The CSU indoor track team showed they could compete with some of the best programs in the country Saturday, when they participated in the Modrall Sperling Lobo Invitational in Albuquerque, N.M.
Schools from across the country met at the Albuquerque Convention Center for this first event of the calendar year.
For many on the Rams' squad, Saturday was the first chance to compete this season. It was also a chance for coach Del Hessel to see how his team stacked up against some national powerhouse programs.
"This was an outstanding meet," Hessel stated. "Some of the best programs in the country were there, and we more than held our own."
With schools like Louisiana State University, University of Southern California and Texas A&M participating, Saturday's meet featured programs Hessel viewed as an early test for his team.
Athletes on both the men and women's side responded well to this early season challenge.
Senior Janay DeLoach picked up where she left off last month where she already met preliminary qualifications for the NCAA Championships. With a long jump mark of 20-4.5, Deloach broke the school record she already held from 2004.
CSU dominated the strength competitions with six Rams finishing in the top 13. Another early season NCAA qualifier, senior Jill McCormick, took first in the event, with Jaimee Troth not too far behind in fourth place.
In long distance events, Danielle Korb, Heather Loseke and Kristen Hemphill all finished within the top ten in the mile run. Another three runners finished in the top ten in the 3,000 meter run.
On the men's side, Trey Eder continued his strong start to the season, taking first place in the weight throw with a career-best mark of 65-2.25. Eder was not alone on the leader board, four of his teammates also finished in the top seven.
In the men's 3,000-meter run, four Rams finished in the top ten. Rob Watson led the way for the Rams, finishing in first place. Sherman Logan finished just a few places behind him in fourth.
Hessel also liked what he saw from some of the younger athletes, like freshman Chantelle Dron, who ran the third best time in the women's 800-meter run.
"I see a lot of potential from our younger athletes, especially on the women's side," Hessel said.
The team will look to continue their early success this weekend at the Nebraska Quadrangular, held in Lincoln, Neb.
Drew Gonzales can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.