Updated: Apr 8
Recruit rankings data has been manually collected by TSR contributors from multiple, reliable sources. Transfers and foreign recruits who are not expected to have four years of eligibility are excluded from these rankings. Order of rankings was decided by TSR contributors. Despite our research, it is possible that certain names have been erroneously omitted.
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UCCS has been on the rise for the past few years and their incoming freshmen look to give them even more momentum moving forward. They’ve steadily improved upon their placing the last three years in national-caliber meets all while having standout stars like Kayla Wooten and Skylyn Webb.
In 2016, the Mountain Lions placed 20th at the NCAA cross country national meet. They followed that season up with a 17th place finish in 2017. And in 2018? They took an even bigger jump as they moved all the way up to 11th place behind a strong finish from their top returner (Wooten).
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Maybe unsurprisingly, this recruiting class is mainly middle-distance focused, with seven incoming freshmen at 2:25 or under in the 800 meters. In just this past spring alone, the UCCS women had four women at 2:15 or faster. It's clear that the Mountain Lions are creating a powerhouse for the middle distances and with Skylyn Webb now leaving, the team will be in search of finding their next star.
Ashten Loeks from Colorado is a versatile runner as she has been most successful in the 400 meters and 300 meter hurdles. She is a 2x state champ in the 300 meter hurdles, placed 3rd in the 400 meters, then placed and 8th in cross country last year. With personal bests of 56.93 in the 400 meters, 2:18 in the 800 meters, and 19:05 in the 5k, Loeks brings incredible speed and natural athleticism to the table.
Jaycie Calvert from Alaska has run 2:25 in the 800 meters, 5:17 in the 1600 meters, 11:26 in the 3200 meters, and 19:02 in the 5k. Given her times, Calvert should be able to make the jump to running 6k during the cross country season relatively quickly. We wouldn’t be surprised if she makes an immediate impact within the scoring group in 2019.
Emily Gentry from Colorado has run 2:23 in the 800 meters, 5:21 in the 1600 meters, 11:49 in the 3200 meters, and 18:50 in the 5k for cross country. She placed 10th at the Nike Southwest Regional Championships and showed massive improvement from her junior to senior year. She has one of the faster 5k times of this group and should look to be part of the scoring pack for UCCS this fall. Gentry will be a nice piece to have in mind as Kayla Wooten prepares for her final season of eligibility.
Elizabeth Richter from California has run 5:18 in the 1600 meters, 11:38 in the 3200 meters, and 17:38 on a three-mile country course. She is yet another strong addition for the UCCS program that will be losing two of their top seven from last year. Richter could very well find herself inside the top seven just like Calvert and Gentry.
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In terms of strictly middle distance recruits, the Mountain Lions have Liz Bindert (SD) and Michela Hewitt (CO) who have both run 2:19 and 2:18, respectively. These two bring extremely underrated depth to a middle distance core that is becoming increasingly more unstoppable with each passing year. The appeal of Webb's recent dominance in the 800 has likely made UCCS an attractive place to go for standout half-milers.
The remaining recruits are Calla Dexheimer (WI) and Erika Timbang (CO). Dexheimer, who is admittedly a longer distance runner has run PR's of 11:57 in the 3200 meters and 19:57 in the 5k for cross country. Timbang has times of 2:24 in the 800 meters, making her a key name to watch in terms of development. She has a good chance of thriving in a program geared towards her speciality of middle distance.
Marissa Kuik is another athlete that is worth mentioning. While she technically doesn't count in terms of what goes into our basis, she was an All-American at the NAIA level. Her times certainly add more depth to this UCCS team and should make an immediate impact.
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Their mixed recruiting class of immediate impact runners and standout middle distance runners makes this one of the most well-rounded recruiting classes in the country. Their ability to cover every area of the distance spectrum (at a high level) is very impressive...