For the first and last time in their season, CSU cross country raced in Fort Collins. Familiarity of the course helped propel the men's and women's teams to second and third place finishes respectively in the Mountain West Conference Championship meet.
Leading the men was a familiar face, Josh Glaab, who for the fifth time this season finished first among his teammates.
"Overall the race went the way we expected it to," Glaab said. "We went out hard. The rain was a surprise but our guys did well."
While the weather was unexpected, Glaab's performance was no surprise to a team that has seen him do it all year.
"Overall I did what I needed to do and that makes me happy," he said.
Junior Rob Watson also ran well for the men's team. Watson, a native of London, Ontario, has finished close behind Glaab all year. This weekend he finished just eight seconds behind his teammate.
But it was not just Glaab and Watson that won the race.
"Our fourth and fifth men, Jeff Wahl and Scott Sanders, did their job," said Watson. "They had to finish ahead of Air Force's fourth [runner] and they did. That really won the race right there."
The Rams came into this weekend's race knowing they needed to perform well, specifically beating out Air Force to have a better chance at competing in this year's regional meet.
"Beating AF is huge. We just need to beat them in the next race and it is almost a sure thing we're going to regionals," said Watson.
The women were happy with their third place finish but didn't have as much reason to celebrate as the men did.
"The men's team raced really well, they fought hard to beat Air Force and they did. It was a good race for us, it gives us some momentum going into the NCAA regionals race," said head coach Del Hessel. "I am not overly disappointed with the women. They are a young team and got beat by one point out of second. Those things happen in a four mile race, a lot of things can go wrong."
Junior Danielle Korb finished first on the women's team, 11th overall. Teammates April Thomas and Kristen Hemphill weren't far behind, placing 12th and 14th respectively.
As a team, their finish was enough to keep their national hopes alive, although they'll need to finish the season strong to get there.
"I think we enhanced our position by beating Air Force," said Hessel. "When we go to regionals the women need to do well and we can still qualify."
After the race, CSU received several awards. Josh Glaab received first team All-Conference honors while teammates Rob Watson and Paul Michael were voted onto the second team. As for the women, Danielle Korb, April Thomas and Kirstein Hemphill earned second team All-Conference.
Weekend Results at Collindale Golf Course: Men's second, Women's third
Next match: Nov. 12 at Provo, Utah