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Women's Rugby Builds Upon CMU Club Sports Success

In early December 2023, the CMU Women’s Rugby team was down 17-0 just 15 minutes into their semifinal matchup against the University of Connecticut (UConn). When the UConn Husky fans started barking at the Mavericks, the team took it to heart and went on a 45-5 scoring rampage earning a place in the national championship. And while the finals match against Northeastern University didn’t go CMU’s way, the team returned home vindicated from their Division I debut.

“We’re not a stereotypical D1 team,” said Coach MacKenzie Lewis, who is also a scholarship coordinator for CMU. “We play with a bit of a chip on our shoulders. We’re a group of misfit athletes that comes together and play as a team.”

Women’s Rugby is one of the 20 CMU Club Sports teams that compete towards a collegiate national championship. CMU has three departments for sports: NCAA athletics; club sports, which includes varsity teams outside the NCAA; and intramural sports. All teams under the Club Sports department must play within a league that competes toward a collegiate championship. Currently, CMU has 17 team national championships and 81 individual national championships in cycling and one team national championship in Women’s Rugby.

Reese Kegans is the CMU director of club sports, which is an ever-growing role as additional competitive programs emerge.

Shooting sports is a recent addition to club sports. Shooting sports has two teams: archery and shotgun. The teams are coached by Grand Junction native Ashley Teal who is the women’s Colorado State Champion in both disciplines. Currently, shotgun and archery have nine athletes on each team. Teal helped start the sports at CMU and is a part-time coach.

“I pride myself on the strong leaders within my coaches and their ability to make strong leaders of all the students on their teams,” said Kegans.

While building a championship legacy is both exciting and gratifying in any sport, for Kegans and his coaches, supporting student-athletes of all types is the most important goal.

“Club Sports range from eSports to rodeo, with everything in between,” Kegans explained. “Sports are fun and each of these athletes matters. We want to help everyone have a good experience.” 


Written by Kristen Lummis