Junior Janay Deloach was named the Mountain West Conference women's indoor track athlete of the week, after a dominant performance last Saturday in Albuquerque, N.M.
Deloach took first in the women's long jump and broke the school record with a mark of 20-4.5. She also finished sixth against a tough field in the women's 60-meter dash.
Saturday, Deloach and the rest of the CSU indoor track team are looking to build on their impressive season debut. Most of the team will head east to compete in the Nebraska Triangular in Lincoln, Neb. But four heptathletes are heading back to Albuquerque with the goal of qualifying early for the NCAA Championships.
Although conventional thought might view the split-squad as somewhat of a weakness, Coach Del Hessel sees things quite differently.
"Anytime you have an opportunity to qualify early, like our heptathletes do this week, it is a huge opportunity," Hessel said.
Senior Jill McCormick, Deloach and fellow junior Trey Eder took advantage of early season opportunities, provisionally qualifying for the NCAA Championships back in December.
CSU and Kent State University will meet in Lincoln to compete against the University of Nebraska. Coach Hessel has nothing but respect for Nebraska's team, citing the Husker's top ten finish on both the men's and women's side at last year's NCAA Championship.
"Nebraska is a very talented team." Hessel said. "But I think we have the talent on both sides to be close and competitive with them."
The Nebraska Triangular will be an unusual track meet. Its format allows each school no more than two athletes per competition. This format is designed for the event to take no more than three hours, much shorter than the conventional all day format of most meets.
"Track is different from other sports, especially for a coach," Hessel said. "It isn't just an hour or two then you're done. It starts in the morning and normally goes all afternoon into the evening."
After last Saturday's track meet, Hessel's voice was noticeably strained as he tried to explain the side effects an all-day event has on a coach.
"I can hardly talk today. I was shouting at my athletes all day yesterday," Hessel said. "Well, not shouting at them, shouting for them."
Despite the strain on his voice, Hessel hopes he will have plenty to shout about this weekend and all season long.