The CSU cross-country teams walked away triumphant from their only home meet of the season this weekend, the Colorado State Classic. The warm weather after several days of clouds and rain, along with the support of a hometown crowd made Saturday a great day for a race.
The women’s team had six runners finish in the top ten, including Ellie Rastall, who finished first over all. The men had four runners finish in the top ten, led by a first year runner from New Zealand, Daniel Wallis, and captured the team title as well. More than 70 runners from six schools competed in each race.
The women finished in first place overall and continue to give everyone a reason to keep an eye on them this season. Racing well in the last non-competitive meet before the heart of the season was a good confidence booster for the team.
“I think we had a really good team out there which is exciting going into the main part of our season,” said sophomore Allison Gohl, who finished third overall.
A reason for the women’s success in the past and confidence in the future is the good chemistry throughout the team, said Rastall, a redshirt freshman.
“We train together to race together, so we have a very good team bond this year,” Rastall said.
Gohl agreed with her freshman teammate.
“It’s a blessing to have such a close team,” she said.
The men’s cross-country team also performed well, finishing first in the Classic. Daniel Wallis was the first Ram to cross the finish line, but third place overall. The New Zealand native attended Western State last year along with junior runner Andrew Mauk.
“It was a good open, I’ve been training really hard back in New Zealand,” Wallis said. “Then to come here, it was good to finally have a race. I think the team ran really well.everyone came in really strong which is really encouraging to see.”
Like the women, the men feel the chemistry among the runners is a big factor in how the team ran.
Sophomore Jake Keyser finished fifth overall, saying, “I think [chemistry] pays off a lot, when you have people out there that you enjoy running with, to pull for each other and stick with each other as much as possible.”
The home crowd was supportive and excited to see their teams compete live. Brent Moore a spectator and husband of CSU assistant coach Elizabeth Moore, came out to watch both teams compete.
“The crowd is at least twice as big from last year,” Moore said.
Coach Berryhill agreed.
“The crowd helped a lot. We had a nice sized crowd, especially at the finish line, for the last 200 meters after that big hill.”
Cross country beat writer Scott Callahan can be reached at email@example.com.