Apr 022006

CSU had athletes participating in three different meets over the weekend, two in Northern Colorado, and one in Northern California. Although none of the meets had team scores, head coach Del Hessel pointed out other team achievements.

“I’m very pleased with where we’re at,” Hessel said. “We’ve already qualified 16 athletes for regionals, that’s pretty good for where we are in the season.”

The first of the three meets started Thursday and was held in Fort Collins. The Glen Morris Multi-Events Meet featured heptathletes and decathletes from CSU, Northern Colorado and Chadron State.

In the women’s heptathlon, CSU dominated with four Rams placing in the top six. Sophomore Emily Pearson took first for the Rams with a total of 4,867 points, while teammate junior Katie Lloyd was just seven points behind in second place.

Most of CSU’s athletes competed in the Tom Benich Classic, hosted by the University of Northern Colorado. CSU once again excelled in a number of throwing events. Junior Haley Hunt and sophomore Stacey Poulos took first and second in the women’s hammer throw, while seniors Jace Rivera and Nate Heyrman did the same on the men’s side.

Junior Justin Hazzard was a double champion as he was victorious in the 110- and 400-meter hurdles. Meanwhile, senior Amanda Miller finished first in the triple jump and took second in the long jump.

CSU’s success in different events gives merit to coach Hessel’s opinion that, “our team has a good balance between field and running events, and I think we’re only getting stronger.”

Only a handful of Rams participated in the final meet, hosted by Stanford University. Junior Rob Watson won section 2 of the 3,000-meter steeplechase and finished third overall. Senior Matt McKinney placed in the top ten of the shot put and the discus throw, while seniors Katie Hansen and Jill McCormick also finished in the top ten of the women’s discus throw.

But the athletes themselves are not the only busy members of the track team. Coach Hessel and his staff have been working very hard in securing the next generation of CSU track and field stars.

“Recruiting is going really, really well,” Hessel said. “We’ve got an excellent group of recruits, especially on the women’s side.”

The coaching staff is still trying to get some verbal commitments from athletes before the national signing day just a couple weeks away.

The Rams are set to compete this weekend in the CU Invitational in Boulder.

Drew Gonzales can be reached at sports@collegian.com

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