Ric Rojas Running

Ric Rojas Running February 2011 Newsletter

Rugenstein Scores Trifecta at Nationals

Eipper wins first Nationals Medal

Albuquerque, NM

March 4-6, 2011


Boulder's Laurie Rugenstein (pictured) won one medal each day at this year's national Masters Indoor Championships in Albuquerque last weekend.  Rugenstein took a Bronze in the women's (60-64) 400-meters on Friday, a Silver in the mile on Saturday, and a Gold in the 800 meters on Sunday.  The events podium is familiar territory for Rugenstein, who has won a number of Medals in outdoors National Championships over the past few years.

"There was lots of anxiety on the first day," recalled Rugenstein.  "The competition was Phil Raschker and Colleen Burns. They both took off and left me in the dust.  I was in some kind of altered state (I usually am when I run the 400), and I didn't really see what happened with Phil when she started walking before the finish. I came close to catching her at the end." Burns took first in 69.97, Raschker finished second in 79.07, and Rugenstein finished third in a season best 80.35.

Burns again prevailed in the Mile on Saturday, in a time of 6:19.49; Rugenstein, realizing Burns's strength, settled for second in 6:35.96.  "I decided it was worth trying to stay somewhat close to her, since that was my only chance for passing her later on. She took off at a blazing pace. The clock showed 1:27 when I passed 400m, and she was faster than that. I realized I wasn't going to catch her and backed off a bit after that."

But Rugenstein finished off her individual events for the weekend with a gold medal performance in the 800m.  Burns elected to pass on this event, leaving the door wide open for Rugenstein.  "I was pretty sure I'd win it," Rugenstein said.  "The race was pretty much a time trial for me, and I think I paced myself well." Rugenstein's winning time was 3:03.65.

Longmont's Valerie Eipper took her first Nationals medal, winning a Bronze in the Women's (50-54) 3000m.  Eipper's race plan was to pace with the faster women and "kick" the last 200m.  She narrowly missed the silver as Debbie Lee of the Southern California Striders overtook her in the last lap.   "The 3000m race was a blast, easy to run when you are having fun," said Eipper.  "I was ready for this race thanks to Ric's coaching and the support I got from my teammates.  Bobby, Dave, and Laurie were great cheerleaders!"

Dave Albo recovered from an early season knee injury to compete at Nationals.  At one point, he considered surgery to repair the damage, but decided to continue training in the hopes that the problem would resolve itself.  Fortunately for Dave, it did.  Dave was able to continue his preparations for nationals.  He finished 8th in the mile (5:17) and 6th in the 800m (2:20).

Bobby Fischer also took 6th in the 800m for his age group (3:29).

The Team Rojas Quartet garnered multiple relay medals, Fischer winning gold in the 4x200, 4x400, and 4x800m relays; Albo winning gold in the 4x400; and Eipper and Rugenstein taking silvers together in the 4x200m and 4x400m relays.

Boulder Meet Showcases Local Athletes

Friesth Tops Reid for 3200m Title

Gilbert Improves Triple Jump PR


Boulder High School, March 12th


Monarch High senior Jackson Friesth and Centaurus sophomore Chandler Reid have been friends, training partners, and competitors for two years, and the association has served them well; both have raced and improved and have the credentials to prove it. Reid and Friesth were teammates on the Bronze Medal-winning 4x800m Relay Team at this year's Simplot Games and both have posted outstanding individual efforts in track and cross country.


Even though they compete for rival high schools during track season, they collaborated on a plan to break the 10-minute barrier for 3200m at this Saturday's early-season Boulder High School Invitational.

"We plan to trade-off laps to break 10-minutes," said Reid before the race. "I feel like I can run under 4:40 [for the 1600m] now, and that would translate to sub-10 for 3200."

Reid led the first lap while Friesth worked his way up through the pack. The pair worked the middle laps together, but passed the 1600 15-seconds over their plan.

Down by 15-seconds against the goal, Friesth surged past Reid with 4 laps to go, eventually opening up a 10-second gap to finish in 10:06.43. Reid, suffering from Achilles Tendonitis, limped home in 10:12.83.

"Our plan was to trade off laps," said Friesth. "But we were a little slow." Friesth ran a 25-second "negative split", running his first mile in 5:18 and his second mile in 5:48.

Fairview's Nate Gilbert registered two personal bests, finishing 5th in the 400m with 54.28 and popping a 41'10.5" triple jump, his best by almost 2 feet. "I think it will take 43, maybe 44 feet to qualify for state," said Gilbert. "My coach said that I had it in me to do almost that well today, so I think I can get up there by the end of the season."

Gilbert also ran a leg of Fairview's third-place 4x400m Relay Team. The team consisted of Gilbert, Zane Jeffress, Josh Hill, and Spencer Renteria.



Laurie Rugenstein
Valerie Eipper (2nd from Left)
Valerie Eipper (2nd from Left) in the pack