Falcons Tackle the Manitou Springs Incline
Nov. 1, 2013
USAFA, Colo. - After a hard fought game against Notre Dame, the Air Force lacrosse team is continuing to travel in an upward direction. This time, it's running up the intimidating "Incline", a famous Colorado Springs landmark that attracts health enthusiasts and Olympic athletes alike from all over the world. The Incline is a popular training location for the Air Force lacrosse team, as they climb the daunting 2,610 steps, seemingly straight up, every year.
Sophomore attackman Danny Brown holds the record among current team members for ascending the Incline with a time of 24:15 last year. That's not quite as fast as the unofficial record held by triathlete Mark Fretta, who ascended the Incline in 16:42 on his first of four trips to the top that day, not to mention with a broken collar bone from a bike crash earlier. This year, however, freshman defensive midfielder Blake Saylor was the first one to the top.
The Incline consists of the remains of an old cog train railway that once gave tourists a great view of Pikes Peak. Now with the train gone, the remaining railroad ties provide a great avenue up the side of the mountain, traversed by foot. The 8,600-foot high Incline has often been referred to as a "Stair-Stepper on steroids."
The lacrosse team, which divides itself into groups named after the six Native American tribes that make up the Iroquois Nation (Onondaga, Oneida, Tuscarora, Cayuga, Mohawk and Seneca), uses this trip as a friendly competition between its six tribes. Last year, the Cayuga tribe (with members including the record holder Danny Brown, senior midfielders Kyle Cassady and Erik Smith and senior attackman Tommy McKee) had the best average time in each of the three trips up the Incline.The Incline is just one of the many strenuous activities the Air Force lacrosse team uses to stay a step above the rest.
written by 2nd Lt. Kyle Nazarek