Sep 052006
 
Authors: NICK HUBEL The Rocky Mountain Collegian

Sitting in Bryan Berryhill’s office, one would be hard pressed to realize that he was in the office of an inductee of the CSU Hall of Fame.

Berryhill sits, unassuming and humble, surrounded not by medals and awards but instead by pictures of his family and team schedules. Photographs of his wife, Tori, and their two small children line the newly appointed cross country and distance coach’s desk.

A 10-time All-American during his time here at CSU, and owner of seven school track records, Berryhill has shifted his focus from achieving his own goals to helping others achieve theirs.

“I want kids to respect me as a coach, not necessarily as what I did in the past,” he said. “(I want to be) somebody who can help them every day, not only on the track but off the track.”

After a shining career and a qualifying run at the 2004 Olympics, Berryhill decided that CSU would be the perfect place to start what he hopes to be a longtime coaching career.

“To come back to CSU was an easy decision. I’ve been thinking the last two years about maybe getting into the coaching field,” he said. “I also knew that I really didn’t want to leave the Fort Collins area.I have a lot of respect for the people that I work with, and I see myself being here for a long time.”

Redshirt freshman runner Jeremy Freed has been excited about the experience Berryhill has brought so far.

“It’s been great,” Freed said. “(It is) nice to have a new perspective on things from someone who has had a lot of success here.and is not too far removed from the program.”

On June 19, Berryhill took over the reigns of what has traditionally been a very strong cross country team. In a vote last week by the Mountain West cross country coaches, the CSU women’s team was picked to finish second behind BYU while the men were picked third behind BYU and Air Force, respectively.

“I think we will do at least that,” Berryhill said. “The women’s team looks really strong, we’ve got some good returners and some really good young ladies too. On the men’s side we’re looking really good.”

Last year the men’s team finished second in the Mountain West Conference tournament, while the women finished third.

“You always want to improve on the previous year – that is always my goal,” Berryhill said. “We’ve qualified for nationals quite a bit in the past and I guess a long term goal would be to get there and do well with a top ten finish.”

The Rams have been training hard for the upcoming season. Whether it’s running 1,000-meter repeats, lifting weights in the gym or running an “easy” 10 miles, the Rams and Berryhill are determined to make it to the top this year.

“I think we have to set our goals high,” Berryhill said. “I think we’ve got to look at winning a conference championship, then qualifying for nationals and doing well while we are there.I think that’s got to be our goal.”

Staff writer Nick Hubel can be reached at sports@collegian.com.

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09/09/06 BYU Autumn Classic

Provo, Utah TBA

09/23/06 Roy Griak Invitational

Minneapolis, Minn. 10:00 a.m.

09/30/06 Rocky Mountain Shootout

Boulder, Colo. 9:30 a.m.

10/14/06 Pre-Nationals

Terre Haute, Ind. All Day

10/28/06 MWC Championships

Salt Lake City, Utah TBA

11/11/06 NCAA Mountain Region

Championships Albuquerque, N.M. TBA

11/20/06 NCAA Championships

Terre Haute, Ind. TBA

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