There were ups and there were downs for the athletes of CSU men’s and women’s track and field teams over the weekend, but in the end the Rams came out smiling.
“It went okay,” said junior Bill Michel, who ran a personal-best 14 minutes, 17.81 seconds in the men’s 5,000-meter run. “Our goal was to break 14 (minutes), but the pace went out a little slow and with 53 guys in the race, it was hard to break away and get into a rhythm.”
Fellow junior Austin Vigil kept the pace with Michel in the 5,000 and finished strong in eighth place, running a personal-best 14:09.63.
Though neither managed to break the 14-minute barrier, Michel said the competitive effort was there and the fact that both posted marks below the NCAA Regional-qualifying mark of 14:25 was big for the team.
Also making waves were sophomore Mike Nicks and junior Raegan Robb, who both managed to trim times off their personal-best times, set last weekend, in the men’s 3,000-meter steeplechase.
Nicks finished second overall in the race running 8:51.73 – a mere two seconds off Eliot Drumright’s school record of 8:49 – while Robb ran a slick 9:00.67 while finishing sixth overall.
“Mike ran a great race,” Michel said. “And Raegan said his back was bothering him the whole race, but he still managed to (set a personal record).”
An equally impressive performance came from another sophomore, Josh Glaab, who, in his first 10,000-meter race, led all teammates in running 29:35.55 while finishing fifth overall.
“Josh Glaab ran an incredible race,” Michel said. “To run a 29:35 in your first race … that’s really good. Plus he got a provisional qualifying mark with that time.”
Also competing in the 10,000 were junior Dylan Olchin and senior Paul DiGrappa, but neither did what he set out to do. Having run a personal-best 29:24 earlier this season, Olchin was looking to run close to, or under, 29 minutes, but it did not happen, as he finished 14th in his heat at 29:42.92.
“Dylan ran hard and went after it,” Michel said. “He just didn’t have anything left at the end.”
The women’s 10,000-meter run did not go so well for seniors Kim Leal and Jen Kintzley who battled through fatigue and injuries to run 35:23.45 and 35:54.65, respectively.
“It was terrible,” Leal said. “I didn’t enjoy it at all.”
Battling an Achilles injury all week, Leal said the pain began to flare up before the race and left her in a lot of pain throughout it. She added that Kintzley, who passed out after finishing, was battling respiratory problems and that both are not sure when their next race will be.
One of the biggest surprises of the meet came from junior Keela Niemeyer, who has quietly taken her place among the top female throwers on the team.
Competing in the women’s discus throw, Niemeyer finished second overall with a toss of 152 feet, 7 inches. Freshman Haley Hunt, also competing in the event, performed well throwing a 138-10 while finishing 11th.
Niemeyer and Hunt also competed in the women’s shot put, throwing 46-10 1/4 and 38-10 1/2 while finishing 14th and 37th, respectively.
Also competing in the meet were sophomore Colleen Blair, who ran 17:19.52 in the women’s 5,000; junior Christine Ahn, who vaulted her way to a 10th place finish clearing 11-6; freshman Adam Trainor, who threw 50-4 1/2 in the men’s shot put; senior Hannah Metzler, who threw 46-6 1/4 in the women’s shot put; junior John Woods, who ran 11.03 while finishing 18th in the men’s 100-meter dash; and senior Chris Riggs, who placed 10th in the men’s 200 with a time of 21.33.
While their teammates were enjoying the sun and warmth of Walnut, Calif., the rest of the Rams were once again combating the elements at Saturday’s Ram Open.
With rain and wind coming and going during the course of the day, the Rams dominated the field, finishing in the top three in nearly every event they were entered in.
“The weather was awful,” said junior Mary Ridder, who was one of several Rams to run a personal best in the meet. “It was raining off and on all day and it seemed like every time we got ready to run, it started raining.”
The Rams have more great weather to look forward to at the CSU-hosted Glenn Morris Multi-Meet on Thursday and Friday and at the Jack Christensen Invitational Saturday.
Others, meanwhile, will head to Iowa for the Drake relays, where the Rams look to alter their routine of running in individual meets.
“It gives us a chance to change things up a bit,” Ridder said of the relays. “There aren’t many people entered in individual events, so we’ll just have to see how it goes.”
Several Rams ran personal best times at the Mount San Antonio College Relays in Walnut, Calif., and at the Ram Open at Jack Christiansen Field. Here are their names, times and events they excelled in.
Mt. SAC Relays
Mike Nicks 8:51.73 3,000-meter steeplechase
Reagan Robb 9:00.76 3,000-meter steeplechase
Josh Glaab, 29:35.55 10,000-meter run
Austin Vigil 14:09.63 5,000-meter run
Bill Michel 14:17.81 5,000-meter run
Justin Hazzard 52.55 400-meter hurdles
David Hoesly 55.66 400-meter hurdles
Gilbert Gregg 22.00 200-meter dash
Joel Griffin 22.13 200-meter dash
Jason Galus 4:15.39 1,500-meter run
Nate Heyrman 53-11 Shot put
Josh Horak 16-0 Pole Vault
Zuzana Krajciova 1:02.11 400-meter hurdles
100-9 Javelin throw
Mary Ridder 4:44.29 1,500-meter run
Jill McCormick 171-9 Hammer throw