping really well," said Graham. "We had a nice tailwind and it was good competition."

Graham passed on the first five heights before clearing 3.70 meters on her first attempt. It was supposed to be Graham's only vault of the day but Western State's Airrie Robinson messed up the plan by also clearing 3.70.

"The goal today was just to come out and win," said Graham. "I have a little bit of a hip injury and I was only going to take one jump. I was able to take a few so I was happy."

Graham cleared 3.85  and 4.05 meters, each on the first attempt, before being stymied at 4.15.

The Mountain Lions' men's 4 X 400-relay team of Alan Ford, Travis Whitman, Marc Hensley and Jonathan Wright  came into the meet as the RMAC's No. 1 seed and did themselves even better, breaking the school record set earlier this season that earned them the lofty seeding. Adams State shattered its season best, however, relegating UCCS to second in the race.

"Adams was just a little better on the day," said UCCS assistant coach David Harmer. "(The UCCS team) had a fantastic performance. Jon Wright was outstanding on that anchor leg."

All four competed individually in the 400 with Wright's eighth-place finish the best. Anthony Davis finished one place better, taking seventh in the 1,500.

"Davis snatched in there for a point and a lifetime PR as well," said Harmer.

UCCS got four points by way of Anthony Cardinale's fifth-place finish in the men's long jump. Teammate Robert McDougal was ninth, just barely out of the scoring.

Brien Hopkins, who took third in the decathlon on Monday, followed that up with a ninth-place showing in the javelin throw on Tuesday.

Alexa Urban made a big move in the final turn in the women's 800 and led until being caught just yards from the finish line. She ended up in third place.

"Alexa got us off the s great start in the 800," said Harmer. "Third place, that was fantastic."

Ashley Benfield matched that finish in the 400-meter hurdles.

"Ashley Benfield was great in the 400 hurdles and that carried over to the 4 X 4," said Harmer. "She opened up with a fantastic leg - her best all year."

Benfield's great first leg was followed by Urban, Emily Weeks and Dawn Eckert as the Mountain Lions took fourth place.

Weeks also competed in the long jump, taking ninth, while Melissa Buchanan was ninth in the 5,000.

UCCS Players/Staff Featured

Brien HopkinsBrien HopkinsJumps/Multi'sSo
Brien HopkinsBrien HopkinsJumps/Multi'sFr
Brien HopkinsBrien HopkinsJumps/Multi'sJr
Brien HopkinsBrien HopkinsJumps/Multi'sSr
Anthony DavisAnthony DavisDistanceSr.
Anthony DavisAnthony DavisDistanceFr
Anthony DavisAnthony DavisDistanceFr
Anthony DavisAnthony DavisDistanceSo
Anthony DavisAnthony DavisSr.
Anthony DavisAnthony DavisDistanceJr
Ashley Benfield Ashley Benfield Hurdles/Sprints
Ashley Benfield Ashley Benfield Hurdles/Sprints
Ashley Benfield Ashley Benfield Hurdles/Sprints So
Ashley Benfield Ashley Benfield Hurdles/Sprints
Ashley BenfieldAshley BenfieldSo.
Ashley BenfieldAshley Benfield
Ashley BenfieldAshley Benfield
Ashley BenfieldAshley Benfield
Lauren GrahamLauren GrahamJumps
Lauren GrahamLauren GrahamJumps
Lauren GrahamLauren GrahamJumps
Anthony CardinaleAnthony CardinaleJumps/Sprints
Anthony CardinaleAnthony CardinaleJumps/Sprints
Anthony CardinaleAnthony CardinaleJumps/Sprints
Alan Ford Alan Ford SprintsSr
Alan Ford Alan Ford SprintsFr
Alan Ford Alan Ford SprintsSo
Alan Ford Alan Ford SprintsJr
Emily WeeksEmily WeeksSprints, Jumps, and Multis
Emily WeeksEmily WeeksSprints, Jumps, and Multis
Travis Whitman Travis Whitman Sprints Jr
Travis Whitman Travis Whitman Sprints Fr
Travis Whitman Travis Whitman Sprints So
Jonathan Wright Jonathan Wright Sprints Jr
Jonathan Wright Jonathan Wright Sprints Fr
Jonathan Wright Jonathan Wright Sprints So
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