Track and Field places high at Mountain Lion Open, Championships

19 February 2019

Derek Lee

[email protected]

    Day one of the Colorado Running Company Mountain Lion Open resulted in six event winners for UCCS Track and Field, with five provisional marks tallied as well, increasing their chance of qualifying for nationals.

    After the meet, the United States Track and Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA) announced its week four national rankings. Previously, the women’s team had been ranked No. 6 in the country, and the men’s team had been ranked No. 39. After last week’s announcement, the women were ranked No. 5, and the men fell to No. 46.

    “This week was just a good confidence booster,” said sophomore Kayla Zink. “We’re finally starting to peak and reach those [personal records]s so it was good to feel a little bit fresher. Going forward I think I just need to work on staying relaxed.”

    Zink placed first in the women’s 60m with a time of 7.51 seconds, earning a provisional mark. Junior Deshon Elcock took second in the men’s 60m with a time of 6.92 seconds.

    Senior Tim Howley placed first in the men’s 5,000m competition while freshman Hannah Ellis placed first in the women’s 5,000m competition.

    The women’s 4000m distance medley relay team, consisting of freshman Maia Austin, sophomore Dejah Glover, redshirt freshman Layla Almasri, and senior Skylyn Webb, also registered a provisional mark with a time of 12:05.05.

    Junior Derek Valdez earned a provisional mark in the men’s high jump, finishing second with a leap of 2.08m. Valdez also finished second in the long jump with a distance of 6.98m. That was just short of his personal record of 7.00m.

    For the women’s jumps, sophomore Kaija Crowe and graduate student Jada Carr each recorded a provisional mark in the long jump. Crowe placed first with a jump of 5.88m and Carr took third with a jump of 5.70m. In the 60m hurdles, Crowe registered the second fastest time of 8.95 seconds.

    In the 200m, freshman Sam Repsher placed first with a time of 22.71 seconds and junior Nicole Morpurgo also placed first with a time of 25.72 seconds.

    In the throwers competition, junior Conor Bertles broke his old personal record of 16.11m by heaving a distance of 16.41m in the men’s weight throw, which earned him second place.

    Day two of the Mountain Lion Open resulted in six more winners for the Mountain Lions and three more provisional marks.

    In the 60m finals, Elcock and Zink continued their performances from day one. Elcock finished second with a time of 6.94 seconds while Zink finished first with a provisional time of 7.54 seconds. Elcock’s second-place finish was the top collegiate time in the event, while Zink’s provisional mark is tied for sixth best time in Division II.

    Freshman Cameron Tracy finished second in the women’s 60m hurdles finals with a time of 9.24 seconds. Tracy recorded a PR of 9.14 seconds in the preliminaries on Day One of the Mountain Lion Open.

    Dejah Glover took first place in the 400m with a time of 59.45. Maia Austin took first in the 800m with a time of 2:17.71 and senior Marah Guzman took first in the 3000m with a time of 10:57.07.

    Freshman Afewerki Zeru finished second with a time of 8:53.87 in the men’s 3000m. The women’s 4x400m team of Jalen Jordan, Diana Reynolds, Grace Wenham, and Cameron Tracy registered took first for UCCS with a time of 4:03.38.

    In the field events, jumper and junior Will Ross, along with pole vaulter sophomore Brenna Kuskie combined for two provisional marks. Kuskie finished as the top division II student-athlete in the women’s pole vault with a height 3.63m. Ross finished as the event winner in the men’s long jump, leaping to a distance of 14.51m.

    “This past weekend I did pretty well comparatively to my competitors,” said Ross. Ross said he still needs to work on his triple jump technique before the Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference Championships.

    “[Track is] like a job but it’s not a typical job because you’re always active and it’s fun. You show up and interact with people; I like the freedom of it, it’s a good job.”