Dec 072003
 
Authors: Joshua Pilkington

Putting 16 weeks worth of 100-plus miles of running on display,

CSU distance runner Dylan Olchin showed why coaches are excited

about the 2004 indoor track and field season.

Competing for the first time this season, the senior from Estes

Park set a South College fieldhouse record in the men’s 3,000-meter

run, finishing first at eight minutes, 52 seconds at the Rams’

indoor track and field intrasquad meet.

“I just wanted to break nine (minutes),” said Olchin, who begins

his final season of competition at CSU next semester. “I’m happy

with 8:52. Considering I haven’t done any track workouts, I’m happy

where I’m at.”

Head coach Del Hessel is happy with where Olchin and his

teammates are at as well.

“I enjoyed watching Dylan’s 8:52,” Hessel said. “It was an

outstanding performance. He ran about 16 weeks of over 100 miles

leading up to this and didn’t take a break.”

Hessel added that Olchin’s wasn’t the only performance that

stood out in Friday and Saturday’s events.

“We saw events (Saturday) and (Friday) that were national

caliber,” Hessel said. “Loree Smith in the weight throw and Paul

Michel’s 500 and mile had impressive marks.”

Apart from allowing national-caliber athletes the chance to put

their talents on display, the meet also allowed Hessel and his

assistants the chance to see where the men’s and women’s teams

stand in terms of depth prior to the beginning of the indoor

season.

“I think both teams are better this year than last,” Hessel said

of his men’s and women’s teams that finished second and third

respectively at the 2003 Mountain West Conference Indoor Track and

Field Championships in February. “I don’t think we are weak in any

event.”

The concern of the coaches now is to keep the athletes focused

during a four- to six-week period in which they will not see the

team.

“This is a tough time to go on break,” Hessel said of the

impending CSU Winter Break. “The week of finals and the week prior

to finals are difficult (training) weeks and then we don’t see (the

athletes) for four to six weeks.”

With the first meet of the indoor season (the Potts Invite) set

for Jan. 16 at the University of Colorado, Hessel said no time to

recover from a break of too much ‘holiday cheer’ will be available

for the Rams.

“Our first meet is tough with Air Force, BYU and CU all in the

mix,” he said. “We just hope the athletes do their work over break

and come back ready to compete.”

Nevertheless, Hessel said he is excited about the upcoming

season and beyond.

“We have some good talent developing here,” he said. “There is

no doubt in my mind we have a really good freshman class. I like

our team this year, but we may be even better in 2005.”

An intimidating factor for the nation’s track teams willing to

compete against CSU.

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