Rams split up for meets in Golden, Colo. and in Laramie, Wyo.
Rams add three throwers, two middle distance runners, as well as hurdles, jumps and multi-event athletes
Easton joins Rams staff after competing for CSU track & field from 2009-13
CSU multi-event star collects 5,032 points to cap brilliant four-year career as a Ram
CSU sophomore named first team All-American after huge final throw
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 11th year as the Rams' head coach and his 29th season as a track and field coach for Colorado State University. During his coaching tenure, Colorado State track and field athletes have won numerous honors, including the history-making women's indoor and outdoor Mountain West Conference (MWC) titles in the 2016 season, as well as each of the men’s and women’s victories at the 2015 MWC Outdoor Championships, the first ever dual outdoor titles in school history. Bedard earned women's MWC Indoor and Outdoor Track Coach of the Year honors in 2016 and in 2015 won men’s and women’s MWC Outdoor Track Coach of the Year honors. He was also honored with the U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA) 2015 Regional Coach of the Year Award. In 2015, Bedard was selected as the throwing coach for the women’s Junior Pan-Am team. The women’s squad won three gold medals and three 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, a two-time USA National discus champion, two NCAA champions, 40 All-American performances and 72 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, as he won the USTFCCCA Women’s Midwest Region Head Coach of the Year award.
In 2016, the CSU women’s team made history by winning team championships at both the MWC Indoor and Outdoor Championships, while the men placed third indoors as well as third at the outdoor meet. CSU qualified 22 athletes to the NCAA West Preliminary meet in 2016 and many of those athletes return this year. Bedard feels that “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 field and cross country teams have a tradition of academic success under Bedard’s leadership. Last season, the Rams earned USTFCCCA All-Academic Team honors in men’s and women’s cross country and track and field, while both of the men’s and women’s cross country teams earned a cumulative GPA of 3.29 for the 2015 season. The women’s track team had a 3.31 cumulative GPA, while the men’s team earned a 3.17 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. His teams earned 52 Academic All-Mountain West Awards in the 2016 season. Men’s track and field had 10 scholar-athletes and 20 academic all-conference selections, while the women’s track and field team had 18 scholar-athletes and 24 academic all-conference honorees.
The Rams were dominant in the shot put during the 2016 season. Sophomore Mostafa Hassan was the Mountain West indoor and outdoor shot put champion, and finished fifth at the NCAA Indoor Championships as well as third at the NCAA Outdoor Championships. On the women's side, Aaliyah Pete continued to dominate the MWC shot put with two more championship wins to her name. The 2015 MWC season was historic for the CSU women, who were champions in the shot put and weight throw during the indoor season and recorded an unprecedented sweep of all outdoor throwing events. That performance marked the first time in MWC history that one school has dominated all throwing events at the conference championships. The CSU throwing crew tallied eight MWC champions and two All-American awards. Kiah Hicks was a Second Team All-American in the 20lb weight indoors, as well as Second Team All-American in the discus outdoors. Hicks became the MWC champion in the discus with a new conference record, logging one of the longest discus throws in the country on a throw of 59.92m (196-6). With that throw, Hicks also qualified for the USA Championship. The Rams had eight 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. Bedard 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 guided athletes to 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 Malone has qualified for 20 U.S. Championships in a row. In the 2010 season, Malone won his second discus title at the USA Championships. Malone also won the discus title in 2009, earning a spot on the U.S. team competing at the World Championships and placing fifth. In 2008, Malone placed third 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 fifth 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 honors and an NCAA title in the discus. He currently owns the CSU school record in the discus at 211 feet, six inches. Malone continued to improve under Bedard’s coaching, and has since reached a personal best of 68.49m (224-7).
Another of Bedard’s standout throwers is Loree Smith, the 2005 NCAA National Champion hammer thrower, runner-up in the indoor weight throw and five-time All-American. Smith set the American collegiate record in the indoor weight throw with a mark of 74 feet, three inches during the 2005 indoor season, and also set an NCAA collegiate record in the hammer throw at the MWC Championships with a throw of 229 feet, nine inches (70.02m). 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, including Shelly Borrman, a Fort Collins native, five-time All-American and 1999 NCAA discus runner-up. Borrman still owns the Colorado State school record and Western Athletic Conference (WAC) record in the discus with a throw of 198 feet, eight inches. Another discus thrower, Liz Toman, placed second in the 2001 NCAA National Championships, while Drew Loftin was the 2003 NCAA indoor runner-up in the weight throw and outdoor runner-up in the hammer. Loftin threw 71 feet, 1.5 inches in the weight throw and 232 feet in the hammer while competing for the Rams. Bedard continued to work with Loftin after his collegiate career, and Loftin has since thrown 252 feet, placed fifth at the 2012 Olympic Trials as well as in fourth 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 DVDs 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, 20-year-old Kelcey and 18-year-old Baylee. Kelcey recently competed in her first track and field season as a redshirt freshman for Colorado State University, throwing the hammer for the Rams and finishing as the MWC runner-up with a mark of 190 feet, three inches. Baylee is in her first season competing for Kansas State’s soccer program.
"Our staff is working hard to recruit athletes that can score in more than one event area, have outstanding character and exceptional work ethic. We look 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 put together an outstanding team while striving to win the MWC this season!"
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