What is respect? Giving credit where credit is due? Honoring a
person’s rightful position? Webster’s dictionary defines respect as
“the state of being regarded with honor or esteem.”
“Respect is when you see someone who is everything you want to
be,” said Bryce Franzmann, a freshmen business major.
However respect is defined, one thing is certain-the Colorado
State cross country teams have little of it.
On Oct. 7, the men’s team locked up the highest national ranking
ever by a CSU men’s athletic team, when they reached ninth
The women are not so shabby either. They are currently
positioned in 22nd place.
Certainly, a national caliber program is an honor many schools
would like to have.
The lack of respect “doesn’t bother me,” said coach Del Hessel.
“It’s about who you are beating and who is on your team.”
The Rams are beating plenty of “big name” teams, including
Texas, Arizona State, Michigan and Oregon.
Both teams feature nationally acclaimed runners. Leading the way
is Austin Vigil, who has finished fifth and third overall in his
last two races.
Vigil recently finished an interview with trackshark.com, the
self-proclaimed “Internet home for national collegiate track &
Erik Healey, a sophomore mathematics education major, said that
respect arises “when someone is doing their best in the worst of
situations, someone who tries their hardest.”
The success of CSU’s cross country athletes has not come without
sweat. The runners cruise for upward of 100 miles a week, and drop
closer to 50 miles during the week preceding a race.
In a sport with training so heavily emphasized, hard work is a
The green and gold continue to push for the next week and a
half, until the Mountain West Conference Championships on
On a team with no glaring weaknesses and a strong bond between
teammates, a great finish at conference seems likely.
Will continued success garner the respect the runners
The acclaim would be nice, but the team will likely remain
underappreciated, Hessel said.
“I knew from day one that we had the potential to be great,” he
said. “Most people never knew what we were all about.”
Their outstanding performances and dedication to training
With increased exposure and continued excellence the Rams are
beginning to become exposed.
“I’m impressed,” said Kimberly Sorensen, a sophomore journalism
major. “Those guys are hauling their (butts) out there.”