The track and field team will not have to travel for their final meet of the regular season as they compete in the Ram Open at Jack Christiansen Track this weekend. Many of the athletes will take the weekend off to rest, while others will use the final meet to fine-tune technical skills.
Roughly 90 percent of the distance runners will take the weekend to rest, said coach Bryan Berryhill.
“Many of the runners have raced for eight straight weekends, and they could all use a break mentally,” he said. “We have been running well, I like where the group is at (right now).”
Head coach Brian Bedard said he will rest his athletes who need it so they can recover before the Mountain West Conference meet next weekend.
“If anybody is dinged up or not completely healthy, then they will take this as an off week,” Bedard said.
The track and field team has a total of 17 regional qualifiers, and 10 of those are from seven of the distance runners. The remaining seven regional qualifiers have been earned in throws and the vault.
Within the team, they have their own competition to challenge and encourage each other. The men and the women are competing to see which can earn the most regional qualifiers.
Eight men currently hold nine regional qualifiers, while only six female athletes hold eight of the regional qualifiers. The internal competition is close and could be even, if not overturned with the next two weeks of competition before the NCAA Regional meet.
Since the team has had a lot of success this season, they do not have to compete as many athletes in an attempt to have last minute chances at regional qualifiers. Of the athletes who do compete this week, “this is still another opportunity to hit regional marks,” Bedard said.
This year’s Mountain West Conference meet is in Laramie, Wyo. Every athlete will compete in the conference meet. They’ll then have a bi-week to rest for the NCAA Regional meet.
To be able to compete in the Regional meet, athletes have to either earn a regional qualifier during the season or to be a conference championship winner.
This weekend’s Ram Open will display a “hodge-podge of teams,” Bedard said, including Northern Colorado, CU-Boulder and a handful of D-II teams.
Track and field beat writer Scott Callahan can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.