UCCS Harriers shine at the Denver Runnin' of the Green 7k
The Denver Runnin' of the Green 7k has been a St. Patrick's Day race tradition for many years and the UCCS Mountain Lions did their part to make it a memorable event in 2012. It was a perfect morning for distance racing with very light winds and a cool temperature in the 40's at race time.
The hilly out-and-back race course starts and finishes in downtown Denver a couple of blocks from Coors Field. The race usually draws several top runners from the area and UCCS did their part to add to the depth of the field. In fact the 2008 Women's Olympic Marathon Champion Constantina Dita from Romania won the Runnin' of the Green women's title this year. It is the fifth year that the Mountain Lions have participated in the event and this year was the best ever showing by the team on the men's side where they placed 10 runners in the top 23 out of the 4600 runner field. In fact each of the eight UCCS men who competed in the race both last year and this year improved on their times from last year's race.
UCCS was led by Mike English who placed 4th overall and was the top collegian in 22:14. English is fresh off an all-RMAC performance in the 5000 meters two weeks ago. Following English was a very solid run by Sam Feldotto placing 6th in 22:36. Following Feldotto with a top 10 finish was Ryan Derrick in 8th at 22:59. Next in for UCCS was the pack of Oliver Williams in 11th in 23:21, Ted Schultz was 12th in 23:29, Casey Weaver was 14th in 23:40, Luke Dakin was 16th in 24:45, William Edwards was 18th in 23:56, Michael Johnson was 21st in 24:05, David Marino was 23rd in 24:17 and Josh Jones was 33rd in 24:39.
For Luke Dakin it was his first race since early October of 2010. Dakin has had to overcome a broken bone and stress fractures in his foot during his career at UCCS. And for William Edwards it was his first race since this past October due to lower leg injuries as well. Michael Johnson has been battling back spasms and UCCS held out Ian Penn due to a foot injury.
The top finisher for the women was Madison Neher in 24th. Neher along with Samantha Bauer were not 100% during the race, but still finished. Sarah Treese was 29th for the women and Bauer was 38th. The ladies were without Veronica Sandoval who placed 11th in the event last year as she is currently rehabbing a foot injury.
Next up for the Mountain Lions will be the CU Potts Invitational on March 17th where UCCS will have several sprinters, jumpers and middle-distance runners competing.
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