Outdoor Track Preview

Mar 092004
Authors: John Teten

They have had their rest – bring on the competition. The

Colorado State track and field teams are ready to begin the outdoor


On the last weekend in February the men finished second and the

women third at the Mountain West Conference indoor championships.

Now, the teams enter the outdoor season fresh off a week-long


The women’s team has five reasons why it is a team to be

reckoned with.

Five women return to the team after sitting through the indoor

season. Thrower Loree Smith and distance runners Katie Yemm, Becky

Hammitt, Michelle Carman and Jen Kintzley all bring talent and

experience to a young team.

“I think it’s going to enhance our team tremendously,” head

coach Del Hessel said. “They are huge additions to our team.”

Adding Smith, the returning MWC Champion in the shot put and

weight throw, to a skilled women’s throwing corps provides the Rams

with incredible talent and depth.

Hammitt is the reigning 800-meter champ and Yemm adds to the

strong distance group of Nicole Feest and Colleen Blair.

“We should help a lot, add depth, and Loree just dominates in

the throws,” Yemm said.

A few of the athletes head to Palo Alto, Calif., to open the


Yemm, Feest and Blair will travel with Austin Vigil and Dylan

Olchin to Stanford on March 26.

“There are a handful of us that hope to open up strong there,”

Yemm said.

Vigil and Olchin are among the many studs on the men’s team.

If the men can get healthy, they can do some great things,

Hessel said.

Freshmen Drew Morano and Collin Ferguson are back jogging after

suffering injuries early in the indoor season. After a scare at the

MWC championship senior jumper Jacob Benson and his hamstring are

ready to compete.

The outdoor schedule includes four home meets and stops at

Stanford, Nebraska and the Drake relays.

“Drake is always fun,” Yemm said.

The relays have sold out 18,000 seats for 38 straight years, the

longest streak in collegiate track history.

Also important is the Nebraska Triangular on April 17.

“That’s where we’ll really find out what our depth and strengths

are,” Hessel said.

The long, intense season must be run strategically, he said.

“We’re going to be a little more progressive and patient,”

Hessel said. “We’ll get some training done and by mid-April try to

run fast.”

Junior John Woods, freshman Magnus Lohse and the men’s distance

relay team of Mike Nicks, Brandon Kent, Brian Kelly and Paul Michel

must wait to begin the outdoor season. They head to the NCAA Indoor

Championships this weekend in Fayetteville, Ark.

The men’s indoor relay ran an automatic qualifying time at Notre

Dame’s Alex Wilson Invitational Friday, which stamped their ticket

to Fayetteville. The relay team placed sixth at the last chance

meet with a time of 9 minutes, 34.98 seconds. They were just half a

second off of the school record set two years ago in Nebraska and

will look to trim off that time this weekend.

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