Spank Blasing 5K and Dr. Dan Memorial Scholarship 5K set for Oct. 13

Spank Blasing 5K and Dr. Dan Memorial Scholarship 5K set for Oct. 13


PUEBLO, Colo. (Sept. 18, 2018) - The Colorado State University-Pueblo cross country and track & field programs have combined the Spank Blasing 5K and Dr. Dan's Memorial Scholarship 5K into one awesome run. The 5K is set for Oct. 13 at 9 a.m. with the start and finish lines at the Neta and Eddie DeRose ThunderBowl.

This year features a new course around the beautiful CSU-Pueblo campus with a lot of support from the CSU-Pueblo student-athletes. The entry fee includes an official race shirt, complimentary post-event Aquafina water and Gatorade, and a free Miller Lite (for those 21 and older). Music will be provided by REV89 at the finish. There will also be prizes for the top three male and female finishers.

All of the proceeds raised will be donated to scholarships for CSU-Pueblo students. During registration you can choose to donate to Dr. Dan's scholarship fund for undergraduate research or to Spank Blasing's scholarship fund for student-athlete scholarships.

Registration is $20 ($25 on race day), while CSU-Pueblo students can run for just $10 ($15 on race day). Register online at - and pre-register by Oct. 3 to guarantee the correct size shirt. 

For any questions, contact Bailey Hughes at - Head Women's Cross Country Coach and Assistant Track and Field Coach.


James "Spank" Blasing was a longtime fixture at Pueblo Junior College, Southern Colorado State College and the University of Southern Colorado. From 1956-84, he led the track and field program, and in 1960, was tasked to start the cross country program, which grew into one of the region's best. 

In the school's time as a four-year institution from 1964-84, Blasing's teams scored points in 12 of 21 national meets, reaching a high-water point in 1967, when SCSC finished seventh in the nation and won national championships in two events. In all, 21 all-American honors were won by tracksters during this era, and Spank's teams won two RMAC Championships (1979, 1983). He also coached four cross country all-Americans: Mike Duran, Chuck McGee, Luis Miera and fellow CSU-Pueblo Athletics Hall of Fame inaugural inductee, John Martinez. 

In addition to his duties coaching the track and field and cross country programs, Spank was the assistant football coach (from 1956-60) and assistant athletic director for longtime athletic chief and CSU-Pueblo Athletics Hall of Fame charter member, Harry Simmons. Upon Simmons' retirement from USC in 1980, Spank served as athletic director for two years.

Today, Spank's name is still splashed across the athletic department, as invitational track and field meets, as well as the athletics department's annual fundraising 5K and the annual award for the top male student-athlete are all named in his honor.


The Caprioglios joined the CSU-Pueblo family in 1993. Dr. Caprioglio was named the 1998 outstanding faculty member in the College of Sciences and Math, the 2011 PHEF College Educational of the Year and the 2016 recipient of the award for Faculty Excellence in Advising/Mentoring.

In addition to serving as a professor, he served as an assistant coach for track and cross country programs for a small stint and was the current Faculty Athletic Representative, a position that allowed him to use his advising and mentoring expertise to ensure the success of CSU-Pueblo student-athletes both on and off the field and in and out of the classroom.

He also mentored students in undergraduate research, accompanying Tri-Beta students to winning presentations at their regional conferences. He was graduate coordinator for the Master of Science in Biology as well as a member of the Graduate Program Natural Sciences Graduate Program advisory board with oversight of the master's programs in biology, chemistry, and biochemistry.  

Outside of his academic pursuits, Caprioglio was a dedicated runner since his days as a cross country standout at UCLA in the early 1980s. Starting out as a runner on the UC-Santa Barbara cross country team, he helped UCSB take first in the Pacific Coast Athletics Association (now the Big West Conference) and won the PCAA championship in the 10,000-meter. During that same year, he made the US Junior Cross Country team that went on to win a silver medal at the World Junior Cross Country Championships in Paris 1980. 

Due to family needs, he transferred to UCLA and ran cross country and track for the Bruins.  He was a member of the 1982 UCLA cross country team that placed 9th at the Division I NCAA nationals. He is still top five on the Bruin all-time list in the marathon.

After completion of the BA in Microbiology at UCLA, Caprioglio continued onto graduate school at Oregon State University and North Carolina State University. During that time, he qualified and competed in two US Olympic Trials Marathons (1984 and 1988) as well as being selected as a marathoner for the U.S. in the World University Games in Zagreb, Croatia (then Yugoslavia) in 1987. 

Over his competitive career, he competed in 24 states and four foreign countries, representing the U.S. as a national team member twice.

Caprioglio received his BA in Microbiology at University of California Los Angeles in 1983 and his Ph.D. in Microbiology from North Carolina State University in 1989.

On June 9, 2017, Dr. Dan Caprioglio tragically passed in a bicycle accident.

Dr. Dan made an enormous impact on the CSU-Pueblo campus and on the success of the student-athlete's as the Faculty Athletic Representative. Dr. Dan was a talented runner, a true advocate for all of the CSU-Pueblo athletes, and also had a passion for undergraduate research.

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As a member of the Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference, Colorado State University – Pueblo competes in 22 varsity sports in NCAA Division II intercollegiate athletics.