Rams going the distance

May 022010
Authors: Stephen Meyers

Kristen Hemphill couldn’t have asked for a better way to say goodbye to Jack Christiansen Track.

The senior finished first in the 3,000-meter run in an outdoor personal-best time of nine minutes, 58 seconds –– a Front Range Classic meet record.

“It was bittersweet today,” Hemphill said. “I ran great, but it’s the last time I’ll run here in Fort Collins.”

Hemphill was one of 11 first-place finishers Saturday for the Rams, who won the meet.

The women’s team scored 195 points, followed by the Air Force Academy (145), Wyoming (144), Northern Colorado (65) and CU-Boulder (14).

Women’s first-place finishers included: Hemphill, Aliese Willard in the 1,500-meter (4:47.46), Leah Elmshauer in the hammer throw (185-08 meters), Tanesha Johnson in the triple jump (39-04.50) and Sonni Russell in the high jump (5-06).

The men also captured a team title with 184 points. Air Force finished second with 170 points, followed by Wyoming (148), Northern Colorado (60) and CU (23).

Men’s first place finishers included: Kelby Dias in the 110-meter hurdles (14.51 seconds), Jeremy Freed in the 1,500-meter run (3:54.96), Andrew Lesser in the 3,000 meter run (8:45.39), Tyson Williams in the shot put (56-04.50 feet), Caston Mabin in the high jump (6-08) and Kirk Cooper in the pole vault (16-03.25).

Head coach Brian Bedard said he was was pleased with the men’s and women’s first place finishes.

“It’s always good to win,” Bedard said. “We had a really nice team effort today. We had really good energy from start to finish, supporting each other and it was really nice to see our team chemistry building.”

Hemphill said that team chemistry helped her.

“It helps a lot having teammates and friends right there to root for you. The team support is great. This is a great place to run,” Hemphill said.

Hemphill will have next weekend off to rest before the Mountain West Conference Championships, but other Rams will compete in the Fum McGraw Open at Jack Christiansen Track May 8.

The MWC Championships are May 12-15 in Albuquerque, N.M.

Sports Reporter Stephen Meyers can be reached at sports@collegian.com.

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