22 CSU athletes head to Lawrence, Kan., to compete for berths at national championship meet
Bedard named MW Women's Coach of the Year; Van Veen crowned men's discus champion
Aaliyah Pete three-peats; Rams lead on both sides heading into final day
Rams attempt to become second MW school to repeat as men's and women's outdoor champions in same season
Successful home meet prepares Rams to defend MW outdoor team titles
Photos from the fourth and final day of the 2016 Mountain West Outdoor Track & Field Championships in Clovis, Calif.
CSU Fum McGraw Quadrangular - photos by Don Reichert
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Coach Brian Bedard is entering his 10th year as the Rams' head coach and his 27th season as a track coach for Colorado State University. During his coaching tenure, Colorado State track and field athletes have won many honors, including the history-making men’s and women’s victory at the 2015 Mountain West Conference (MWC) Outdoor Championships, the first ever dual outdoor titles in school history. Bedard won the men’s and women’s MWC Outdoor Track Coach of the Year honors. He was also honored with the USTFCCCA Regional Coach of the Year Award. In the summer Bedard was selected as the throwing coach for the women’s Junior Pan Am team. The women’s squad won 3 gold and 3 silver medals in the throwing events.
Bedard has been on the Rams coaching staff since the fall of 1988 when he began his career as the throwing events coach. He was honored as the Mountain Region and NCAA Division I Assistant Coach of the Year in 2005. He has personally coached two Olympians, 2 x USA National discus champion, two NCAA Champions, 38 All-American performances, and 67 conference champions. All of Colorado State’s school records in the throwing events have been set during Bedard’s tenure. In 2005, Bedard was inducted into the Colorado State University Hall of Fame for his accomplishments as a coach. Bedard received another coaching honor in 2013 winning the USTFCCCA Women’s Midwest Region Head Coach of the year award.
The women’s team placed 3rd at the MWC indoor meet and were team champions at the Outdoor MWC meet, while the men were MWC runner-up indoors and Champions at the outdoor meet. CSU qualified 23 athletes to the NCAA West Preliminary Meet in 2015 and many of those athletes return this year. Bedard feels, “With this year’s signing class I’m excited about what our teams can do this season. On paper it’s the best signing class we’ve ever put together, now we need to help the athletes live up to those expectations.”
The CSU Track and Cross Country teams have a tradition of academic success under Bedard’s leadership. Last season the Ram’s earned USTFCCCA All-Academic Team honors in men’s and women’s Cross Country and Track and Field. Both, the men’s and women’s Cross Country teams earned a cumulative GPA of 3.29 for the 2014 season. The women’s track team had a 3.21 cumulative GPA and the men’s team earned a 3.12 GPA to qualify for team selection. Bedard supports and strives for high academic standards with his teams and celebrates those academic achievements equally with athletic achievement. The teams also achieved 51 Academic All-Conference Awards in the 2015 season.
Bedard’s 2015 season boasts women’s champions in the shot and weight throw indoors and an unprecedented sweep of the outdoor throwing events. This is the first time in MWC history that one school has dominated all throwing events at the Championships. Bedard’s throwing crew earned 8 MWC Champions and two All-American awards. Kiah Hicks was a 2nd Team All-American in the 20# weight indoors and 2nd team All-American in the discus outdoors. Hicks became the MWC Champion in the discus with a new conference record which was one of the longest discus throws in the country at 59.92m or 196’6”. That throw also qualified her for the USA Championship. The Rams had 8 throwers qualify for the NCAA First Round Meet.
Coach Bedard's expertise extends well beyond the throwing events. For three seasons he coached the long jump and triple jump events at CSU and was also the heptathlon/decathlon coordinator for 10 seasons. He coached Liz Toman to a school record, conference championship, and NCAA qualifying mark in the high jump. In the multi-events Bedard coached conference champions in the decathlon, and CSU records in the heptathlon and women’s triple jump.
One of Coach Bedard’s most successful athletes is Casey Malone, a discus thrower he originally recruited from Colorado’s Arvada West High School. Bedard and Malone have worked together for 20 years and Casey has qualified for 20 U.S. Championships in a row. In the 2010 season Casey won his second discus title at the USA Championships. In 2009 Casey also won the discus title earning a spot on the US team competing at the World Championships placing 5th. In 2008 Casey placed 3rd at the Olympic Trials, securing a spot on the United States Olympic Team that competed in Beijing. Malone also made the U.S. Olympic Team in 2004 and placed 5th in the discus competition at the Athens Olympics. In 1996, when Malone was a freshman at Colorado State, Bedard coached him to a Junior National title and a Junior World Championship gold medal. In all during his collegiate career, Malone garnered four All-American certificates and an NCAA title in the discus. He currently owns the Colorado State University school record in the discus at 211 ft. 6 in. Casey continued to improve under Bedard’s coaching reaching a personal best 68.49m or 224’7”.
Another of Bedard’s standout throwers is Loree Smith, the 2005 NCAA National Champion hammer thrower, who was also the runner-up in the indoor weight throw and a five-time All-American. Loree set the American collegiate record in the indoor weight throw with a mark of 74 ft. 3 in. during the 2005 indoor season. Loree also set an NCAA collegiate record in the hammer throw at the MWC Championships with a throw of 229 ft. 9 in. (70.02 m). Smith earned a spot on the United States Olympic Team in 2008 and competed in the hammer throw in the Beijing Olympics.
Many other athletes have enjoyed tremendous success under Coach Bedard’s guidance. He coached Shelly Borrman, a Fort Collins native and five-time All-American and 1999 NCAA discus runner-up, who still owns the Colorado State school record and Western Athletic Conference (WAC) record in the discus with a throw of 198 ft. 8 in. Another discus thrower, Liz Toman, placed second in the 2001 NCAA National Championships. Drew Loftin was the 2003 NCAA indoor runner-up in the weight throw and outdoor runner-up in the hammer. Loftin threw 71 ft. 1.5 in. in the weight throw and 232 ft. in the hammer while competing for the Rams. Bedard continued to work with Loftin after his collegiate career throwing 252’ and placing 5th at the 2012 Olympic Trials, and 4th at the 2013 USA Championships.
Coach Bedard has shared his coaching expertise as a featured speaker at numerous conferences and clinics across the country. He has also developed two instructional DVD’s on discus throwing technique, which are available through Championship Books and Videos. Before he began his coaching career, Bedard was a student-athlete in track and field at Colorado State University from 1983-88. He finished as the Western Athletic Conference runner-up in the discus and placed eighth in the shot put.
Bedard is married to Jill Bedard (formerly Johnson) a Colorado State University Hall of Fame inductee and volleyball standout from 1987-90. They have two daughters, 19-year-old Kelcey and 17-year-old Baylee. Kelcey competed in her first season as a red-shirt for Colorado State University. In her first year throwing the hammer she recorded a mark of 173’.
"Our staff is working hard to recruit athletes that can score in more than one event area, have outstanding character and exceptional work ethic. The staff is looking for the best athletes in the region that fit our program’s philosophy. I’m excited to see this talented group of freshman begin their careers at Colorado State University. With this recruiting class and the record number of athletes that qualified for the NCAA West meet it gives us a good indication of the potential of this team. Our staff believes we can win the MWC this season!"
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