Track looks to repeat championship

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May 072006

CSU’s women’s track and field team will go for their second conference championship of the year at the Mountain West Championships Wednesday.

The Rams won the indoor conference championships in February, narrowly taking the championship by winning the final event. Matching that title may prove to be even more difficult than it was winning.

“We’re a bit shorthanded on the women’s side,” said head coach Del Hessel, who is coaching in the final meet of his career. “There have been some injuries and some red-shirts, so I think right now we’re 38 or 40 points short of the team that won the indoor championship.”

Hessel was partially referring to the red-shirting of junior Janay Deloach. CSU will miss Deloach in the long jump and 60-meters, both events in which Deloach was all-conference in the indoor season. Hessel remains confident in the team despite the absence of Deloach.

“We’ll just have to make up the points, that’s all we can do,” Hessel said. “Younger athletes have been stepping in and performing well all season, so I think we can definitely still win.”

Hessel’s confidence is boosted by seniors Katie Hansen and Jill McCormick, as they have been winning throwing events all season long, while junior Katie Lloyd has shown steady improvement in a number of events. Hessel also said he likes the potential he sees in the younger women on the squad.

“Kristen Hemphill has done well all year in the steeplechase, Danielle Korb and Heather Loseke have done well in middle distance events, and our younger long distance runners are starting to come into their own,” Hessel said.

While a younger women’s squad is set to defend their title, Hessel is excited to see what the men can do this week.

“Our men’s squad has lots of experience in lots of events. They’re probably in a little better position to win the Mountain West,” Hessel said.

Throughout the year, CSU’s male throwers have matched the performances of their female counterparts. They have swept the top three spots of throwing events several times during the season.

Along with the throwers, several other male athletes look to contend. Junior Drew Morano has proven to be one of the best sprinters in the conference, while junior Kevin Johnson has excelled in multiple events and junior Justin Hazzard has several victories in hurdle events. The men also have the motivation of losing the indoor conference championship by only four points in February.

“I think we have a good chance of winning on both sides,” Hessel said. “That’s not to say I don’t think it will be difficult, I’m just very confident in the athletes we have here.”

 Posted by at 5:00 pm
May 072006

If you get up early enough in the morning, you might see the silhouette of a dedicated man slicing the darkness in the crisp, pre-dawn air. While most Fort Collins residents are still snug in their beds at 5 a.m., Del Hessel is out biking or jogging every morning.

As the head coach of CSU’s track and field program, it is not so much a matter of choice for him, but of necessity. Between paperwork, recruiting, registering for track meets, setting aside time for athletes, practice and, of course, the meets themselves, it is the only time Hessel has to exercise. Soon, this will all change.

After spending the last 50 years immersed in the world of track and field, Hessel will retire from coaching at the conclusion of this season.

“I coach cross country, indoor and outdoor track, so there are very few weekends I’m actually home,” Hessel said. “That’s just the way track and field is – year-round. You get to a point where the travel will really wear on you.”

At 66, Hessel is as enthusiastic about the sport as he has ever been, he said he just feels now is the right time to step down.

“When I leave, I want to leave the program in a good position, and I think I’ll have done that,” Hessel said.

He will walk away from the sport having accomplished things he would have never imagined. Hessel can sum up what he has learned from a lifetime in track & field with three simple words: “Never give up.”

Hessel learned this important lesson early on in his career as an athlete. Despite winning state championships as a Colorado high school student, he was not recruited by any colleges. He could have given up and pursue something else, but quitting is just not in Hessel’s nature.

“I won state in the 400 and the 800, then I wasn’t recruited,” Hessel said, “but I kept at it and three years later I ran in the NCAA (Championships). I ran in U.S. Championships and Olympic Trials as well.”

While Hessel performed exceptionally as an athlete, his resume as a coach is even more impressive.

He has been the president of the NCAA Cross Country Association and the U.S. National Chairman for Olympic track and field development for 12 years. Hessel also took teams to Europe for 12 years in a row and was on the World Cup staff and the Great Britain Duel Meet Staff.

