Jan. 26, 2013
By Nate Lake
Athletic Media Relations
COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. – The Colorado State track & field team finished up the third and final day of the 23rd Air Force Invitational Saturday. CSU jumpers stole the show on the final day of competition, earning a multitude of top-five finishes in the various jumps events.
Leading the way for the Colorado State jumpers was Graham Gilliland, who triumphantly returned from injury to lead a group of Ram athletes that captured the top three spots in the men’s triple jump. Colorado State track & field head coach Brian Bedard was more than pleased with Gilliland’s performance. “Graham is finally healthy, and feeling good. What’s amazing with that is he was competing with a short approach, using only 8 steps. That’s a real good sign for him. He’s back, he’s strong, and he’s competing extremely well,” Bedard said Saturday.
Gilliland jumped 48’10.75”, followed by teammates Jonathan Edmunds and Trey Richardson, who jumped 47’9.25” and 47’0.75”, respectively. Dominance in the men’s triple jump, however, was not the only impressive performance from Ram jumpers on the day. Transfer athlete Ashley Reid took away second place in the women’s high jump in her first time competing as a Ram, jumping 5’9.75”. Teammate Jazmyn Webster tied for third, jumping 5’6”. Morgan Griffin captured fifth place in the women’s pole vault with a jump of 11’1.75”, a day after winning the women’s unseeded pole vault. Cheyenne Hall jumped 38’11.5” in the women’s triple jump to earn second place.
Ram throwers also continued to show their unlimited potential Saturday. Sophomore Kiah Hicks gained yet another victory in the women’s shot put, tossing 50’4.5”, a personal record and among the best in Colorado State indoor history. Teammate Elizabeth Johnson threw 47’9.25” to earn third place. Freshman Tyler Schultz continued to impress in the men’s shot put, throwing 56’11.25”. He earned second place, bested only by Wyoming standout Mason Finley, who threw 65’9.75”.
Freshman Marina Roberts captured fourth place in the women’s 3,000 meter run, finishing in a time of 11 minutes, 8.75 seconds. In the women’s 60 meter hurdles final, Kalie Kirk finished in fourth place with a time of 8.83 seconds. She was followed by teammates Stephanie Gerber and Kara Hyde, who finished in fifth and sixth places with times of 8.86 and 8.96 seconds, respectively. Former Ram and Olympian Janay DeLoach, running for Nike, won the event with a time of 8.20 seconds.
Head Coach Brian Bedard thought the key to the Rams’ success was the encouragement and support that was displayed among teammates throughout the meet. “The chemistry of the team is coming together. We’re being extremely supportive of each other while teammates are competing. There’s just a really good positive energy from the team and a good effort from the team. I think when that happens, when you see the effort and the attitude there, then good things happen.”
The improving chemistry is a definite positive for the Rams as they move ever closer to the Mountain West Conference Indoor Track & Field Championships in February. The Rams next compete on Feb. 1-2, when they travel to Lincoln, Neb. for the Husker Invitational.