Track & Field Preview Ė Ram Open & Mt. SAC

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Most of the Colorado State track and field team will remain at home for the Ram Open on Saturday, while a few members of the team will head west to compete in the Mt. SAC Relays in Walnut, Calif. over the weekend. The Ram Open events begin at 10:00 a.m. with the womenís hammer and the menís shot put. Running events are scheduled to begin at 11:45 withthe womenís 5000 meters.

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Up Next: Most of the Colorado State track and field team will remain at home for the Ram Open on Saturday, while a few members of the team will head west to compete in the Mt. SAC Relays in Walnut, Calif. over the weekend. The Ram Open events begin at 10:00 a.m. with the womenís hammer and the menís shot put. Running events are scheduled to begin at 11:45 withthe womenís 5000 meters.

Honored: Junior Drew Loftin was named the Mountain West Conference Menís Track & Field Athlete of the Week for the week of April 7 after his performance in the throwing events at the Tom Benich Classic. Loftin won both the shot put and the hammer throw with NCAA regional qualifying marks. He put the shot 55-3.75 and had a throw of 220-2 in the hammer.

Sun Angel Classic Recap: In the menís 3000 meter steeplechase, Mike Nicks and Raegan Robb took the top two spots, both regionally qualifying for the NCAA Championship. Nicks ran an 8:57.06 for a personal best time and Robb turned in a time of 9:02.74, which was also a personal best. In the womenís steeplechase, Meg Larson won after clocking in at 10:28.66. Drew Loftin continued his dominant ways in the hammer throw, winning with a toss of 218-0, over 12-feet better than second place. Adam Trainor was also fifth in the hammer with a throw of 196-8. Brian Trainor won the discus, after his throw of 193-7 and freshman Nate Heyrman was sixth with a personal best throw of 166-9. Jacob Benson placed third in the triple jump after clearing 47-3.75 and Christine Ahn was sixth in the pole vault with a clearance of 11-6.25. Josh Horak was also second in the pole vault with a 16-6.75 clearing and Colleen Blair placed third in the 5000 meters with a time of 17:27.43. In the menís 1500 meters, Paul Michel was fourth after crossing the finish line in 3:46.62, which is a regional qualifying time and Mary Ridder placed fifth in the 800 meters after clocking in at 2:08.30.

Mesa Classic Recap: Colorado State started the weekend in Arizona at the Mesa Classic on Friday. Sophomore Katrice Thomas won the 200 meters (24.56) and was second in the 100 meters (12.28). Freshman Haley Hunt won the hammer throw open event (174-11) with Melissa Harms taking third (173-1) in the same event. For the men, Chris Riggs was second in the 200 meters with a time of 21.57 and Brandon Kent was second in the 400 after clocking in at 49.40. Jacob Benson was second in the high jump after clearing 6-9.5 and Nate Heyrman placed third in the discus open (171-0). Drew Loftin and Brian Trainor swept the top two spots in the invitational discus event, continuing their dominance in the throws this season, throwing 190-1 and 185-5, respectively.

Major Rule Changes: The NCAA has adopted a new system of qualifying for the NCAA Championship this season in outdoor track & field. The Division I institutions are divided into four regions: east, mideast, midwest and west. Student-athletes must obtain a regional qualifying time/mark and then will compete in the NCAA Regional Championship on May 30-31. The Rams are in the midwest region which will be held at the University of Nebraska. The region includes institutions from Colorado, Iowa, Kansas, Minnesota, Montana, Nebraska, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Texas and Wyoming (a total of 39 DI schools). The top five finishers in each event will then advance to the NCAA Championship to be held at Sacramento State University June 11-14.

Personal Bests: Several Rams tallied personal bests times/marks this weekend at the two meets in Arizona. Following is a list of those student-athletes who established career highs.
Women: Colleen Blair, 5000 meters; Becky Hammitt, 800 meters; Melissa Harms, shot put; Haley Hunt, hammer; Mary Ridder, 400 meters; Anya Sawyer, 800 meters and Katrice Thomas, 100 meters.
Men: Justin Hazzard, 400 meters; Nate Heyrman, discus; Josh Horak, pole vault; Drew Loftin, discus; Brian Kelly, 800 meters; Brandon Kent, 400 meters; Ben Marvin, 800 meters; Paul Michel, 800 and 1500 meters; Mike Nicks, 800 meters and steeplechase; Chris Riggs, 100 and 400 meters; Raegan Robb, 1500 meters and steeplechase and Adam Trainor, hammer.

Tom Benich Classic Recap: The womenís team had champions in seven events with Keela Niemeyer leading the way after winning the discus throw (159-6) and turning in the top collegiate performance in the hammer throw (173-11 -- 2nd overall). She also placed second in the shot put (47-2.25) behind teammate Hannah Metzler (49-1). Mary Ridder (2:13.62) and Becky Hammitt (2:16.47) also swept the top two spots in the 800 meters for the Rams, while Kim Leal (17:28.32) and Jennifer Kintzley (17:51.00) took the top two positions in the 5000 meters, Meg Larson won the steeplechase with a time of 10:58.49 and Christine Ahn cleared 11-5.25 in the pole vault to win that event.
The menís team had champions in eight individual events and the 4x100 meter relay. John Woods won the 100 meters (10.59), while he finished second in the 200 meters (21.61) behind teammate Chris Riggs (21.60). Mike Nicks won the 1500 meters (3:54.41), leading a contingent of five Rams among the top six collegians. Mike Horton won the 110 meter hurdles with a time of 14.25 and Justin Hazzard led a trio of Rams to the finish in the 400 hurdles with his 52.69. The 4x100 meter relay won easily, crossing the finish line in 41.08, almost 9/10ths of a second ahead of second place Wyoming. Drew Loftin (55-3.75) and Brian Trainor (54-7.25) took the top two spots in the shot put, while Trainor was the top collegian in the discus (193-8). Loftin also won the hammer throw (220-2), while Adam Trainor was second among collegians on Saturday with this throw of 192-7.

2002 Returning All-Conference Performers: To earn all-conference honors, an athlete must finish in the top three in their individual event. Last season, the Rams had 19 named to the all-conference squad for their finishes in 29 different events. A list of those who return to compete in 2003 follows:
Chris Ahlgrim - javelin
Christine Ahn - pole vault
Meg Larson - steeplechase
Kim Leal - 5000 meters, 10,000 meters
Hannah Metzler - shot put, hammer
Mary Ridder - 800 meters
Chris Riggs - 4x100 relay
Adam Trainor - shot put, hammer
Tom Waido - 110 meters, 400 hurdles
Kim Watson - 1500 meters
John Woods - 100 meters, 200 meters, 4x100 relay






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