PUEBLO, COLO. (February 9, 2017) - Freshman Paul Roberts (Boulder, Colo.) of the Colorado State University-Pueblo men's cross country team won the USATF Cross Country Junior Championship Feb. 4 and has earned a spot with the national team at the IAAF World Championships in Uganda in March.
"I just wanted to go out there and get in the top six to qualify for Uganda," Roberts said. "I'm super happy with the way it went. I think it is a really unique experience being able to go and represent the United States in another country."
Roberts qualified for the junior national team for the second time, as he posted a 26:05 in the 8K qualifying race in Bend, Oregon. The first experience for Roberts came in 2015 when he placed in the top six to travel with the team to China. He has also represented Team USA at the Great Edinburgh XCountry International Challenge in 2016.
According to the USATF release, a pack of seven athletes stayed together for the first three loops of the 2K course. Roberts was hanging toward the back of the lead group and in the final loop utalized a kick on the back half of the course to put some space between himself and the rest of the field.
The IAAF World Cross Country Championships are set for March 26 in Kampala, Uganda. The junior championships is an 8K race and starts at 3:10 p.m. Uganda time, which is 5:10 a.m. MST.
Roberts earned all-region and all-conference honors last season, as he helped the ThunderWolves to their first NCAA Division II National Championships appearance. The Pack finished ninth for the program's third top 10 finish at a national championship meet. The freshman was 47th with a time of 31:25.8 in the 10K race.
In just its third season back as a program, the CSU-Pueblo men's cross country squad were ranked as high as No. 6 nationally during the regular season. The Pack won two meets and finished third at both the RMAC Championships and NCAA South Central Region Championships.
Sophomore Marcelo Laguera (Chihuahua, Mexico) was crowned All-American after he finished 22nd at the national meet.
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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.