Now it’s serious

Apr 152004
Authors: John Teten

After easing through the first couple weeks of the season, the

Colorado State track and field teams are ready for a challenge.

The Rams head to Lincoln this weekend to compete in the Nebraska


The Rams opted for Nebraska over the annual Mt. SAC relays,

missing the relays at Mount San Antonio College in California for

the first time in recent memory.

“We feel like we can get more people in the meet in Nebraska,”

head coach Del Hessel said. “We need to face the best people we can

from this point forward.”

The Rams square off against squads from Nebraska, Wichita State

and Indiana. The meet will present the toughest competition for the

Rams this outdoor season.

Nebraska boasts two nationally ranked programs – the Husker men

are seventh the women fourth.

“Without a doubt, Nebraska is consistently one of the real track

powers in the U.S.,” Hessel said.

Indiana will bring its 13th-ranked men’s team, but national

champ Sean Jefferson (mile) will travel with six teammates to Mt.


Wichita State will bring a talented group of sprinters, hurdlers

and jumpers, Hessel said.

The coaches of all four schools agreed to a non-scoring meet,

attempting to save the athletes. The programs would have had to run

athletes in two to three events to fight for points. Now, the

student-athletes can focus on their individual events.

“Our priorities are centered around performances at

national-caliber levels,” Hessel said. “It’s time to make things


CSU features a handful of athletes who made things happen in the

early season.

Senior thrower Loree Smith has twice been named Mountain West

Conference outdoor athlete of the week. She holds the top mark in

the nation in the hammer throw with her winning toss of 220-0 at

the Texas Relays.

Cristina Gourdin has the 12th-best heptathlon mark in the

nation. She narrowly missed setting the school record (5,160

points) while provisionally qualifying with a score of 5,136 at

Northern Colorado last week.

Austin Vigil has the 11th-best time in the 10,000-meter run and

Magnus Lohse recorded the 12th-best throw nationally in the shot


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