Feb. 9, 2009
By John Manuszak
Athletic Media Relations
FORT COLLINS, Colo. – The Colorado State track and field program announced Monday the signing of seven student-athletes to National Letters of Intent. Five athletes from the state of Colorado, including four from the Fort Collins area, highlight the class of 2009.
“I think this class really addresses some needs in our program,” said Head Coach Brian Bedard. “We currently have some holes in certain areas of our program and I think our coaching staff did a good job in addressing those. This group should make us better next year. Over the last few years, we’ve made a big push to recruit this area and region more heavily and to give in-state kids the first opportunity and I think we did that this year.”
The four athletes from Fort Collins include Miranda Benzel from Fort Collins High School, Jessie Evitt and Meagan Robinson from Poudre High School, and Ashly Lester from Rocky Mountain High School. In addition, CSU added Andrew Roberts from Lyons High School in Lyons, Colo. The Rams also signed Cate Brus from Cody, Wyo., and Whitney Henderson from Hamilton, Mont.
Benzel led the Lambkins to a state cross country title in 2008 and a seventh-place finish at the Nike Cross Country Nationals in Portland, Ore. She was the individual champion of the prestigious Liberty Bell Invitational, placed third at the Nike Cross Country Nationals Southwest regional meet and finished fourth individually at the Colorado State meet.
Evitt was a member of the 4x400 meter relay team that competed at the 2008 USATF Junior National Championships last year. She was a regional qualifier in both the 200-meter and 400-meter races last year and was a first-team all-league selection in softball.
Robinson, a sprinter and two-sport standout for the Impalas, was named first team academic all-state in 2007 and honorable mention academic all-state in 2008. She is a three-year letterwinner and was a state qualifier in the 4x400 relay in both 2006 and 2007, and also in the 400-meter dash in 2007 and 2008. She also runs the 100 and 200 meters and is a member of the softball team. Her father and uncle both attended Colorado State.
Lester, who captured the 400-meter state title and finished eighth in the 100 meters in 2008, joins the Rams after receiving track offers from Oklahoma State, New Mexico and Colorado. She has captured three state titles during her high school career, including being a member of the state champion 4x400-meter relay teams in 2006 and 2007, while also capturing an individual title in the 400-meter dash in 2008. Lester also is a two-year letterwinner in softball for the Lobos.
Brus, from Cody High School, was the Wyoming state champion in both the indoor and outdoor high jump in 2008. She also finished runner-up in the 100-meter hurdles and 300-meter hurdles last year. Brus also played volleyball and basketball for the Fillies.
Henderson, from Corvallis (Mont.) High School, is the 2008 Montana Division A state champion in the 100 meters, 200 meters and 400 meters. She excelled as a three-sport athlete at Corvallis. Henderson has personal bests of 25.6 seconds in the 200 meters and 57.9 in the 400 meters.
On the men’s side, the Rams add Roberts from Lyons (Colo.) High School. He was the 2008 2A state champion in the 3,200-meter run and was also the 2008 state runner-up in the 1,600 meters during the track season. Roberts finished runner-up at the Colorado state cross country championships and 12th individually at the Footlocker Midwest regional meet.