While creative costumes abounded a snowy Fort Collins on
Halloween night, the CSU cross country teams bonded at a pre-race
banquet and in front of a hotel TV. The next morning as cavities
and hangovers blanketed the city, the team was up and running in
the Mountain West Conference Championships in Albuquerque, N.M.
The women finished second and the men third.
Facing the two-time defending national champion Brigham Young,
the CSU women’s goal was to run their best and hopefully keep the
Cougars from a perfect score. They accomplished each.
Although BYU won, they did not finish one through five and the
Rams, led by Katie Yemm, finished strong.
“I’m impressed with the effort they gave,” coach Del Hessel
said. “They were the only team that even remotely challenged
Yemm led for nearly three kilometers of the 6-kilometer race,
Hessel said. She finished ninth overall in 22 minutes, 17 seconds.
A host of Rams finished not far behind her.
The women entered the race feeling a little flat, but the
second-place finish gave the Rams a reason to be optimistic, Yemm
“We did what we were supposed to do,” she said. “It was good to
see we could still race well when not feeling great.”
The women left the race with confidence; the men with a feeling
Austin Vigil paced the Rams, finishing the men’s 8k course third
overall in 24: 42. Bill Michel (fourth, 24:49) and Josh Glaab
(sixth, 24:59) finished in the top 10, but runner Mike Nicks
withdrew from the competition because of an illness.
The coaching staff chose to run Nicks, hoping he could run
through his sickness, but after racing in the top 10 for three
miles Nicks slowly began to sink back. Hessel made the call to have
Air Force took advantage of the illness and finished first.
Nicks’ absence left a huge hole in the Rams finish. With him
they would have easily run away with the title, Hessel said.
“Sometimes you just got to have some good fortune to go along
with great talent,” Hessel said.
No such luck this weekend, but with two weeks to get healthy
both the men and women are looking to stomp the competition at the
upcoming Mountain Regional meet on Nov. 15.