But before he rose to the highest levels of coaching, Hessel got his start at the bottom rung of the coaching ladder.

“My first coaching job was at a school for delinquent boys. One of the first things they told me was don’t turn your back on them, because you could get hurt,” Hessel said.

From his time as head coach of delinquent boys to his CSU coaching days, not giving up on athletes has become the norm for Hessel

“When he says never give up, it’s because he sees potential in you and he wants to get you to the next level,” said one of Hessel’s current athletes, junior Janay Deloach.

Under Hessel’s tutelage, Deloach found a place in the record book. Deloach has set the school record in the long jump, and has earned all-conference honors in both the long jump and 60-meters. Deloach said Hessel’s vast knowledge of track & field allows him to coach multiple events, and also brings a mental aspect to his coaching.

“He taught me to be mean in everything you do,” Deloach said. “Not mean like a bad sport, just be more aggressive and don’t settle for less.”

Hessel did not always have the caliber of athletes like Deloach. In his first tour of duty as coach at CSU, the track and field program was in a completely different state.

“When I started coaching here in 1970, I hate to say it, but we were probably the garbage pit of track and field,” said Hessel.

Using the same desire and dedication that made him successful as an athlete and a young coach, Hessel turned things around for CSU track and field.

“We worked really hard during the 1970s and went from never qualifying to finishing eighth in the nation with all Colorado kids,” Hessel said.

Hessel views that accomplishment as one of the most satisfying moments in his career. “Nobody really knew who we were or expected much from us,” Hessel said. “They thought we were just some agriculture school, but we walked away from that meet with some respect.”

Hessel’s passion and enthusiasm for the sport hasn’t gone unnoticed by the man who will replace him as head coach at CSU, Brian Bedard.

“He’s never content, he’s always looking to improve in every area,” Bedard said. “I’ll remember Coach Hessel’s passion for coaching and his relationship with his athletes. He generally cares about kids and wants to see them succeed.”

Athletes coached by Hessel have rarely seen anything but success. Hessel has coached more than 65 All-American athletes during his career. He’s coached several individual national champions, and has also won team conference championships.

“It’s truly exciting if you know where CSU has been and where we are today, it’s remarkable,” said Hessel. “I have so much pride in the program.”

After spending half a century pursuing his dreams in track & field, there is simply nothing left to accomplish. None of this would have happened had Hessel taken the easy road and given up when nobody recruited him.

Hessel’s favorite saying throughout his career has been: “Don’t ever allow anyone to tell you how good you can or cannot be.”

Hessel has applied this lesson that he learned as a young man to every day of his coaching career, inspiring several generations of CSU athletes to never give up.

“You don’t know what’s in somebody’s heart, so don’t judge somebody because they’re not running that fast or jumping that far,” he said. “Get the right person, get them motivated, then we’ll see who’s good.”

 Posted by at 5:00 pm

Pot measure up in air

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May 072006
Authors: Vimal Patel The Rocky Mountain Collegian

So how’s the effort to place a pot-legalization measure on November’s ballot going?

“It’s going, man,” said Mason Tvert, campaign director for Safer Alternative for Enjoyable Recreation (SAFER). But the 24-year-old quickly quelled the doubt: “We’re pretty confident we’re going to get this done.”

So far, proponents estimate about 25,000 signatures have been collected, well under the 68,000 valid signatures needed before the Colorado Alcohol-Marijuana Equalization Initiative can be placed before voters.

The signature collection started about two months ago, and the deadline is about three months away. Do the math. It’s going to be close.

The main focus now is gathering the petitions already circulated, Tvert said. To do this, the group is holding turn-in rallies throughout the state.

“We’re really trying to get stuff back,” he said.

The initiative would eliminate penalties for use and possession of small amounts of pot for Coloradans aged 21 and older. It would eliminate the overarching statewide ban on pot, and allow individual cities to determine the plant’s legality.

Fort Collins doesn’t have its own ordinance and is guided by state law.

Even if voters approve the measure, pot would still remain illegal under federal law. But experts say it’s extremely rare for the federal government to intervene in minor pot cases.

