UCCS Cross Country competes in Roadrunners XC Invitational

AJ Blevins 

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    On Sept. 17, UCCS Men’s Cross Country left the 2021 Roadrunner XC Invitational without registering a team score while the women’s team ended in sixth. The men’s team then entered the University of Wisconsin-Parkside Rosa Invitational on Sept. 18, leaving with a first-place finish. 

     Both teams had their standards set high as they both took first place in their previous tournament.  

     Freshman Justin Banta, redshirt junior Troy Cournoyer and graduate student Luke Rodriguez ran the men’s 8K at the Roadrunner Invitational.  

     Rodriguez placed the highest, coming in at 44th place with a time of 26:50.8, followed not far behind by Banta, who placed 54th with a time of 27:20.2. Just a few spots behind Banta came Cournoyer in 59th place with a time of 27:46.2.  

     Despite leaving the tournament without registering a team score, the men’s team had another 8K competition on Saturday.  

     All seven racers in the University-Parkside Lucian Rosa Invitational finished in the top 10, propelling them to first place. 

      Junior Afewerki Zeru crossed the finish line first in 24:44.4, 40 seconds faster than second place. Redshirt sophomore Evan Graff placed in third at 25:31.5, followed by redshirt senior Mark Simmons at 25:37.5. 

     Overall, UCCS had 70 points fewer than second place Minnesota State with 19.  

     In the 5K race at the Roadrunner Invitational, women’s cross country was led by redshirt freshman Kelsey Rycenga, who finished in 22nd place with a time of 23:16.4, just five seconds off her personal best. She was followed by redshirt freshman Rachel Richtman who came in 33rd place with a time of 23:45.7.  

     They were followed by redshirt sophomore Emily Gentry, who brought in 31 points for the team and placed 43rd with a time of 24:21.8.  

     Finishing out the race for the Mountain Lions were redshirt freshman Nadine Almasri who finished with a time of 24:59.3 and 54th place, redshirt freshman Elizabeth Richter with a time of 25:6 and 56th place, redshirt freshman Liz Bindert with a time of 25:07.7 and 57th place and redshirt freshman Michela Hewitt with a time of 29:56.7 and 82nd place. 

     The women finished out the tournament placing sixth out of eight schools, with a full score of 159.  

      The men’s team will now prepare to head to Kenosha, Wisconsin, and the women’s team will prepare to head to Louisville, Kentucky.  

     Statistics came from the Go Mountain Lions website. 

Photo courtesy of gomountianlions.com