The UCCS track & field program recorded top three team finishes on both the men’s and women’s side at the Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference Indoor Track & Field Championships at the Adams State University High Altitude Training Center Feb. 22-23.
The UCCS women’s track & field team finished in second place with 125 points as Adams State won the meet with 157 points. With 103 team points, the UCCS men’s track & field team finished in third place as Western State Colorado University won the RMAC championship with 131 points.
The Mountain Lions collected five RMAC individual championships and 19 podium (top three) finishes. Student-athletes earned 12 NCAA provisional qualifying marks, one national automatic qualifying mark and set a new RMAC track championships record. Kaija Crowe and Derek Valdez earned Athlete of the Meet honors as the top point scorers for the men and women.
Crowe won the pentathlon with 3,458 points, finished as the runner-up in the high jump at 5 feet, 5 inches, and in the long jump with 19-5 1/2. She scored 28 of the team’s 125 points with a seventh-place scoring finish in the 60-meter hurdles in 9.17 seconds.
Valdez registered an automatic qualifying mark in the men’s high jump as he recorded a personal best 7-1 1/2 to become RMAC champion. He was runner-up in the long jump with 23-6 1/4 to lead three Mountain Lions in the top four of the event. Tanner Walsh earned a podium position in the high jump with a provisional height of 6-8 3/4.
Skylyn Webb won two conference championships with 54.65 seconds in the 400-meter dash and 2 minutes, 11.46 seconds in the 800-meter run. Her time in the 400-meter dash set a new RMAC championship record, breaking the previous record of 54.99 set in 2013 by Kaymarie Jones of Adams State. In the men’s 400-meter dash, Caleb Simons finished in 49.68 to register third place on the podium.
Kayla Zink became familiar with the podium with third-place finishes in the 60-meter dash (7.59) and 200-meter dash (24.79). Both times also registered as provisional qualifying marks for the national championships.
Conor Bertles earned a pair of podium finishes with 57-4 3/4 in the weight throw for second place and 52-10 1/4 in the shot put for third. Sierra Suazo led the women throws with 53-5 1/2 in the weight throw for a third place performance.
After just missing out on a podium finish on Friday in the long jump, Will Ross made up for it by competing in the triple jump and earning a provisional mark of 47-2 1/2 to take third in the event.
The Mountain Lions moved up in the national rankings after the conference championships with the women at sixth and the men at No. 28. UCCS will have 11 student-athletes compete at the NCAA Division II National Championships March 8-9 in Pittsburg, Kan.