CSU cross country starts 2018 season with strong performance at Wyoming Invite

The Colorado State cross country teams started the 2018 season with a pair of top-3 finishes at the Wyoming Invite Friday evening. CSU's men's squad finished in first place, while the women's unit placed third in the season opener.

In the event, No. 9 CSU men's cross country tallied 32 points, which was well above the rest of the competition. The next closest team finish was Wyoming, who finished in second place with 18 points. Other teams in the meet included No. 16 Air Force, No. 7 Colorado and Northern Colorado. 

"We knew that on this course, Wyoming was going to come at us hard," head coach Art Siemers said in a release.  "They have some quality transfers, and (former CSU assistant) Coach (Scott) Dahlberg is a good coach. Air Force ran a lot of their guys, and it’s a good program. I thought it was a great start for us given that it was a tough course, windy and at a little higher altitude than we train at. I thought we ran tough. It was a good rust buster for us."

Senior Eric Hamer paced the CSU men Friday night, clocking a time of 15:13 to finish as the No. 2 collegian. Fellow senior Cole Rockhold came in just behind Hamer with a time of 15:19 to finish third, while Junior Forrest Barton was fourth with a time of 15:27. Seniors Carson Hume (15:42) and Trent Powell (15:43) finished 11th and 12th, respectively to round out the men's scorers.

On the women's side, senior Bailey Ness finished third individually, clocking a time of 18:14 in the event. The Rams were led by a senior, but over half of CSU's scorers were freshmen. Lily Tomasula-Martin led that ground with an individual 11th-place finish and time of 18:48. Fellow freshmen Ivy Gonzales (19:07) and Jenna Diers (19:15) finished as the No. 16 and No. 17 collegians, respectively, while senior Roxy Trotter (18:56) placed 13th to finish as the Rams' No. 3 scorer.

"We didn't have Ali (Kallner) since she got sick two days ago, and she's our top returner this year," Siemers said. "For her not to be able to run, I thought our ladies responded really well to run well against the other teams - we only lost to Air Force by a couple of points. I'm excited for when we get Ali and Macy (Kreutz) back, as they're our top two returners and training really well. And you put them in with Bailey (Ness), who is going to be a star. That was her first race at altitude and on a tough course. She's just a grinder, and the sky's the limit for her this year."

PHOTO: Courtesy of CSU Athletics