After quality showings at both the Bill Dellinger and the Pre-National meets, the CSU women’s cross-country team received a No. 1 ranking in the Mountain Region of the national coaches poll for the first time in program history on Monday.
Then on Tuesday, CSU senior April Thomas was named the Mountain West Conference women’s cross country athlete of the week for the second consecutive week.
“I think the No. 1 ranking means a lot to the girls,” said coach Bryan Berryhill. “It gives us a lot of confidence knowing that we are above BYU and Colorado. This is an honor for the program and gets us some momentum. We still need to earn it one week from now and three weeks from now.”
Brigham Young and Colorado are tied for second in the regional standings, while Northern Arizona is fourth. New Mexico, Weber State, Utah and Wyoming are among others included in the Mountain Region.
Although this is a first for the Rams, some of the runners feel that they need to prove they are capable of being ranked so high.
“It’s a good recognition,” senior Heather Loseke said. “But words don’t mean (everything); we have to prove it.”
The team will use the ranking as motivation to continue to progress from week to week.
Both the men and women’s teams will face BYU on Oct. 27 at the Mountain West Championships in San Diego, Calif., and then against both BYU and CU two weeks later at the NCAA Regional Championships in Terre, Haute, Ind.
“We have a chance to do something and we have to do it,” Loseke said of her team fighting for the chance at being the champions of the Mountain West conference.
Cross country beat reporter Anica Wong can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org
USATFCCA Mountain Region Rankings
1. Colorado State
4. Northern Arizona
5. Texas Tech