The Paw Print
Last Saturday, at Cattails Golf Course, marked the beginning of the Adams State cross country season with the 21st Annual Joe I. Vigil Open meet. Adams State Cross Country boys and girls swept the field, taking home both first place finishes.
The men’s team took the top five spots, earning them a perfect score ahead of second place finishers, Colorado Mesa University. Senior Kevin Batt was the individual champion on the men’s side with a time of 25:20.74, followed by Matthew Daniels, Tabor Stevens, Jack Espeset, and Julian Florez. The ASU men are ranked first in NCAA Division II.
The ASU women also took home the hardware with their first place finish. The strong lead pack put ten girls in the top twelve finishers. Leading this pack was senior Lauren Martin with a time of 17:42.54. Following her, ASU’s Maura O’Brien, Jenna Thurman, Melissa Roberts, and West Texas A&M’s Michaela Johnson. A great start for the second ranked team in NCAA Division II for the women.
Martin was happy with her performance as well as the teams. She stated, “Almost perfect scoring is a huge accomplishment, lowering our pack time will make us a dangerous team.” The team has high goals for the season, “Seeing these results makes me excited. We aren’t where we need to be, but we took a step in the right direction.” Colorado Mesa University was the runner up team with Eastern New Mexico placing third in the team rankings.
The Joe I. Vigil Invite is an Adams State tradition of 21 years; it is named in honor of Dr. Vigil, a former cross-country coach that achieved 19 national champion teams in his years at Adams. Vigil built up the Cross Country program to be one of the most successful programs in Division II; Coach Damon Martin, the current head coach of men and women, continues to uphold the tradition of National Champions.
The women’s team also continues a 21 year tradition at the meet last Saturday. As the runners competed around the golf course, a few runners stood out among the crowd. The women’s team creates costumes for the ASU freshman to compete in. This year the girls were mimes, sporting suspenders, face paint and berates. This tradition takes the edge off the first college race for the younger grizzlies. In the past there have been babies, cavemen, birds, pirates, and many more characters racing.
Both men and women teams will be competing next in Colorado Springs, Colorado on Sept 20th. The road to Nationals December 6th, in Louisville Kentucky, has begun.