As spring washes over the country, millions of parents tell their children to go outside and play. The NCAA does the same thing to its track athletes, with the outdoor season coinciding with the arrival of warmer temperatures.
The CSU track and field team started the outdoor season well despite competing shorthanded at the Potts Invitational in Boulder last weekend.
â€œWe had a partial team compete at CU because of spring break,â€ said head coach Brian Bedard. â€œIt showed us kind of a glimpse of whatâ€™s ahead for the season.â€
The primary difference between the indoor and outdoor season is the weather and how it affects the athletes. Additionally, the type and number of events varies between the two environments.
â€œThe weather is a huge factor outdoors, especially in Colorado,â€ senior throws specialist Ian Lettow said. â€œIts 95 degrees one day and snowing the next.â€
For its first outdoor competition of the season, CSU will send some athletes to the Stanford Invitational in Palo Alto, Calif. to compete today, while others will travel to the CSU-Pueblo Open on Saturday.
â€œYouâ€™re dealing with so many different events, and different venues are better for different events,â€ Bedard said. â€œStanford is at low altitude and itâ€™s geared toward the distance and middle-distance events. A lot of teams from around the country send their athletes there, so itâ€™s very good competition.â€
Host Stanford is ranked in the top 12 of both the menâ€™s and womenâ€™s polls, while other top-25 teams such as BYU, Cal and Oregon will also provide stiff tests for the Rams.
Sophomore sprinter and hurdler Kalie Kirk will be one of the members of the team heading west to Stanford.
â€œIâ€™m really pumped that I get to go to Stanford to run. I think itâ€™ll be a great meet, and I hope to break 14 seconds in the 100 (meter) hurdles,â€ she said.
Kirk finished third at the Potts Invitational, posting a personal record of 14.11 seconds.
According to Bedard, CSU is better suited for outdoor competition than indoor.
â€œTalent-wise weâ€™re a better outdoor team,â€ he said. â€œWeâ€™re a very young team on the womenâ€™s side and just having more time to work with our athletes and have them develop, they were young and made some mistakes indoors and I think theyâ€™re going to get better in the outdoor season.â€
Sports Reporter Kyle Grabowski can be reached at email@example.com._