Apr 022009
 
Authors: Scott Callahan

Most of the track and field team will travel to compete in its next meet this weekend, while hammer and discus athletes prepare to compete at home. CSU will make its way to Greely to for the Tom Benich Classic, hosted by the University of Northern Colorado.

CSU will host the hammer and the invitational discus events of the Tom Benich Classic, due to hazardous facilities at UNC. Head track and field coach Brian Bedard said that the invitational has welcomed a “high caliber” of athletes. The hammer event, a version of the weight throw, will boast roughly 30 men and 30 women.

Bedard said that he doesn’t like to split the team up very often. The division has benefits, but not without complications to work around and the adjustments needed to accommodate them.

“It’s good for the athletes to compete here and be at our own facilities,” he said. “But it will be a hassle for the coaching staff to work around.”

Leah Elmhauser, CSU hammer thrower, is coming off of a brilliant performance at Arizona State. She hit a personal best and reached a regional qualifying mark with a throw of 181 feet (55.04 meters).

“It was great to hit that mark at an early meet, it’s really reassuring and a little bit of a relief,” she said. “It was a stepping stone, somewhere to start and a place to build on each week.”

Following a less-than-satisfactory indoor season, she was ready for a new season and fresh place to start. With a fresh mindset and a change of scenery, she has started her outdoor season on a good note, hoping to put the indoor season behind her.

Berryhill honored by MWC

Remembering the past is not always a bad thing. The Rams’ distance coach, Brian Berryhill, and three other CSU track and field alumni have recently been given an honorary position on the MWC 10th anniversary outdoor track and field team. The three other CSU athletes to make the team were Drew Loftin, John Woods and Loree Smith.

The honorary position was given to the top-10 men and top-10 women who competed in the MWC in the last ten years, based on accomplishment and achievements.

Berryhill’s achievement is particularly special because he only competed in the MWC for two o f his four years of his collegiate career. For the first two years, Berryhill competed with the Rams in the WAC, until 1999 when CSU left the WAC and joined the MWC.

While Berryhill was a Ram he was a 10-time All-American and two-time national champion, winning the NCAA indoor mile title in 2001 and the outdoor 1,500-meter title three months later.

After his college career, he went on to compete professionally around the world. During his professional years he was sponsored by the shoe companies Reebok and Adidas.

“It’s nice to be honored with one of the top-10 track athletes in the Mountain West. And it’s nice after your career to get the honor, especially because you don’t feel like an athlete anymore,” Berryhill said.

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

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