The CSU track and field teams are splitting up to do double duty this weekend, traveling to meets in Lincoln, Neb. and Colorado Springs.
Both meets will be huge invitationals, and over 500 athletes will compete over two full days at Air Force Academy.
The Cadet Field House will play host to Brigham Young, New Mexico, Wyoming, Colorado, Fresno State, Oral Roberts, CSU and Air Force. Favorites this year are BYU, the defending Mountain West Conference champions, and Alabama, which finished fourth at the NCAA championships last season.
Alabama brings two impressive athletes, both of whom hope to challenge records this week, according to an AFA release. Senior hurdler Ron Bramlett and senior long jumper Miguel Pate intend to improve upon their winning performances at the past World University games.
“This is a large meet, and there will be ample opportunity for us to bring home some wins,” CSU head coach Del Hessel said.
The Nebraska Invitational will be slightly smaller, but bigger teams will be there, including Stanford, Washington, Oklahoma and Northern Iowa.
“It’s been said that we have more outstanding teams coming to compete here during the indoor season than any other school in the country,” Nebraska head coach Gary Pepin said in a press release. “We expect some very fine performances with all the good teams coming in this weekend.”
Stanford comes off a great 2001 season, in which they finished in the top 10 in the men’s and women’s indoor and outdoor NCAA championships. Stanford returns first place senior distance runners Lauren Fleshman and Jonathan Stevens.
While Stanford played well last year, Nebraska is off to a good start this year, with three athletes already qualified for the NCAA championships. Seniors Shaun Koliginczak (high jump) and Derek Zachary (hurdles) and freshman shot putter Becky Breisch all made their mark at the Wildcat Invitational last week.
As for the Rams, they are fresh from a win against AFA and Wyoming at last week’s Robert Shine Invitational.
Fans can expect more strong performances from pole vaulter Josh Horak, runner Bill Michel, and sprinter John Woods for the men, and shot putter Loree Smith, pole vaulter Christine Ahn and runner Katie Yemm for the women. n