LOGAN, Utah - Jefferson Abbey, Mostafa Hassan, Aaliyah Pete and Emily Romo of the Colorado State track & field team won individual titles in their respective events as each of the Rams' women's and men's teams finished second at the 2017 Mountain West Outdoor Track & Field Championships from Ralph Maughan Track Stadium.
CSU's women's team finished with 134 points, while the Rams' men tallied 165.5 points. San Diego State won the conference title on the women's side with 159.5 points, while Air Force placed first in men's competition with 218.5 points.
The Rams finished with 10 individual champions over the four-day meet. The first to claim an individual title on Saturday was Pete, who won the women's shot put with a MW Championships record and facility record mark of 55-8.5. With her fourth outdoor title on Saturday, Pete stands alone as the only athlete in MW history - in women's or men's track & field - to win a combined seven shot put titles between outdoor and indoor competition. Pete is also the only athlete -women's or men's - to win four outdoor shot put titles.
Hassan topped the MW men's shot put field by nearly eight feet to give the Rams a sweep of women's and men's shot put competition. The Cairo, Egypt native heaved the shot put 66-4.5 (20.23m) for his second outdoor shot put title (fourth overall, including two indoor titles) and set a new MW Championships record.
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The next Ram to claim an individual title after Pete on Saturday was Romo, who ran a remarkable final 100 meters to run down San Diego State's Simone Glenn at the finish line. Romo was several meters back of Glenn coming off the final turn, but erupted down the stretch to edge Glenn by one hundredth of a second. Romo's winning time of 53.55 sets a new CSU record.
Abbey won the men's 5,000 meters, becoming CSU's first individual MW champion in the event since 2000 (Mike Klass). Abbey's winning time was 15:10.68. Abbey made his move in the final lap and used a burst of speed over the final two turns to separate from the competition down the stretch. On the women's side of the 5,000, MW 3,000-meter steeplechase champion Janelle Lincks placed third with a time of 16:24.25 (unofficial altitude conversion of 16:00.42). Her time ranks third in program history.
-- Mountain West (@MW_OlySports) May 14, 2017
Cole Rockhold (15:18.62) also scored for CSU in the men's 5,000, placing fourth despite doubling up on distance races with the 1,500 meters earlier on Saturday. Rockhold also placed fourth in the 1,500 meters with a time of 3:48.12, topping the previous facility record. Eli Oftedal also scored for the Rams in the 1,500 meters, placing eighth with a time of 3:51.52. In the women's 1,500 meters, Roxy Trotter (4:30.08) placed fifth, while Dominique Ward (4:30.14) finished in sixth. The top middle distance performance of the day on the women's side came from Macy Kreutz, who placed second in the 800 meters with a time of 2:07.20. Kreutz's time ranks third in CSU history.
The Rams got a strong start on each of the women's and men's side with top-three finishes in the 4x100 relays, the first events of the day. CSU's team of Romo, Abby Simpson, Leah Fair and Lorenda Holston clocked a program-record time of 44.79 to take third place, while the Rams' men placed second with a time of 41.14. The Rams added a fifth-place finish in the 4x400 relay on the men's side (3:21.29), as well as a seventh-place finish in the 4x400 relay on the women's side (3:50.52).
Holston scored additional points for the CSU women in the 100-meter hurdles, clocking a time of 13.41 for fifth place. Fair scored points for the Rams in two events individually, placing seventh in the 100 meters (11.95) and eighth (24.48) in the 200 meters. Ronald Sayles scored in each of the 100 and 200 on the men's side, placing eighth in each with respective times of 10.90 and 21.75.
In men's hurdles races, Jace Horak (14.49) and Hunter Price (14.61) placed sixth and seventh in the 110-meter hurdles, respectively. Darius Smith ran a season-best 52.53 to place sixth in the 400-meter hurdles, while Jalen Hunter placed eighth. On the women's side of the 400-meter hurdles, each of Katie Werman (fourth) and Emma Kratzberg (eighth) scored for CSU. Werman finished in 1:01.32, the No. 9 time on CSU's all-time outdoor list.
Collin Scheer scored for the Rams in his third different jumping event of the meet, as he placed fourth in the triple jump with a mark of 48-5.25 (14.76m). Daniel Baumgardt leapt 46-2.75 (14.09m) for seventh place on Saturday. Nick Meihaus placed fifth in the pole vault with a mark of 15-7.75 (4.77m) to round out CSU scorers on the men's side.
On the women's side, McKenzie Wright leapt 39-2.25 (11.94m) in the triple jump to place sixth, while Tarah Vijayasarathy placed eighth with a mark of 38-1 (11.62m). Wright added a fourth-place finish in the high jump, clearing 5-8.75 (1.78m). Autumn Gardner cleared the same height and placed fifth based upon number of misses.
IN THEIR WORDS
Colorado State head coach Brian Bedard
On the team overall:
"I really liked what I saw from the Rams. We had some outstanding performances, lifetime bests, records. I thought we did about as much as we could. I thought our team laid it all on the line - I saw some really special things. I didn't see where we had any major blunders, and if we did have a few, we had some people make up for it. I loved the effort and attitude from the whole squad and how we supported each other so well."
On Jefferson Abbey:
"Jefferson Abbey is fun to watch. He races smart, he listens to his coaches and does exactly what he's supposed to do. He put the hammer down and won a championship. I'm proud of that guy."
On Janelle Lincks:
"She was one of the top performers of the meet. What I saw in the steeplechase and then in the 5k tonight was absolutely fantastic. I knew she wasn't going to be out-kicked in the end, because I saw what she did in the steeple. Her confidence is just exploding. One of the fastest 5k times ever run by a Colorado State athlete, and it was at altitude and against one of the best fields in the country."
On Aaliyah Pete:
"Seven championships for that young lady, and she did it in style, setting a new meet and facility record. That was nice to see. She did a great job."
On Emily Romo:
"I was watching her go into that corner and it wasn't looking good. Watching what happened on this backstretch was something special. It was a school record - that was awesome to watch."
- Aaliyah Pete's seventh shot put title (combined indoor and outdoor) broke a previous tie with Candis Kelley of TCU. Kelley won six women's titles from 2006-09. Leif Arrhenius of BYU won five men's titles from 2008-11.
- Mostafa Hassan is the fourth athlete in Mountain West history to win two outdoor men's shot put titles, along with Leif Arrhenius of BYU, Niklas Arrhenius of BYU, Jim Roberts of BYU and Daniel Lawson of BYU.
- Hassan's four shot put titles (two outdoor, two indoor) are the second-most men's titles only to Leif Arrhenius of BYU (five from 2008-11).
- Emily Romo's time of 53.55 broke a 14-year-old CSU record. Katrice Thomas ran the 400 meters in 53.64 for CSU on May 17, 2003.
- The CSU women's 4x100 relay team's time of 44.79 topped the previous record of 45.02, which was set by Lettia Wilson, Abby Simpson, Leah Fair and Lorenda Holston on April 26, 2015.
The Colorado State track & field team is off from competition this week before returning to action next week at the NCAA West Preliminaries in Austin, Texas. Qualifying athletes will compete at the NCAA West Preliminary from Thursday, May 25 through Saturday, May 27.
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