In team sports such as football and basketball, the hours it takes to finish a game make it easier to offset mistakes. In competitive sprinting, when the difference between the first and 15th-place finisher is less than a second, there is no room for error.
Last weekend, the UCCS track and field sprinters competed at the Potts Invitational, a meet hosted by CU Boulder and consisting of mostly D1 schools, including the Air Force Academy, Wyoming and Colorado State.
Despite the tough competition and over a month break since the last event, many Mountain Lion sprinters still earned their spot on the podium, including some new standout freshmen.
“Our coach has been really surprised with our new recruits, and although we lost some really big seniors last year, I feel like our new incomers and the [veterans] will definitely be making a run this year for both titles,” redshirt junior sprinter Dominick Haggerty said.
UCCS, the defending RMAC indoor and outdoor champions, are looking for their third consecutive sweep this year, and their performance at the Potts Invitational testifies to that probability.
In the men’s 400-meter race, freshman Andrew Muncy beat his previous time by over half a second, earning second place out of 22 sprinters. Muncy’s last 400-meter time earned him a first-place finish at the Colorado Running Company Pre-Holiday Invite held at UCCS on Dec. 9.
Freshman Sebastian Jean had a dramatic finish to his heat, collapsing across the finish line only 0.4 seconds before freshman Alex Herman. Jean finished first in his heat and seventh overall.
Redshirt sophomore Melissa Moreni competed in the 60-meter hurdle and finished fourth overall with an altitude-adjusted time of 8.72 seconds, just 0.05 seconds away from her best time this season. Additionally, redshirt junior Audrey Bloomquist finished fourth in the 60-meter dash final.
In the women’s 200-meter race, senior Brittany Fuchs and sophomore Keyanda Bolton earned fourth and sixth place, respectively, out of 37 other competitors. Fuchs improved her time by over half a second from her last race before the winter break.
The largest pool of competitors was in the men’s 200-meter sprint, with eight representing UCCS. Out of 38 competitors, five made it to the top 15.
In a pre-season poll, RMAC coaches voted UCCS men’s and women’s teams as the number one in the conference this season. The women’s team picked up 12 of 13 first-place votes, while the men’s team received 9 of 12.
The next competition will occur at UCCS on Jan. 21 at 11:30 a.m., where the Mountain Lions will host the Colorado Running Company Invite at the Mountain Lion Fieldhouse. Tickets are free with a valid UCCS student ID.
Photo courtesy of gomountainlions.com.