DENVER, Colo. - CSU-Pueblo had a modest goal in 2009 - beating somebody. After finishing dead last in nearly every meet in 2008, the Pack continued to meet its 2009 goal at the RMAC Cross Country Championships, finishing 11th out of 13 Saturday.
At Denver's Washington Park, led by Christina Lobato (Fr., Rocky Ford, Colo.) and Hayley Lewis (Fr., El Mirage, Ariz.), CSU-Pueblo managed to keep its top five runners far away from the back of the pack and avoid any unsightly last place finishes. Lobato ran the 6K in 26:54 (62nd place) while Lewis turned in a 27:49 time.
"We were picked to finish dead last this year [in the RMAC Preseason poll] and to not finish last at all this year is a good first step for this program," Pack head coach Chad Perry said. "We still have a lot of work to do to get to where we want to be, but this group has done a lot this year."
CSU-Pueblo finished ahead of Western New Mexico and Colorado Christian in the championships.
The ThunderWolves' performance did come with a dose of bad news as CSU-Pueblo finished behind UC-Colorado Springs, meaning that UCCS will receive the women's cross country points in the Steel and Silver Series, the all-sports competition between the two schools. In each of the ten intercollegiate sports the two schools share, four points are awarded to the school that wins the season series in a given sport. In individual sports (golf, track, cross country) points are awarded to the school that finishes highest at the conference championships. UCCS currently owns an 18-0 advantage so far this year with five sports (men's basketball, women's basketball, women's indoor track, women's outdoor track, softball) yet to be decided.
The ThunderWolves' will wrap up its season in two weeks when it travels to Wayne, Neb. for the NCAA Division II Central Regionals.