CSU cross country returned to action this weekend, participating in the NCAA pre-nationals in Terre Haute, Ind. The men finished 12 of 34 teams and the women finished 15 of 34.
Part of the reason CSU men did well was because of their top two finishers, senior Josh Glaab and junior Rob Watson.
"Watson had a great race, last time he was big and this weekend he came up big as well," Glaab said. "Some of the other guys moved up like they were supposed to."
However CSU could improve their efforts.
"We need our depth closer to front. We have good effort but it is tough to pass 250 runners. It is tough to play catch up," said cross country head coach Del Hessel. "We did well but we're not pleased with the 12 and 15 finish. But we still have an excellent chance to make it to nationals."
One of the reason's CSU still has a chance at nationals is Glaab. For the fourth time this season Glaab has led the men. This time he finished the race No.13 overall.
"For me the race went well, I was happy and had a good start. I did everything I could," Glaab said. "I went out fast and the course was nice and dry which helped me do well."
What is perhaps most impressive about Glaab's finish is not only that he did well in a national competition with the best athletes in the nation, but the fact he did well despite a cold.
"Going into the race I got a nasty cold," Glaab said. "If I wasn't sick I could have done better."
Another possible explanation for why CSU did well is their frustration over their last race at Notre Dame. At Notre Dame they got their first real look at major competition. This competition helped them prepare for this race. At Notre Dame the goal was to get off to a strong start and not slow down. This race gave a little more opportunity to slow down due to hills. A good start combined with the previous race's quick pace helped result in a higher place, said Glaab.
Points wise, CSU women did better than the men. The weekend overall gave CSU a chance to reflect on what needs to be done in the future.
"If everyone would run with the front runner we would be a very good team," Hessel said. "On the men's side, we need to stop major inconsistency. Rob and Josh ran well but other guys finished in the 100s. We are beating a hundred or so runners by finishing in the top 100, but you really aren't helping out with points."
Although CSU did not help themselves with points, their middle place finish at least keeps them where they were.
"We are in the same situation as last week, we didn't help ourselves, we didn't hurt ourselves," Glaab said.
CSU will have one last competition before nationals. The last race will be at home where they'll host the Mountain West Conference championships on Oct. 29.