Feb 192009
Authors: Scott Callahan

This weekend the track and field athletes will fine-tune their technical skills in Wyoming at the Robert Shine Invitational, a relatively small meet. However, many of the Rams distance and mid-distance runners will not join the rest of the team today in Wyoming.

Distance coach Brian Berryhill decided to give his team a well deserved rest before the big meet.

This will be the first break that they have had in four weeks. Berryhill said that his team is running with a lot of confidence and that there was no need to risk that with such a small meet.

“(The Wyoming) meet is a tune up for whoever feels like they need one,” Berryhill said.

The distance and mid-distance runners have had a lot of success this season, especially in the last two weeks. They had nine first place finishes combined in the last two weeks, and have seen a score of personal bests throughout the season.

Head track and field coach Brian Bedard has seen tremendous things from the distance runners and is confident they will continue this momentum. Bedard said that the statistics are a little deceiving and he thinks that the Rams are going to surprise people.

No one can say that there was a certain moment or a spark that has ignited the distance runners in recent weeks. But both the coaches and the runners point to hard training as one major aspect.

Two of the runners who have played big parts of the team are senior Andrew Mauk and sophomore Allison Gohl.

“We have had some solid weeks of training good workouts consistently,” Mauk said.

Another big factor is the positive energy that seems to pulse through the team. That energy is only increasing with every passing week.

“We are running with a lot of positive energy right now. . Positive energy builds on itself,” Gohl said.

The success the distance runners have had is a source of energy and excitement. Senior weight thrower Alex Godell said that it is a confidence booster to see them run.

“It’s an inspiration to see those guys running, especially when you are at a meet and you see Ryan Friese running the 800, running down some BYU kid, it gets my heart pumping a little faster,” Godell said. “To have them as a group come along it gets everybody ready to go to step up their game a little bit.”

Bedard is a “level headed” coach, Godell said. Bedard tries to stress to his team to stay focused and aggressive. The coaches like to keep a sense of energy in practices but the athletes tend to do that naturally without prompt.

The Rams who are staying behind will rest and do short and easy workouts, and will support their teammates in their last meet before the Mountain West Conference championship next weekend in Colorado Springs at the Air Force Academy.

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

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