Mountain Lion Tracksters Find Mid-Season Form
The UCCS trackster's have been busy covering the miles between meets in Albuquerque, Pueblo and Boulder over the past two weeks, setting numerous school records, season, and lifetime bests in the process.
On April 7th a competitive squad was sent to Albuquerque in search of good weather and good performances; and they were rewarded with both. The 400 meter squad took advantage of the good conditions and competition and individually recorded three new lifetime bests in the 400 meter open, and then collaborated to produce another stellar performance in the men's 4x400 meter relay. Jonathan Wright ran to a new-best of 48.35, Alan Ford 49.54, and Travis Whitman 49.64. Those three athletes, along with 800 meter specialist Marc Hensley, teamed up later to run a conference- and region-leading 3:15.24 in the 4x400 meter relay. That time barely missed the NCAA Division II qualifying mark of 3:15.00, but set a new school record for the Mountain Lions.
Earlier, Hensley had competed in the 800 meter where he ran a season's best of 1:57.84. Also in that event, Anthony Davis and Kyle McCloskey each ran to a new outdoor lifetime-best of 1:54.03 and 1:55.49, respectively.
The 1500 meter saw a return to the track for Matt Cameron. Cameron had competed at the NCAA Division II National Indoor championships in March and started his season well, barely missing the NCAA qualifying standard and running 3:52.65. The national standard is 3:52.50. Another athlete to get their season started was Chad Liscar. Liscar opened up with a 100 meter and 200 meter double and his 200 meter time of 22.47 earned him number five spot on the UCCS top 5 lists.
In only his second ever collegiate 400 meter hurdles race, freshman Ryan Buchanan once again performed to a high standard setting a new-best of 55.35. Ryan sits number five in the RMAC standings, less than a second off the number one spot.
UCCS had two sophomores competing in the longer distance races at New Mexico. Ryan Derrick moved to number two on the UCCS all-time list in the 3000 meter steeplechase with his 9:24.55 clocking, while Veronica Sandoval placed fourth in the women's 3000 meters.
In Pueblo this past week, the Mountain Lions received two first-place finishes from Brien Hopkins in the decathlon and Lauren Roberts in the heptathlon. Hopkins scored 6094 points across ten events to record his second-best career point total in the decathlon. Hopkins, who sat in 3rd place after the first five events, relied on his veteran multi-event experience and strong day two skills to pull ahead of the field. He hit personal, decathlon, or season's best marks in a number of events including the high jump (1.84 meter), pole vault (4.04 meter), and javelin (50.44 meter). Hopkins looks to perform strong in three weeks at the RMAC Conference decathlon, where he will attempt to earn his eighth consecutive All-Conference award in the multi-events. Finishing in second-place for UCCS was freshman Zach Wood, who scored 5340 points. Wood's strongest event was the 110 hurdles, where he moved to number two all-time on the UCCS list with his 15.67 clocking.
Competing in her first career outdoor heptathlon, freshman Lauren Roberts amassed 4140 points to set a new school record in the heptathlon. Roberts set the tone for the meet in the first event, where she improved by over .5 seconds in the 100 meter hurdles to run 15.56 seconds, which is a new school record. She followed that up with performances of 1.57 meters in the high jump, 8.16 meters in the shot put, and 27.38 seconds in the 200 meter dash, which were all season's bests. Day two saw her record solid marks in the long jump and javelin, and then run a tough 800 meters virtually alone to move from third to first place. Her point total obliterated the previous school record of 3775, set in 2008 by Josi Heer.
On the same weekend as the multi-eventers were testing their early season metal in Pueblo, the rest of the UCCS mountain lions headed to Boulder for the CU Invitational.
In the women's 1500 meters, Veronica Sandoval and Amber McAfee both broke the five minute barrier for the first time this season. It was the third lifetime-best in as many weeks for McAfee, who has started the outdoor season well.
The 400 meter squad that had set lifetime bests the previous week did so again, but this time in the shorter 100 meter and 200 meter races. Chad Liscar led the mountain lions with a 10.96 clocking, just missing the UCCS school record in the event held by Dami Oladiran when converted for altitude. He was followed by Jonathan Wright in 11.13 and Travis Whitman in 11.35, all new lifetime-bests. The trio also competed in the 200 meters where Whitman again set a new best with the time of 22.72. Whitman has now set a new best in four different events and in each of the three opening meets of the season.
In an extremely strong line up in the men's 800 meters, the Mountain Lions fared well against some of the best middle distance runners from across the region. Freshmen Carson Aberle and Kyle McCloskey demonstrated how far they have come since their senior year of high school, setting new lifetime-bests of 1:52.90 and 1:54.76, respectively. Last year Aberle had a best of 1:56 and McCloskey 2:02. Their progression is testament to the hard work the pair has put in over the last eight months. UCCS now has three athletes in the top 11 in the RMAC 800m standings. In the women's 800 meters, there was a fine tactical race by Kim Fitzgerald who waited until the final 40 meters of the race before surging to a win her heat. Fitzgerald set a new season's best with the win.
The men's 3000 meters was highlighted by Mike English's school record of 8:35.64, while finishing as the second collegian overall. Ted Schultz just missed the UCCS all-time top five list by less than a second and was the sixth collegian overall. Also just missing the top five list was Luke Dakin, who was the eighth collegian overall.
Freshmen Jessica Todd and Chelsea Overocker both recorded second-place finishes in the horizontal jumping events. Todd hit 5.08 meters in the long jump and Overocker bounded 11.33 meters in the triple jump. Fellow freshman TJ Frison leaped 6.60 meters to finish fifth in the men's long jump. All marks were the outdoor season's best performances.
The travel miles continue to mount up this coming week as the Mountain Lions will be competing at meets in Los Angeles, California; Lawrence, Kansas; and Gunnison, Colorado. The team will go in search of more national qualifying marks from several individuals and relay teams.
|Additional News Stories|
|August 6, 2012||Men Pick Up USTFCCCA All-Academic Team Award||NEW ORLEANS – University of Colorado Colorado Springs men's indoor and outdoor track and field teams were one of five RMAC teams and one of 41 NCAA Division II teams to earn All-Academic honors from the U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association. The Mountain Lions earned the award after a team cumulative grade point average of 3.00 or greater.|
|August 1, 2012||Four Mountain Lion Men Earn Scholar-Athlete Honors||COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. - UC-Colorado Springs student-athletes Matt Cameron, Mike English, Alan Ford and Jonathan Wright earned Scholar-Athlete honors from the U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association late last week. The Mountain Lion quartet were among the 164 NCAA Division II student-athletes to earn the honor.|
|May 11, 2012||Men’s 4x400 meter relay captures RMAC title to lead the way for the Mountain Lions||Gunnison, CO: Like a postal carrier, the track & field team competes in all kinds of weather. During their three days at the RMAC Outdoor Track & Field Championships in Gunnison, Colorado, the Mountain Lions saw rain, snow, high winds, sunny skies, freezing temperatures and lastly in the 70’s.|
|May 1, 2012||California to Kansas...and back again.||Getting things started for the mountain lions were several of the middle and long-distance squad who traveled to Lawrence, Kansas for the KU Relays. Despite swirling winds during the Thursday and Friday evening sessions of the three day meet, several of the UCCS runners recorded personal or season bests. Highlights from the meet included Alexa Urban running a season best in the 800 meters of 2:15.66 to rank her fifth in the RMAC. Ryan Derrick placed sixth among college runners in the 3000 meter steeplechase, Mike English was the seventh placing collegian in the 5000 meters with a time of 15:02.19 which is number five on the UCCS all-time performance list.|