 Posted by at 5:00 pm

Vigil raises suicide awareness

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May 072006
Authors: Kristen Majors The Rocky Mountain Collegian

Maxine French knew she and her fianc/e, Robert, were having relationship problems, but she had no idea what the outcome would be.

It would end. Robert shot himself in the chest.

In Larimer County, one person commits suicide every nine days. In an attempt to lower this number, the county’s Suicide Resource Center held its fifth annual Taking Strides to Save Lives on Friday night, where French was the main speaker.

The group walked one mile and then gathered in Old Town Square for a candlelight vigil. The event began at 7:30 p.m. and, more than an hour and $15,000 later, the crowd of about 150 people tearfully dispersed.

“(The money raised) will support our suicide prevention services,” said Bev Thurber, the executive director of Suicide Resource Center. “That’s a number of things: our educational programs, our depression and bipolar support services and we have group support services.”

Megan Young, a freshman business administration major, attended the vigil in memory of two friends who committed suicide last summer.

“It’s always important to remember those that have been lost,” Young said. “It is such a preventable issue. It’s comforting to know that there are other people going through the same thing and there are people out there who want to help.”

The vigil included music, poetry and personal accounts of dealing with suicide. French has had three people close to her commit suicide – between the years 1988 and 1994.

“Each one was different,” French said. “With Robert, I felt a lot of guilt because we had spent four years together and I felt like I failed him somehow.”

In 1992, French’s close friend and supervisor at work, Sharon, killed herself with carbon monoxide poisoning by running her car with the garage door closed. French said she did not experience the same guilt with her friend as she had with her fianc/ because she felt like she had “offered everything (she) had.”

“She shared a lot of things with me about her personal life and a relationship problem, but I didn’t have any idea that she was considering suicide,” French said. “It was very much a shock to me.”

French’s cousin, Kevin, committed suicide in 1994. As one of four brothers, Kevin was the perfectionist of the family and was “really hard on himself,” French said.

“Apparently, for him there were things he just couldn’t get over,” she said. “My aunt and uncle and cousins were just extremely shocked that he ended his life. They just did not see it coming.”

After seeing an ad in the newspaper for volunteers wanted at the Suicide Resource Center, French decided she should offer her services to others who were dealing with the effects of suicide. As the outreach coordinator for grief support, she now leads support groups and contacts people who have recently had someone close to them commit suicide.

“Whenever there’s been a death by suicide in Larimer County, the coroner notifies me and then if we can identify people in our community who have been affected by it we sent them a packet of information about our support groups and what we have to offer,” French said.

The Suicide Resource Center is open to anyone who has felt a loss from suicide. The center welcomes people to their support groups, but also offers home visits and telephone conversations.

“It’s part of my healing to give back,” French said. “I think that’s part of the cycle that after people have done their own healing they reach out to others, and that kind of completes the circle for them.”

If a person is considering suicide, it is important to be a supportive listener and seek outside help.

“Don’t act shocked,” Thurber said. “Ask them if they’re thinking about suicide, and you want to take action by getting help. There are three steps: listen, ask and take action. If it’s an immediate crisis, go to the emergency room.”



Severe Depression symptoms include:


Inability to feel joy

Changes in eating, sleeping, appearance, behavior

Irritability or anger

Inability to concentrate


Loss of interest in usual activities

Feeling worthless


Physical pain (headaches, backaches, stomachaches)

Other Signs:

Drug and alcohol abuse

Giving away possessions

Risk taking

Sudden unexplained mood improvement

Suicidal thinking: Statements about suicide, Suicide plan/access to means

National Suicide Hotline: 1-800-SUICIDE (1-800-784-2433)

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Road closures

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May 072006

Beginning May 15, the intersection of Meldrum and Laurel streets will be closed for two weeks. Traffic will be routed to Loomis and Meridian avenues, south to Plum Street and through the Transit gates into the Engineering lot. Traffic will be able to exit the lot via Meldrum Street, but will only be able to turn right onto Laurel Street, according to CSU Police Department.

