Colorado Mesa’s Riggins wins RMAC title in 200-meter dash
Freshman Jordan Riggins made Colorado Mesa track and field history Tuesday.
The sprinter became the school’s first men’s track athlete to win an individual Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference title, placing first in the 200-meter dash in 21.61 seconds at the RMAC Championships in Golden. He was 74-hundreths of a second off an NCAA Division II national championships automatic-qualifying time (20.87).
“It’s a testament to the entire team,” CMU men’s coach Matt Canterbury said. “They push him. The conditions were great. He ran a great race. He took the lead around the first corner. He ran almost a perfect race.”
Riggins added a second-place finish in the 100 (10.7 seconds) to lead the men’s team to fifth place with 78.5 points. Adams State won the team title with 197 points.
Adams State won the women’s title with 178 points. The Mavericks were sixth with 49.
Augustus Barnes was fourth in the 400 (48.24), fifth in the 200 (22.01), and sixth in the 100 (11.01) for the Maverick men.
“Gus Barnes ran eight races in two days and placed in all his events,” Canterbury said. “He had a PR (personal record) in the 400. He raced every hour today. We were going to pull him out of the 100, but he wanted to do it.”
Shane Niksic had a provisional qualifying time in the 800 (1 minute, 52.12 seconds) to take second, but even with an altitude conversion bump, it might not be enough make the national cut.
“I wasn’t sure he’d race today,” Canterbury said. “We changed the game plan. This time, we had him take the lead and try to run away with it. It almost worked. He won the 750-meter race today.”
Cameron Morley took fourth place in the javelin (154 feet, 5 inches) and Randy Brown was sixth (153-10). Ethan Baier was sixth in the high jump (6-1.25), while Alex Quintana was sixth (56.01) and Morley seventh (5-11.25) in the 400 hurdles.
Whitney Rowe led the women’s team, taking second in the 100 (12.12), second in the long jump (18-6) and third in the 200 (24.56), setting personal records in each.
Her 200 time is a provisional. The NCAA will announce all national qualifiers next Tuesday.
Alexis Skarda placed fifth in the 5,000 meters (18:13.24).
“Her first mile was great,” CMU women’s coach Katrice Thomas said. “It kind of hit her toward the end. We were lucky to watch her race one more time.”
Cathyrn Ambler was fifth in the 400 (57.40), while freshman Chelsea Alpern was sixth (1:07.42) and Emily Ludwig was seventh (1:07.44) in the 400 hurdles.
Chelsea Lyons’ fifth-place finish in the 3,000 steeplechase (11:50.46) set a school and personal record.
The women’s 400 relay team was third and set a school record (47.33 seconds).
The men’s 400 relay team placed fourth (42.02), and the men’s 1,600 relay team was fourth (3:17.90).
Brandon Bingaman moved up to 17th in the NCAA Division II West/South Central Region tournament at The Home Course in DuPont, Wash.
The senior shot a two-under-par 70 in the second round and has a two-round total of 143. He shot a one-over-par 73 in the first round Monday.
More importantly, he is one of the top two individuals not competing on a team. If he finishes in the top two after today’s final round, he will qualify for nationals.
Kevin Witte of the University of Colorado-Colorado Springs is in the lead with 136. Kalen Beard of Dallas Baptist and Dalen Yamauchi of Hawaii-Hilo are tied for second at 137.
CSU-Pueblo’s Hee-Leina Kim tied for third place in the NCAA Division II Super Region 4 tournament and qualified for the national championships.
After leading the field through the first two rounds, the freshman stumbled on the final day with an 83. She finished with a three-round total of 231.
Spencer Heller of Sonoma State (Calif.) University and Charlotte Jaengkit of Grand Canyon (Ariz.) University tied for first with 230.
Kim tied with Haley Haught of St. Edward’s (Texas) University.
St. Edward’s won the team title with 932 strokes. Grand Canyon took second with 943, and Tarleton State (Texas) and Dallas Baptist tied for third.