Track & Field Preview: Rams head to Las Vegas Wednesday for conference championships
May 6, 2013
By Nate Lake
Athletic Media Relations
FORT COLLINS, Colo. – The Colorado State track & field team is preparing to leave for the Mountain West Outdoor Track & Field Championships, which begin Wednesday in Las Vegas, Nev., at Myron Partridge Stadium.
Many Rams are ranked near the top of the Mountain West standings in their respective events and are looking forward to success at the conference championships. Freshman thrower Tyler Schultz, junior hurdler Trevor Brown, and sophomore thrower Kiah Hicks are among Rams who lead the conference in specific events and are favorites to compete for event victories in Las Vegas.
Schultz leads the conference in the men’s shot put with his impressive mark of 59 feet, 4.75 inches from the Jack Christiansen Invitational. Hicks is coming off an amazing performance in the Cowpoke Open, where she threw 180-10.5 in the women’s discus throw for a personal best and the top rank in the Mountain West. Brown leads the conference in the 110-meter hurdles with his conference record of 13.65 seconds, and sits in second place for the 400-meter hurdles. He will attempt to win the 110 hurdles for the second straight year, while fellow hurdler Sam Little attempts to put forth a strong finish in the hurdles events as well.
Andrew Goodman, Spenser Lynass and Christian Meyer lead the distance crew into the conference championships after impressive seasons competing in the men’s 3,000-meter steeplechase. Goodman, Lynass and Meyer hold the second through fourth conference ranks in the event. Kaitlin Hanenburg will compete for the title on the women’s side of the event.
High jumpers Ashley Reid and Jazmyn Webster, who are currently ranked second and third in the conference, will challenge conference leader La Tijera Avery of Nevada for the high jump title. Graham Gilliland and Ryan Wasilawski will challenge for high finishes in the men’s long jump, while Gilliland and Trey Richardson will compete for the men’s triple jump title.
Kiah Hicks, Elizabeth Johnson, Jessica Sharbono and Jenna Sliwinski hope to make history in the women’s discus throw. All four have thrown over 170 feet in the event this season, composing the first group of four CSU women’s throwers to accomplish the feat during the same season, according to Colorado State head track & field coach Brian Bedard. They hold the top four places in the conference for the women’s discus, and are four of the conference’s five athletes to hit 170 feet in the event this season. Sliwinski and Hicks will also challenge for the women’s hammer throw title.
Justin Green, Josh McMillin, and Josh Cogdill, who are first through third in the conference for the men’s decathlon, will be among the first athletes to compete in Las Vegas as the multi-events kick off the meet’s schedule on Wednesday. The multi-events continue into Thursday before the rest of the meet begins Friday.
Field events begin Friday at 11 a.m. MT with the women’s discus throw while track events start at 9 a.m. Friday with the women’s 10,000-meter run. Field events continue into Saturday while a variety of event finals will be held on the track on Saturday. The final event of the 2013 Mountain West Outdoor Track & Field Championships will be the men’s 4x400-meter relay, which is slated for 4:10 p.m. MT Saturday.
Overall, the CSU men’s team is looking to improve upon its fifth-place finish from the 2012 outdoor championships. “The men’s team is competing well right now. I like where they’re at heading into the conference championships. They’ve got nothing to lose so we will coach them to be very aggressive when they compete,” said Bedard.
The women’s team is out to match or improve upon its second-place finish from the 2012 outdoor championships, and Bedard is expecting a breakthrough at the conference meet. “The women’s team has certain event areas that are strong and we will lean on those events. I think we can surprise some teams in other event areas. They haven’t seen our best, but they will,” he said.