Nov. 11, 2010
By Chris Feller
Athletic Media Relations
FORT COLLINS, Colo. – Saturday marks the biggest race to date for Colorado State as the Rams look to earn a spot at the NCAA championships.
Salt Lake City plays host to the 2010 NCAA Mountain regional, at which 20 teams will compete for two automatic bids to the NCAA championships held in Terre Haute, Ind., on Nov. 22. And Colorado State’s women’s team intends to capture one of those bids.
After finishing second to 10th-ranked New Mexico at the Mountain West Conference championships and entering Saturday ranked fourth in the region, the Rams feel they are up for the task.
A total of 31 teams move on to the NCAA championships, including 13 at-large bids.
“We give ourselves a good chance,” said Head Coach Bryan Berryhill. “We need to be in the top four to have a shot at one of the at-large bids.”
As in the majority of Colorado State’s races this year, the Rams will face a field of talented competition. The three teams ranked ahead of CSU within the region are all ranked in the top 10 nationally: New Mexico, 10th, and Texas Tech, third, are both coming off their third straight conference championships. Eighth-ranked Colorado finished second at the Big 12 championships.
“The Mountain region is one of the toughest regions out there,” remarked Berryhill. “I would consider it the second best in the nation behind the West region. Our fifth-best team would probably be second in other regions.”
On the men’s side, Berryhill would like to see his team return to the success it saw at the start of the season.
“We need to get back to how we were racing at the start of the year,” said the coach. “I was happy with our first three races but we’ve struggled in our last two. I think a top-seven finish is a good team goal.”
Ellie Keyser will look to make it back to nationals for the third straight year. In addition Daniel Wallis might have a good shot of individually qualifying for nationals.
“Outside of Ellie, I think Dan has a good chance if he goes out and runs like he did at the conference meet,” mentioned Berryhill.
The women’s 6,000-meter race will begin at 10:30 a.m. MT followed by the men’s 10,000-meter race at 11:45 a.m. MT. Both races