The rising temperature and budding flowers can only mean one
thing – the outdoor track and field season is ready to begin.
Colorado State opens the outdoor season this weekend in two
separate meets. Seven athletes travel to Palo Alto, Calif., to
compete in the Stanford Invitational while the rest of the team
will host the Rob Upton Invite.
The team split is more than geographical and the motives for
each meet are drastically different.
Those traveling to Stanford have been training with the
intention of posting a national qualifying time in their respective
Austin Vigil, Josh Glaab and Dylan Olchin will try to run the
men’s 10,000-meter run in about 29 minutes.
“The school record of 29:03 has been sitting there for too
long,” head coach Del Hessel said.
Nicole Feest and Colleen Blair will look to qualify in the 5,000
and Katie Yemm and Loree Smith return after not competing during
the indoor season. Yemm will run the 1,500 and Smith will compete
in the hammer throw.
“It’s important for all these kids to get qualifying done
early,” Hessel said. “Then we can go back to a normal training
With most of the athletes having not competed since indoor
conference championships, nearly a month ago, the Rob Upton Invite
comes at an opportune time to evaluate their fitness level.
This weekend provides a chance to find out where everyone is
starting the season, Hessel said.
Some athletes will not compete in their specialty and others
will be attempting returns from injury.
“It’s what you do,” said Sarah MacKay, who is returning from a
stress fracture in her foot. “You jump into some races.”
After just two weeks of training MacKay will run the 1,500 this
“It’s scary. It’s just racing into shape,” she said. “It will
hurt like a race, but it’s not going to be as impressive as a
Others returning from injuries for the outdoor season include
Crystal Clark, Jacob Benson and Drew Morano.
The Rams join teams from the Universities of Colorado and
Northern Colorado as well as Air Force and Wyoming in the season
Events begin at 10 a.m. on Saturday at the Jack Christiansen
Track with the hammer throw. Running events start at 11:45.