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Critics blast CU’s 4/20 crackdown

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May 072006
Authors: Hilary Davis The Rocky Mountain Collegian

BOULDER — Attorneys for the estate of slain rapper Notorious B.I.G. are providing legal advice to students after a notorious celebration at the University of Colorado at Boulder turned into a big problem for some CU students

Every April 20, several hundred CU students go to Farrand Field to smoke marijuana and bond with friends and classmates. Last year, the CU Police Department turned on the sprinklers at 4:20 p.m. to rid the field of smokers.

This year, however, they tried a different tactic – and it’s causing an uproar.

After a “No Trespassing” sign failed to deter would-be smokers, campus police officers donned tie-dye shirts and other undercover protection, and then took pictures of as many smokers as possible that day. The pictures are now posted on a Web site where other students can identify those on the field and make $50 for it.

“I think it’s dirty, the way the police are trying to bribe people into tattling on each other,” said CU student Rebeka Belles. “But $50 is a lot of money, so a lot of people have been snitching on each other.”

The CU police department declined to comment for this story.

“The sign they posted to keep students out was a cute attempt to protect themselves, but what they did was wrong,” said civil rights attorney Robert Frank.

Frank and fellow lawyer Perry Sanders Jr., both attorneys for the estate of Christopher “Biggie Smalls” Wallace, visited CU on Thursday to answer students’ questions about the April 20 incident.

“This is a clear and classic First Amendment case. And what a chilling effect on free speech this was,” Frank said.

The pair maintains that the university is infringing on students’ civil rights by attempting to bar them from peacefully assembling and offered free legal advice to any student who was “identified.”

“Events like this (meeting) need to happen in order to protest the ridiculous drug laws in this country,” Sanders said.

Benjamin Bock was the first smoker to be identified on the Web site. His motive for joining the celebration was devoid of the current politics surrounding marijuana – civil rights and a possible statewide legalization ballot measure.

“I didn’t have any political agenda,” he said. “I just wanted to smoke pot with my friends.”

Mason Tvert, campaign director of the pro-legalization SAFER (Safer Alternative for Enjoyable Recreation) campaign, was also there to support the students.

“I’m not surprised by CU’s actions in this case,” Tvert said. “It’s clear that they would rather see their students drinking, instead of engaging in a safer activity. It’s absurd. After all, you would never see pictures on a Web site after a tailgate party. They’re just trying to scare students.”

The SAFER initiative passed at CU 68-32.

The students who have been identified – 73 of the 200 posted as of Sunday, according to the Web site – have been or will be charged with a $100 fine for trespassing.

“You can do three things,” Frank said. “You can take political action, personal action or contact your lawyer for legal advice.”

Many students, however, believed it would be cheaper just to pay the fine rather than legal fees.

“I don’t think it’s right that people are being fined,” Belles said, “but I also don’t know any college students who can afford an attorney.”

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Collegian on vacation, Summer Edition starts June 14th

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May 072006

The Rocky Mountian Collegian is taking a brief vacation now that the spring semester is over. Our summer edition will start June 14th and publish every Wednesday until August 2nd.

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Pot debate should take place

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May 072006
Authors: Collegian Editorial Staff

The time to act is now, fellow students. The Colorado Alcohol-Marijuana Equalization Initiative is on the rocks, and it needs your help.

However you feel about whether pot should be legalized statewide, we believe placing the ballot before voters and having the debate would be beneficial.

Make no mistake about it, potheads who just want to get high are entrenched in the legalization movement. But their presence does not take away from the seriousness of the underlying issues – the arbitrariness of our laws and the safety of our society.

We’ve lost several fellow Rams to alcohol-related crashes, and in 2004, CSU student Samantha Spady drank herself to death.

As clich/ as the pot-legalization Safer Alternative for Enjoyable Recreation (SAFER) has made it sound, the claim that pot is not as harmful as alcohol, and therefore it’s illogical and fundamentally unfair to keep the plant illegal while tolerating the drink, seems sound to us.

As far as we know, no one has ever died from a pot overdose, whereas thousands have from an alcohol overdose.

But our motives, to an extent, are selfish.

