Sports fans beware: CSU track and field is off and running. The
indoor season commences on Saturday at the Air Force Invitational
in Colorado Springs.
The Rams enter confident as the defending champion and winner of
six of the last seven Air Force Invites. The season opening meet
provides an experimental glimpse of what to expect from conference
rivals this year.
“It’s the first chance to see who recruited what,” head coach
Del Hessel said. “The talent is still up in the air.”
Mountain West foes Brigham Young, Air Force, Wyoming and New
Mexico along with outsiders Colorado, Utah State and Wichita State
will challenge the green and gold this weekend.
While many teams scramble to reassemble a team ready for
competition, the Rams return a solid core of outstanding
CSU returns nine All-MWC team members and four conference
champions on a talent-loaded squad. Two of the four conference
champions, Becky Hammit (800-meter champ) and Loree Smith (shot put
and weight throw), will not compete in the indoor season. The other
two champs, senior Dylan Olchin (men’s 5,000) and junior Jake
Simpson (60-meter dash), lead a talented men’s team.
Alongside the returning leadership, freshmen Magnus Lohse and
Drew Moreno add the flair of young talent to a stacked men’s
“We’re quite good,” Hessel said of the men’s team. “As strong as
we’ve ever been.”
The Rams, Air Force and BYU each bring strong teams to the MWC
and the rising talent on the New Mexico and San Diego State teams
should “make for a much more competitive conference,” Hessel
The women arrive in 2004 with enough potential to make noise
within the conference but with expectations that reach into next
“We’re young, we may have to wait a year to evolve,” Hessel
said. “We’re spoiled to say we’re not sure how good we are, but
someone always surprises you and makes you say ‘Holy Cow!'”
The skills are present, but only time can produce
As the track season begins, the Rams will try to keep their
focus on the horizon. Each meet builds toward the culmination of
the conference and national championships.
Saturday the Rams begin their journey