Today is D-Day for the Colorado State cross country teams.
Sometime this afternoon head coach Del Hessel and his Ram runners
will know if they are headed to Waterloo, Iowa, for the NCAA Cross
Both teams narrowly missed the automatic bid, given to the top
two finishers in each region, on Saturday as the men finished fifth
and the women third at the NCAA Mountain Regional meet in Logan,
Thirteen teams will receive an at-large bid and the chance to
compete at nationals on Nov. 24. The team is optimistic that they
will be included in the field.
“I am very confident that we will be invited,” Hessel said.
The selection criteria is based off a number of factors, most
notably in the Rams favor is the inclusion of teams that have
beaten squads that received an automatic bid. Earlier this season
the women beat Providence and Minnesota, who clinched a spot from
their respective regions.
The men’s hope lies in the strength of the Mountain Region.
Considered the toughest of any region the chances for five teams to
receive invites is highly possible, Hessel said.
In Logan, the men had their “best race of the year,” Hessel
Each runner ran a complete race and senior stud Austin Vigil had
his standard, brilliant race. Vigil finished seventh overall,
finishing the 10-kilometer race in 31 minutes, 10 seconds.
Running behind Vigil were Josh Glaab (16th, 31:28), Mike Nicks
(21st, 31:49), Bill Michel (28th, 31:55) and Matt Ciancuilli (32nd,
The University of Colorado-Boulder took home the men’s team
title placing three runners in the top 10.
The Rams’ women continue to run better each week and they put
together a strong race on Saturday.
“They have an outstanding competitive attitude,” Hessel said.
“They are determined to stay together and support each other.”
Crystal Clark led the way for CSU, but her teammates were not
far behind; there was only a 22-second split between the first and
“It was probably our best race,” Clark said. “We all worked
together. It helps in the long run, the teammates pull you
Clark finished the 6K race 16th overall in 21:47. Colleen Blair
(17th, 21:52), Nicole Feest (18th, 21:52), Jen Kintzley (26th,
22:09) and Michelle Carmen (27th, 22:10) wrapped up the Rams’
The women entered the meet needing to beat either Northern
Arizona or CU to increase their chances of a national bid. They did
just that, finishing ahead of NAU. BYU won the race and had the top
overall finisher, Michaela Mannova (20:33)
The Rams took care of their job this weekend and the invitations
will be handed out today.
“Both teams put together their best race,” Hessel said. “And
their best race was required.”
All they can do now is wait.