The track team will charge down to Air Force for the Don Barrett Duals this weekend, leading a herd of young Rams as they try to earn their horns at the college level. The two-day indoor meet will feature Air Force, Northern Colorado, CSU, and Wyoming.
Competing with one of the youngest teams in CSU’s track and field history, head coach Brain Bedard said the team needs to mature.
“We want to grow up this team,” Bedard said. “We had a big youth movement.”
The college level of competition in track and field is very different than high school, said Bedard. To encourage each player to grow in ability and confidence, all of the coaches are working closely with the team.
“As coaches, we are trying to balance patience, yet pushing to get them better,” said Bedard. “We want to keep challenging them mentally and physically.”
But the responsibility of coaching doesn’t need to stop with the coaches. The seniors and juniors are the leaders of the team and can have valuable experiences and skills to help their underclassmen.
Kristen Kugler, a junior heptathlete (meaning she competes in seven events) feels like she is learning a new role on the team too.
“This year has been a transition, a lot of learning experiences for all of us,” said Kugler. “It’s been a transition to go from the follower to now being the leader.”
Cameron Carter, a junior shot putter, said his main goals this season are to have fun, but also to lead his team by example, working hard in practice and trying to stay consistent.
Bedard said that he is happy about the practice attitude. The team is coachable, and that the players are on the edge of reaching a new level in their skill and confidence.
“It’s all just a matter of time,” said Bedard.
Events will include the 60-meter hurdles, high jump, long jump, pole vault, shot put, 1000-meter run and 800-meter run, and will conclude on Saturday.
CSU will also be sending players to Golden to compete at the Colorado School of Mines in the Joe Davies Open at the Steinhauer Field house. The one-day event starts Saturday.
Track beat writer Scott Callahan can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.