CSU’s unstoppable trampling of the competition continued this weekend. The cross-country teams each captured victories at the Lobo Invitational, in Albuquerque, N.M.
The men scored 35 points to place ahead of runner-up Western State College’s 49 points.
Josh Glaab and Austin Vigil led the way for the Rams, each finishing the 8-kilometer race in 24 minutes, 58 seconds, finishing third and fourth overall.
Through three miles the Rams ran as a team, yet eventually Vigil and Glaab began to pull away.
“We like to do well as a team,” Glaab said. “We don’t really worry about who wins, as long as our team wins.”
The rest of the team did not finish too far behind. Bill Michel (sixth, 25:02) Paul DiGrappa (10th, 25:12) and Mike Nicks (12th, 25:24) each scored valuable points for the squad. Matt Ciencuilli (19th, 25:41) and Paul Michel (21st, 25:47) placing seven Rams in the top 25.
The women also fared well, placing all seven runners in the top 20. They garnered 36 points to destroy Texas Tech, who accumulated 62 points and finished second.
The team followed junior Crystal Clark over the finish line. Clark finished the 6-kilometer course third overall with a time of 22:40. Colleen Blair (24:48) and Katie Yemm (24:49) ended sixth and seventh, respectively.
Junior transfer Nicole Feest finished in 22:53 and eighth overall, just ahead of fellow transfer Michelle Carman (12th, 23:01). Freshmen Bekah Yetser (13th, 23:02) and Sophomore Sarah MacKay (18th, 23:17) rounded out the Rams top runners.
Several thousand fans attended the race Saturday morning. The University of New Mexico North Golf Course provided a familiar backdrop for the Rams, as it was also last year’s host site for the NCAA Mountain Regional.
This weekend did not provide a chance to score all-important points for nationals, Glaab said. Instead, the focus is on future, non-regional meets.
“We’re putting a real emphasis on training, not racing,” said head coach Del Hessel.
Throughout the week, the Rams stressed the importance of training through the race in an attempt to prepare for the upcoming Roy Griak Invitational in Iowa on Sept. 27.
“Our goal was to get loose, and get the first meet out of the way,” Glaab said. “This was a chance to get ready for Griak.”
Last week, in practice the runners chewed up 70 miles of road. Another full week can be expected, the athletes will run 80-90 miles, Glaab said.
With another two weeks to prepare, all competition shall be forewarned. These Rams are serious, dedicated and on a winning streak.