Putting 16 weeks worth of 100-plus miles of running on display,
CSU distance runner Dylan Olchin showed why coaches are excited
about the 2004 indoor track and field season.
Competing for the first time this season, the senior from Estes
Park set a South College fieldhouse record in the men’s 3,000-meter
run, finishing first at eight minutes, 52 seconds at the Rams’
indoor track and field intrasquad meet.
“I just wanted to break nine (minutes),” said Olchin, who begins
his final season of competition at CSU next semester. “I’m happy
with 8:52. Considering I haven’t done any track workouts, I’m happy
where I’m at.”
Head coach Del Hessel is happy with where Olchin and his
teammates are at as well.
“I enjoyed watching Dylan’s 8:52,” Hessel said. “It was an
outstanding performance. He ran about 16 weeks of over 100 miles
leading up to this and didn’t take a break.”
Hessel added that Olchin’s wasn’t the only performance that
stood out in Friday and Saturday’s events.
“We saw events (Saturday) and (Friday) that were national
caliber,” Hessel said. “Loree Smith in the weight throw and Paul
Michel’s 500 and mile had impressive marks.”
Apart from allowing national-caliber athletes the chance to put
their talents on display, the meet also allowed Hessel and his
assistants the chance to see where the men’s and women’s teams
stand in terms of depth prior to the beginning of the indoor
“I think both teams are better this year than last,” Hessel said
of his men’s and women’s teams that finished second and third
respectively at the 2003 Mountain West Conference Indoor Track and
Field Championships in February. “I don’t think we are weak in any
The concern of the coaches now is to keep the athletes focused
during a four- to six-week period in which they will not see the
“This is a tough time to go on break,” Hessel said of the
impending CSU Winter Break. “The week of finals and the week prior
to finals are difficult (training) weeks and then we don’t see (the
athletes) for four to six weeks.”
With the first meet of the indoor season (the Potts Invite) set
for Jan. 16 at the University of Colorado, Hessel said no time to
recover from a break of too much ‘holiday cheer’ will be available
for the Rams.
“Our first meet is tough with Air Force, BYU and CU all in the
mix,” he said. “We just hope the athletes do their work over break
and come back ready to compete.”
Nevertheless, Hessel said he is excited about the upcoming
season and beyond.
“We have some good talent developing here,” he said. “There is
no doubt in my mind we have a really good freshman class. I like
our team this year, but we may be even better in 2005.”
An intimidating factor for the nation’s track teams willing to
compete against CSU.