CSU senior April Thomas won the women’s race at the first ever Colorado State Classic on Saturday, helping to lead her team to a first-place finish ahead of powerhouse Adams State, whose women’s team is ranked No. 1 in Division II.
The meet, which snaked around the dirt and grass property surrounding Hughes Stadium, had a few rolling hills and the ability for spectators to see the runner’s at almost every point.
Finishing the three-mile course in 18:01.6, Thomas averaged a time of 5:49 per mile.
“It was a good race,” Thomas said.
And it definitely builds the team’s confidence that they can beat a team as strong as Adams State, she added.
“They gave us a run for our money,” Thomas said.
While both CSU and Adams State had five runners in the top 10, CSU runners held the higher spots and were able to capture first-place.
Thomas was followed by Heather Loseke, who finished in third-place with a time of 18:15.4.
“I love the team unity – you’re working as one,” Loseke said. “There was tons of love.”
Freshman Allison Gohl rounded out the top three Rams finishing 4th.
Following CSU and Adams State, Black Hills State took third-place in the women’s 5k race, followed by University of Northern Colorado, Metro State and Colorado College.
“It was exactly what we needed,” coach Bryan Berryhill said about the women’s win. He was especially impressed with Gohl’s performance.
Although the women’s team had their second victory in as many races, the men’s team had a disappointing showing at the meet.
Adams State swept the top five spots to run away with a perfect score. Adams State’s Aaron Braun, who is a Rocky Mountain High School graduate, won the men’s four-mile race with a time of 20:03.7.
The first CSU runner to cross the line was Andres Urbina, who finished 6th with a time of 20:33.7.
“It was pretty poor on the team part,” Urbina said. “We’ve got a lot of work to do.”
The second CSU runner was Jeremy Freed, whose time of 20:41.6 was good enough for an 8th place finish.
For Coach Bryan Berryhill, his team ran poorly overall.
“We’re a young team and we ran like that today,” he said. “It is unacceptable to let a team put a perfect score on us.”
The Rams were able to muster enough to capture a second place finish behind Adams State, followed by Black Hills State, Metro State, Colorado College and University of Northern Colorado.
Before the collegiate races, 65 community runners participated in the open race. One of those runners was Jen Warden, head coach for the women’s basketball team at CSU.
“The course was phenomenal,” Warden said, who won in her age group.
Warden wasn’t the only one from the basketball team who raced. Sara Hunter, the senior point guard of the Ram’s team also ran, along with assistant coaches Randie Wirt and Dick Lien.
“As a team, we are really excited for the other athletes at CSU,” Warden said as the reason for bringing her whole team out to the meet.
Hunter echoed her coach’s sentiments.
“We thought it would be fun to support the cross country team,” she said.
The Ram’s cross country teams have a two-week hiatus before their next meet in Oregon on Sept. 29.
Cross country beat reporter Anica Wong can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org