Today the Colorado State men and womenâ€™s cross country teams travel north to jump start their 2010 season with the Wyoming Invitational in Laramie, Wyo. This will be the first of what could be seven meets for the Rams this fall.
This yearâ€™s team is coming in with tons of confidence after a solid summer of practice and workouts, along with depth and leadership that the Rams havenâ€™t seen in a while.
â€œThis year we have some great leadership on the womensâ€™ side of things from our juniors and have lots of talent in our underclassmen,â€ fifth-year coach Bryan Berryhill said, adding that the mensâ€™ side has depth for the first time in a long time.
On the menâ€™s side of the squad, Berryhill will be looking to sophomore Spencer Lynass and senior Daniel Wallis to head a very deep menâ€™s side of the team.
Wallis, who was a NCAA National qualifier in the 5,000 meters for the Rams last season, said this yearâ€™s team chemistry and goals are much better than previously.
â€œWe have really bought into the same system and philosophy this year,â€ Wallis said. â€œDefinitely a more cohesive group, and weâ€™re more focused on our goals this year.â€
The womenâ€™s group has great leadership and experience with the junior class and has brought in some new talent with the sophomores and freshmen.
The leadership starts with junior Ellie Keyser, who is coming off a stand out season last year where she was named first-team all region and qualified for the NCAA Championships in the 10,000 meters.
The women have grown up a lot from last year as runners and are looking for consistency to make them stand out this season.
â€œWe are a much more mature team this year, which I think will help us a bunch,â€ Keyser said. â€œWe just have to work on being consistent every meet this year.â€
The Rams are looking to replicate their results of the past today as they are going for their third straight team win at the Wyoming Invitational, and Keyser is looking for her third straight individual victory at the meet.
â€œI want to make it a three-peat individually, and to win three straight as a team would be a great way to start the season,â€ Keyser said.
Confidence will also be a factor as this will be the only time the Rams will get to run on the Jacoby Gold Course where the MWC Championships are held in November. CSU will look to get a good feeling after the weekend to have in their minds in the coming months.
â€œRunning well here is always important and the conference championships are here in November, so a little extra confidence is important,â€ Berryhill said.
Sports reporter David de Besche can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.