DENVER, Colo. (GoThunderWolves.com – Nov. 3, 2012) The final race of the season did not go as hoped as the Colorado State University-Pueblo women's cross country team finished last at the NCAA Division II South Central Regional Championships on Saturday at Willis Case Golf Course.
The Thunderwolves were two ladies short coming into the race, as athletes Chelsea Wilkes (Fr., North Pole, Alaska) and Valerie Stark (So., Custer County, Colo.) were unable to compete due to illness and red shirt eligibility.
However, returning athlete Nicole Reveles (So., Mesquite, Ariz.) stayed aggressive the entire race and led the Pack with a finish of 26:25. Following her was senior Christina Lobato (Sr., Rocky Ford, Colo.), who ended her collegiate athletic career with this event.
"[I am] proud of this young lady," Head Coach Chad Perry said. "[Lobato] worked hard this year, stayed strong and challenged herself daily to prepare for two races. She finished with her head held high, winning and believing in herself. She will be greatly missed."
During her time on the CSU-Pueblo women's cross country team, Lobato earned an Academic Honor Roll selection and several personal bests. Lobato is the first athlete to graduate from the women's cross country program since Aubree Alley in 2009.
Despite the placement of the team, the unity of the team should be recognized as the freshmen of the group developed experience this season. Amanda Torres (Fr., Pueblo East, Colo.) followed not far behind Lobato.
Abigail Thiel (Fr., Colorado Springs, Colo.) earned a personal best, with a time of 29:24.
"I thought the girls competed hard and fought through some adversity today. We're disappointed with our placing, but we actually ran better as a team overall than last year," Assistant Coach Zichterman said. "I'm glad this group has a year of experience together, and I think this group will provide a strong foundation for the program in the coming years."
Both Perry and Zichterman say that the team will take this feeling and use it in the off season to train the team for next year.
Now that the season has come to a close, many of the athletes of the cross country team will now prepare for distance races in the upcoming indoor track and field season.