Two Mountain Lions Qualify for Track National Championships

By Matt Rigby published May 19, 2010

The 2010 NCAA Division II Outdoor Track and Field National Championships will have two competitors for the University of Colorado-Colorado Springs. Steven Gomez (So) has qualified in the men's high jump and Lauren Graham (Fr) qualified in the women's pole vault. Both UCCS athletes are in position to potentially win their individual event National Title. Johnson C. Smith is the 2010 host and the National Championship Meet will be contested at Irwin Belk Complex in Charlotte, N.C.

Gomez comes into the men's high jump tied as the number #2 event seed. He qualified by jumping a height of 2.15 meter on April 17th at the Thunderbowl in Pueblo. Ryan Casey, Sr (California-San Diego) enters the National Championship as the high jump event #1 seed with a jump of 2.22 meter, which he achieved on March 13th at Point Loma Nazarene. Also joining Gomez, with a qualifying mark of 2.15 meter are James Noel, Fr (American International), Aaron Johnson, Sr (Bowie State) and Corey Thomas, Fr (Stonehill). Additionally, just like with the Indoor Track National Championship, Dyson Mortenson, Fr (Adams State) will be representing the Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference with Gomez in Charlotte. The men's high jump D-II National Record in 2.29 meters, set by Keith Moffatt (Morehouse) in 2006.

Gomez now gets his second National Championship shot in 2010. During the Indoor Track and Field National Championship in Albuquerque, N.M. he came in with a high event seed but only cleared the height of 2.01 meters and missed the podium. Look for Gomez to place well in Charlotte.

Steven Gomez completed the outdoor track and field season as the #2 men's high jumper in the Intermountain Region (all divisions)

The Intermountain Top Ten
Name/Year/School/Metric mark/Western mark
1) Clint Silcock/Jr/Utah State/2.26 m/7'5"
2) Steven Gomez/So/UCCS/2.15 m/7'0.5"
3) Dyson Mortenson/Fr/Adams State/2.14 m/7'0.25"
4) Trevor Heiner/Jr/BYU/2.10 m/6'10.75"
5) Austin Emry/Fr/Montana/2.09 m/6'10.25"
6) Wade Nelson/Jr/Southern Utah/2.08 m/6'9.75"
6) Mike Staker/Fr/Weber State/2.08 m/6'9.75"
8) Casey Parker/Sr/Utah State/2.06 m/6'9"
9) David Stuart/Sr/Colorado Mines/2.05 m/6'8.75"
9) Justin Cristser/Fr/Idaho State/2.05 m/6'8.75"
9) Caston Mabin/So/Colorado State/2.05 m/6'8.75"
9) Daney Nelson/So/Southern Utah/2.05 m/6'8.75"
9) Seth Wright/So/Montana/2.05 m/6"8.75"

Graham enters the women's pole vault as the #5 event seed. She qualified with the mark of 3.90 meter. Graham achieved her mark on April 3rd at the University of Northern Colorado in Greeley. Lauren Stelten, Jr (Minnesota State-Mankato) qualified as the event #1 seed with a mark on 4.10 meter, which she achieved on April 15th at the Mount Sac Relays in Walnut, Calif. Annelise Pradal, Jr (Adams State) joins Graham out of the Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference. The women's pole vault National Record is 4.11 meters, set by Katelin Rains (Minnesota State-Mankato) in 2009.

Graham missed the field cut for the Indoor National Championship by 0.03 meter, so this is a break through accomplishment for her. Also, during this season Graham achieved an initial qualifying mark for the U.S. Junior National Championship in Des Moines, Iowa, June 23-27th. Her mark and placement at the NCAA National Championship may determine if Graham makes the field for the U.S. Junior National. In all, the 2010 track season was a great one for Lauren, who cleared an NCAA provisional qualifying mark every time she pole vaulted in a UCCS uniform, both indoor and outdoor.

Lauren Graham completed the outdoor track season as the #10 women's pole vaulter in the Intermountain region (all division), and is the only non-division-I on vaulter in the top ten.

The Intermountain top ten
Name/Year/School/Metric mark/Western mark
1) Kari Clark/Sr/BYU/4.25 m /13'11.25"
2) Rachel Brooke Fisher/Fr/BYU/4.11 m/13'5.75"
3) Kelli Ehardt/So/BYU/4.01 m/13'1.75"
4) K.C. Dahlgren/Sr/Idaho/3.97 m/13'0.25"
4) Kylee Gleason/Jr/Idaho State/3.97 m/13'0.25"
6) Sonia Grabowska /Jr/Utah State/3.95 m/12'11.5"
7) Stacey Irvine/Jr/Montana State/3.93 m/12'10.75"
8) Lauren Graham/Fr/UCCS/3.90 m/12'9.5"
8) Kelly Fortner/Sr/New Mexico/3.90 m/12'9.5"
8) Kimber Shealy/So/Air Force/3.90 m /12'9.5"

UCCS Players/Staff Featured

Steven GomezSteven GomezJumps
Steven GomezSteven GomezJumps
Lauren GrahamLauren GrahamJumps
Lauren GrahamLauren GrahamJumps
Lauren GrahamLauren GrahamJumps
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