Jan 222009
Authors: Scott Callahan

This weekend is a busy one for a CSU track and field team —- that is, preparing for two competitions at two Big XII schools. One will be hosted by Nebraska in Lincoln, the other by Colorado in Boulder.

The third-annual Big XII vs. Mountain West Conference Challenge will boast three Big XII schools (Kansas State, Missouri, and Nebraska) set against three Mountain West schools (Air Force, Wyoming, and CSU).

For each event, two athletes are allowed to compete per school, meaning each conference will be represented by six entries per event. CSU will be sending 10 women and 11 men to Nebraska to compete in six field events and 11 running events.

This meet will be unique because the MWC will combine their efforts in unity against the Big XII rather than force them to compete against each other.

Head coach Brian Bedard said he feels like this will be the first real opportunity for the staff to see their team compete in a higher-level event, despite competing at Air Force last Friday.

Bedard said the team’s goal this weekend is, “to grow up a little bit more . growing up some of these young athletes.”

CSU is going into this weekend with the mindset to bond as a new team with a large number of freshmen this season, especially the women. The women’s team had 12 graduating seniors last season.

Sophomore 1000-meter indoorrunner Sam McMillan said she’s excited for the weekend.

“I’m excited I haven’t raced in two years, it should be fun, and I hope to learn a lot about myself,” McMillan said.

McMillan is a transfer student from Georgetown University and this weekend in Nebraska will be her first race with CSU. Last year, McMillan’s chances to race were eliminated when she strained tendons in her leg, a condition known as IT syndrome.

The rest of the Rams will make their way to Boulder for the University of Colorado Potts Invite will be a two-day competition starting today.

Distance runners Ellie Rastall and Allison Gohl are coming off a strong cross country season and are expected to be just as successful in their indoor track competitions, coaches said.

“It’s going to be a trip where we see who is for real and who is not, who is ready right now,” said Brian Bedard.

Track beat writer Scott Callahan can be reached at sports@collegian.com.

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