A new course record and two first place finishes propelled the men’s and women’s cross-country teams to win the annual UCCS Rust Buster last Saturday at Monument Valley Park.
The two teams raced back-to-back for their first meet this season, in the northern section of the park, with the men’s race at 9:15 a.m. and the women’s at 10 a.m.
Finishing at 17:31.10, redshirt junior Layla Almasri broke the course record by 16 seconds for the women’s 5K. Zoe Baker of Colorado School of Mines set the previous record in 2019; her time was 17:47.10.
Almasri’s performance helped her team win the race with 36 points. She was followed by redshirt freshman Kate Hedlund and redshirt junior Hannah Ellis; they finished in third and fifth place, respectively.
Seven Mountain Lions set new personal record times on Saturday, including redshirt freshmen Nadine Almasri and Sarah Bassett.
Six teams were involved in the meet. CSU Pueblo lost by 10 points to take second place overall with 46 points. MSU Denver ended in third place with 65 points and Regis ended the race last with 180 points.
The women’s team is currently ranked 12th in the USTFCCCA Division II national poll and fourth in the South-Central region.
The men’s team also fared well by winning their match. Junior Afewerki Zeru led the pack, besting all 93 competitors with a 24:19.7 time. He was nearly a full minute ahead of the second-place finisher.
The Mountain Lion behind him was redshirt freshman Evan Graff, who finished third overall and second for UCCS. Seven UCCS runners finished in the top ten among all racers and collegiate racers.
Several UCCS runners set personal records this weekend, beginning with graduate student Branden Bohling, with a time of 25:38.7. Graduate student Matthew Schramm notched his personal record at 25:39.6.
Eight different schools competed in the race. The UCCS men’s team ended with 23 points, Colorado Mesa followed behind them with 69 points and CSU-Pueblo in third with 83. Regis ended in last place with 249.
The men’s team is currently ranked 25th in the USTFCCCA Division II national poll and seventh in the South Central Region.
Like every other cross-country program, both the men’s and women’s team are coming off a shortened 2020 season. Both teams had three regular season meets in 2020.
The women’s team’s next competition is on Sept. 17 at MSU Denver for the Roadrunner 6K Invitational at Washington Park. The men’s teams next competition is also set for Sept. 17 and 18; they will compete by invitational only at the MSU Denver 8K Invitational at Washington Park.
All statistics were retrieved from the Go-Mountain Lions Webpage.