Colorado State dominates MW Indoor Championships
The Colorado State men’s and women’s track teams dominated the Mountain West Indoor Track & Field Championships in Albuquerque, N.M., and will return to Fort Collins with their heads held high after sweeping the field.
The men’s team finished with 151 points, edging out Air Force (136) and Utah State (97). The women’s team finished with 139 points and basically ran away with the competition. CSU’s women’s squad had 35 more points than No. 2 UNLV (104) and twice as many points as No. 3 San Diego State (69). Under head coach Brian Bedard, the Rams have now won both titles in the same season twice.
"This was probably the best women's team performance I've seen in my career,” head coach Brian Bedard said in a release. “They put it all together. I don't know how it could've gone a lot better. We had one disqualification in the 200, but we had a lot of things go so well, setting school records and NCAA qualifying marks.
“On the men's side, it was a completely different story,” Bedard continued. “I think Air Force was the favorite coming in, and they had the unfortunate situation with their entries. That provided us a crack in the door where we could go in and win a championship. The guys still had to compete hard and get it done…Air Force has a great team. My hat's off to them."
Along with the strong team performances, seven individuals won titles for Colorado State between Friday and Saturday’s events. Seniors Kelcey Bedard and Hunter Powell each won individual titles on Friday, helping set the Rams up to make a championship run on the final day on competition. Then on Saturday, Lauren Gale, Jessica Ozoude, Destinee Rocker, Cole Rockhold and Tarynn Sieg all took home individual titles en route the Rams’ two team championships.
Bedard became the second athlete in meet history to win the women's weight throw twice, recording a mark of 69-7 (21.21m).
"Considering we were training through it and she wasn't 100 percent fresh, I thought she did a good job,” coach Bedard said in a release.
“Just to see her confidence, leadership and composure improve so much over the years – things she's really worked on – that's what I'm the proudest of. The work she has put in in those areas showed today. When you see your child perform to levels you didn't know they could, it's extremely fulfilling both as a coach and a parent. It's been an honor to work with her."
Powell became CSU’s fifth individual in the last six years to win the heptathlon, finishing the event with 5,437 points. The Fort Collins, Colo., native placed second in each of the 60-meter hurdles (8.61) and the 1,000 meters (2:50.54) as well as third in the pole vault (15-5/4.70m) on his way to an individual title.
"Hunter (Powell) has come a long way,” Bedard said. “His effort and commitment in working to get better and in willing himself to the next level is up there with the best I've ever coached. The way he composed himself in the meet and the way he was having fun with the multi was exciting to see.”
Sieg won the shot by recording a personal best distance of 56-1 (17.09m). And Rocker won gold in the 60-meter hurdles, becoming the first Ram to do so. With a recorded time of 8.18, Rocker is now No. 2 on CSU's all-time indoor list and had the third-best time in MW history.
Ozoude won her first individual title with a record-setting performance in the 200 meters event, clocking a time of 23.28. Right behind her was originally Marybeth Sant, who recorded a time of 23.56. Unfortunately for Sant, the veteran was disqualified for a lane violation. The day was not a total loss for Sant though, as she took second in the 60 meters event with a time of 7.28.
Gale became the first freshman in the history of the meet to win the 400 meters event with a time of 54.43, and also was one quarter of CSU’s program-record setting 4x400 relay team. Gale, Ozoude, Chesson and Michelle Gould were able to break their own program record en route to a third-place finish in the event (3:40:55).
Finally, Rockhold’s title came in the men’s mile, finishing with a time of 4:11:03. Rockhold’s teammate Michael Mooney placed second in the event with a time of 4:12:72.