Men’s, women’s cross country teams sprint to nationals

Nov. 12, 2012

Jonathan Toman
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Both the men’s and women’s UCCS cross country teams are making the trek to Joplin, Mo., this November to compete in the NCAA Division II National Championships following a successful regional meet on Nov. 3.

At regionals, the women notched a third-place finish while the men finished fourth. The women had four all-region runners who all finished in the top 18: Veronica Sandoval, Megan Burrell, Madison Neher and Angie Martell.

The men garnered three all-region runners: Emilio Trujillo, Sam Feldotto and Oliver Williams, who finished 14th, 22nd and 25th, respectively.

Both the women’s head coach, David Harmer, and men’s head coach, Mark Misch, were excited by their teams’ performances in the tough regional meet.

“Basically, we got done what we expected to do at regionals,” Misch said.

“There were six nationally ranked teams in the women’s field, but only five go on to nationals. That shows you how strong our regional meet is,” said Harmer.

Thirty-two teams qualified for the national championships on Nov. 17. As with regionals, each team is allowed seven runners.

That leads to around 250 runners on one course. While the men’s team placed 19th at last year’s national meet, the women return to nationals for the first time since 2006, when they took seventh place overall.

“So far it’s been a very solid season on many levels, but we’re not there yet, and we have a job to do on Nov. 17,” Misch said. “The focus has been on [the national championships] since we got home from nationals last year.”

“At this point in the season, the teams that make the national championships are all battle tested and ready to race, so I am expecting a very competitive and close field in terms of points and scores,” said Harmer.

“We just have to keep focused on our preparation and do what we do. The race will take care of itself. Our expectations are high as a group, so I don’t worry about the guys on the competitive side of things,” explained Misch.

Both programs have a lot to look forward to now and in coming seasons.

“I am incredibly proud of how the women have competed this season,” said Harmer. “With the majority of our team underclassman, I am very excited for the future of the program.”