As your student newspaper, we want to find out where our elected officials stand on the issue.

We want to poke and harangue the gods and goddesses of democracy. And if the initiative makes it to the ballot, politicians would be forced to state their beliefs on this issue so pertinent to the extracurricular lives of some college students.

This is an issue that will make them squirm, and is sure to highlight hypocrisy. We hope you give us the chance to do so.

Sign the SAFER initiative. Help the SAFER campaign. And to the petitioners, get the petitions back to SAFER.

 Posted by at 5:00 pm


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May 072006

The Constitution of the United States most not be amended to allow discrimination of our gay-born children. To do this is to criminalize the most beautiful document that our founding fathers created. “Freedom and equality for all citizens of the United States.”

We parents and relatives of our gay children have sat in silence with our hearts bleeding as we see our children being harassed, persecuted, killed, injured and discriminated because they had the misfortune of being born sexually different.

We have seen the agony our children have gone through since they were in elementary school, when their different mannerisms became obvious to their classmates and adults, and they became victims of harassment as a result. We have witnessed the agony of our gay children wanting to be sexually normal, and have seen their pain when they face reality in adolescent years. Some committing suicide, others faking being straight to avoid harassment and discrimination, trying to change into being of a sex that belongs only in their physical bodies but not in their inner self, suffering silently at their futile attempts.

It is with great sadness that we see some people using the name of God to promote bigotry, hate, and discrimination toward our gay children. Millions of children were born, are being born and will be born sexually different. It can happen in any family and we do not have a choice.

We do no know why our children are gay. Whether it is genetic, hormonal, or whether something occurs during a critical time of fetal development, we do not know. What we mothers can only tell you with absolute certainty is that it is born.

If God did not want the existence of homosexuality he would not have created it. The fact is, it is in every sector of society, in all professions and trades. It is even in the animal kingdom.

Homosexuals, like all human beings, need companionship. They have the right to marry and live a happy life of equality, respect and love as any other citizen.

Marina Vasquez

mother of a gay son

Brentwood, Calif.

 Posted by at 5:00 pm

To the Editor

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May 072006

“Illegal immigrants should be here to stay.” I just wanted to let you know I disagree wholeheartedly with your claim that “Undocumented immigrants are, and should be, here to stay,” and I do not consider myself to be “filled with irrational hatred,” “probably ignorant” or a racist.

In your article you not only call people who disagree with your thoughts racist, but you go on to call Congress racist because it is not talking about strengthening our Canadian borders. I believe that if there is any racism on this issue, the guilty parties are amnesty-supporting whites, for it is they who seem to think non-white immigrants are incapable of obeying the law and should not be held to high standards of conduct.

How can such a low expectation be seen as anything but a bigoted condescension? What about the legal immigrants who did everything by the book and waited years for a green card? Talk about a slap in the face when, by your standards, all they should have done is jumped the fence!

It is bad enough that immigrants come here illegally and have no right to be here, but I am having a hard time comprehending the audacity they have to demand rights and the people like you who support them. Another quote from your article: “The right-wingers who would like to see undocumented Mexican-Americans sent back to Mexico are the same people who support the American corporations that extract resources from our neighbor to the south, marginalize its people and leave nothing in return.”

Stop trying to be “politically correct” by calling illegal immigrants Mexican-Americans. They are not Americans. They are Mexicans living in America illegally. Second, if you are referring to oil and oil products, these products are purchased from Mexico by the United States and other nations at competitive prices dictated by supply and demand.

On top of all this, the United States has bailed Mexico out of a debt crisis on two separate occasions, loaning them billions of dollars and, to this day, we still give them millions of dollars in foreign aid annually.

Your article does a huge discredit to all the people who agree with your opinion on immigration issues and does nothing but provoke laughter from those of us who disagree.

The entire time I was reading your article I couldn’t help but think of Billy Madison, “What you just said is one of the most insanely idiotic things I have ever heard. At no point in your rambling, incoherent response were you even close to anything that could be considered a rational thought. Everyone in this room is now dumber for having listened to it.”

Kate Wernsman



 Posted by at 5:00 pm