April 24, 2013
By Craig Buchanan
Athletic Media Relations
FORT COLLINS, Colo. - While most student-athletes take the offseason to refresh from the daily grind of the long season, junior volleyball player Kelsey Snider is doing anything but.
During this offseason, Snider, a native of Westminster, Colo., approached Head Coach Tom Hilbert about the possibility of competing in track to help keep her in shape for her junior season this fall.
“I thought it would be a good idea, and I really enjoyed track when I competed in it in high school,” Snider said.
Snider first made sure to get the go ahead from Hilbert before she approached Colorado State’s head track & field coach Brian Bedard, who immediately put her in touch with the jumping coaches. Shortly after, she began performing with the team.
Snider competes in the high jump, and has shown some success in recent meets. At the UNC-Tom Benich Classic, held last month in Greeley, Colo., Snider jumped 1.60 meters—the equivalent of just over five feet. Her great jump led to a season-best third-place finish in the event.
“Kelsey is an amazing person,” said assistant track & field coach Cathleen Campbell, who specializes in the high jump. “The track & field program has been lucky to have her join the team as a high jumper. Individually, her work ethic and athletic talent are off the charts.”
With her time competing in track & field, though, Snider certainly has not forgotten about her commitment to the volleyball program.
“Right now, since volleyball and track are at the same time, I mainly stick to volleyball,” Snider said. “Earlier in the season I would do my individuals in the morning, and then in the afternoon I would have track. It would be like three-a-days when I would have weights, practice and then track practice.”
After playing her first two seasons for the Rams as an outside hitter, Snider will move to middle blocker this fall to try and help fill the void left by graduating seniors Megan Plourde and Brieon Paige.
“I’m really excited about the move, first of all,” Snider said. “I love the position, and I think it fits more to how I am built and how I move.”
Hilbert agreed, noting that she was originally recruited as a middle blocker, a position that she played in high school and with her club team.
As a sophomore, Snider averaged 1.76 kills and 0.38 blocks per set, including a team-most 15 kills vs. No. 2 UCLA.
Snider is hoping that by competing in the high jump it will pay dividends on the volleyball court, particularly with her explosiveness and ability to adjust on the court.
“She’s still meeting all of her volleyball obligations, but it’s giving her something else to focus on,” Hilbert said. “I think track is a great sport, because a lot of it is individual, so it makes you accountable for yourself, and gives you a measurable goal. I think she’s a tremendous athlete, so it’s only a benefit for her, and for us.”
Hilbert noted that Katelin Batten (2006-09) competed in the shot put for a short period, but believes she is the only other volleyball player he has coached to compete in a second sport.
Snider has already shown promise at her new position on the volleyball court this spring, but she knows that she’ll have to keep improving to fill the big shoes of the players before her.
“The main thing to focus on is blocking,” she said. “The assignments are different, and you have more responsibilities. Attacking is also different, but I think I am getting the hang of it pretty quickly. I’m very excited.”
The track & field team will host the Glenn Morris Multi-Event Thursday-Friday, followed by the Jack Christiansen Invite on Saturday, but Snider will not compete due to volleyball conflicts. She is expected to compete the following weekend, May 3, at the AFA Twilight Meet, in Colorado Springs, Colo.
“Her enthusiasm and excitement is contagious,” Campbell said. “I’m looking forward to working with Kelsey again next year, and I think she will be a conference contributor in the high jump.”