ASC Sports Information Director
COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. – After winning the 800 meter race at Saturday’s Univ. of New Mexico Cherry & Silver Invitational in his first race at the distance for Adams State, freshman mid-distance runner Boris Berian (Colorado Springs, Colo.) has been tabbed as the Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference (RMAC) Men’s Track Athlete of the Week, it was announced Wednesday.
Berian topped the field with a time of one minute, 53.50 seconds (1:53.37 adjusted), beating out runner-up Alex Balsiger of Colorado State by 13/100ths of a second. The time gives him his first NCAA Championships provisional qualifier of his career, and currently ranks fifth in Division II this season.
Grizzlies secured both of the league’s track athlete awards this week, as senior sprinter Kaymarie Jones (St. Elizabeth, Jamaica) earned the honor for the women.
The Adams State men’s squad acquired four NCAA Championships qualifying marks at the Cherry & Silver meet. Berian was joined by a pair of qualifiers on the track in milers Tabor Stevens (Canon City, Colo.) and Antoine Malartre (Aix-les-Bains, France). Stevens, a sophomore and 2-time all-American between cross country and indoor track, led the duo in a time of 4:14.56 (4:09.52 adjusted), while Malartre, who advanced to the indoor mile finals at last year’s indoor national meet, ran a time of 4:18.37 (4:13.54 adjusted). Stevens and Malartre currently rank second and sixth in DII, respectively.
Junior Dyson Mortensen (La Jara, Colo.), who tie for fourth in the high jump, hit the minimum provisional qualifier in the event in Albuquerque, clearing a height of 2.04 meters (6 feet, 8 ¼ inches). The clearance gave Mortensen a qualifying mark in the event for the third straight season.
Following their first weekend of full team action, the Grizzlies remained at No. 3 in the first week of U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches’ Association (USTFCCCA) rankings, released on Tuesday.
Lincoln (Mo.) continues to top the men’s rankings with 175.38 points in the computer rankings that take into account both current and previous season data, though the defending indoor champs dropped 0.87 points from a week ago.
Grand Canyon (Ariz.) is new at the No. 2 spot in the poll, having gained nearly 30 points in one week’s time, and has upped its total to 144.30 points, while the Grizzlies hold steady in third with 130.69 points, up 6.4 points from the preseason rankings.
St. Augustine’s (N.C.) is down two spots to fourth, and Ashland (Ohio) is down one spot to round out the top five.
The Grizzlies’ RMAC rival Chadron State fall from the top 10 after one week of action, and now sits at No. 13, while Nebraska-Kearney and Colorado Mines are each down one spot as well in 19th and 20th.
The USTFCCCA will continue to use both current past season data to determine the national rankings until the Feb. 16 edition of rankings.
Action will continue for Adams State in Albuquerque each of the next two weekends, as the Grizzlies are set to take in part in the Jan. 27-28 Univ. of New Mexico Invitational, as well as the Feb. 3-4 Univ. of New Mexico Classic.