Rams track teams have very successful 2008 season

Women win first-ever outdoor conference title

The 2008 Colorado State track and field season was a very successful one, filled with many individual wins and personal bests as well as the school’s first-ever women’s outdoor conference title.The indoor season started on the right foot with Jason Schutz,Alex Godell and Stacey Poulos all setting personal bests in the weight throw and Jason Smith setting a lifetime best in the triple jump at the first event of the season, the Wyoming Invitational. On Feb. 2, the women’steam won the first scored meet of the season, the Air Force Invitational,with 113 points as Kristen Hemphill (3,000 meters), Tanesha Johnson(triple jump) and Ashleigh Morton (pole vault) all won individual events. On the men’s side, Drew Morano won the 400-meter dash as the men finished in sixth place overall.

Individual success continued at the Air Force Open on Feb.10, as Ashleigh Morton (pole vault) and Tanesha Johnson (triple jump)both set personal bests while Bobby Potrykus (800 meters) and Jason (weight throw) posted individual wins. The following week at the Husky Invitational hosted by the University of Washington, Hemphill set a CSU record in the 3,000 meters (9:30.34) and joined Drew Morano(400 meters) and Jason Schutz (weight throw) in achieving NCAA provisional qualifying marks in the final tune-up for the Mountain West Conference championships in Colorado Springs, Colo.

The MWC championships were successful for the Rams, as the women finished second overall to TCU by 7.5 points and the men finished in fifth. Freshman Allison Gohl won the 5,000 meters with a time of 17:41.41 with Kirsten Anthony, Ellie Rastall and Hemphill all joining her in the top 10. Hemphill won the 3,000 meters in 10:22.04,while Missy Faubus finished second in the shot put by only one centimeter. On the men’s side, Schutz continued his strong indoor season by throwing a personal best of 21.17 meters in the weight throw,finishing in second place and qualifying for the NCAA championships,the only CSU athlete to do so.

In all, nine Rams were named all-conference in 11 events:Anthony (5,000 meters), Faubus (shot put), Ryan Friese (800 meters),Gohl (5,000 meters), Hemphill (3,000 meters), Emily Pearson (60-meter hurdles, high jump, pentathlon), Morano (400 meters), Marissa Saunders (mile) and Schutz (weight throw).The indoor season came to a close with Schutz competing in the NCAA championships at the University of Arkansas on March 15.He finished in ninth place in the weight throw and earned All-America honors.

Our Outdoor Track Season

As successful as the indoor track season was, it was the outdoor season when the Rams really made their mark. At the first event of the season, the CU Potts Invitational, both Meagan Berg and Faubus set NCAA regional qualifying marks in winning the hammer throw and discus throw, respectively. The Rams featured seven other winners,with Janay DeLoach (long jump and 100 meters), Tanesha Johnson(200 meters), Nigel Joseph (400 meter hurdles), Morano (400 meters),Pearson (100-meter hurdles) and Jennifer Ugochukwu (shot put) all winning their events.

The following event, the Rob Upton Invitational, featured more Colorado State individual wins and regional qualifying marks. Alleged won the hammer throw and finished fourth in the discus throw, qualifying in both events. Morano won the 400 meters and qualified for regional's. Schutz won the discus throw and reached the NCAA qualifying mark. Faubus qualified in both the shot put and the discus throw. DeLoach (100 meters and long jump), Friese (800 meters), Kevin Johnson (110-meter hurdles), Tanesha Johnson (triple jump), Morton(pole vault), Pearson (100-meter hurdles) and Melissa Thomas (5,000meters) also all won their events.

On April 4, the team traveled to Greeley, Colo., for the Omen Classic, where several meet records and personal bests we reset. Tanesha Johnson won the triple jump, setting a personal best and meet record of 12.55 meters and reached the NCAA Regional qualifying standard. She also won the 400 meters, setting another personal best of 56.06 seconds in the process. Faubus won the shot put with a meet record throw of 14.73 meters. Finally, Schutz set a personal best of 62.53meters as he won the hammer throw, followed by Godell in second place.

The Sun Angel Classic in Tempe, Ariz., on April 13 was a banner event for the track team as seven athletes reached the regional qualifying standard in nine events. Morano topped the list as he set the Colorado State 400-meter record with a time of 45.91 seconds. DeLoach (100meters and long jump), Faubus (shot put), Joseph (400-meter hurdles),Pearson (100-meter hurdles and javelin throw), Poulos (hammer throw)and Schutz (discus throw) all reached the regional qualifying mark as well.

On April 19, CSU hosted the Ram Open, and success on the track continued for Brian Bedard’s team. Morton won the pole vault with the second-best jump in CSU history and set a personal best in the process. Faubus won both the shot put with a personal best throw of 15.92 meters and the discus throw, hitting regional qualifying mark sin both events. Niomi Ridge won the high jump with a personal best of 1.75 meters and qualified for the regional event. Regional standards were also reached by Berg (hammer throw), Cameron Carter (discus throw), Godell (hammer throw), Tanesha Johnson (100 meters),Pearson (100-meter hurdles), Schutz (hammer throw and discus throw) and Ugochukwu (shot put).

The Rams found great success the following week as CSU hosted both the Glenn Morris and the Jack Christiansen Invitationals. Pearson set both the Colorado State and Jack Christiansen Track records in the heptathlon, winning the event with 5,439 points, and was named Mountain West women’s outdoor Co-Athlete of the Week. Kevin Johns onset the track record in the decathlon as he scored 7,332 points. Both the men and women won the overall event at the Jack Christiansen, the first scored meet of the season. Tanesha Johnson won the triple jump and reached the regional qualifying standard, a feat also reached by Carter in the discus throw.

On May 3, the Rams traveled to Laramie, Wyo., for the Front Range Invitational, where the women won their second straight team title and the men finished in second. Ridge matched the school recording the high jump at 1.80 meters and reached the regional qualifying mark. Saunders won the 800 meters and set a personal best in winning the 1,500 meters as she qualified for the regional meet. On the men’s All-American Jason Schutz 44 Colorado State TRACK & FIELD 2008-092008 Season Review side, Schutz won the discus throw and finished second in the hammer throw en route to winning the most outstanding male field-event athlete. Fri ese(800 meters), Godell (hammer throw) and Jake Keyser (3,000-meter steeplechase) all won their events and reached the regional qualifying standard.On the same day, Morano broke his own 400-meter record,posting a time of 45.65 second sat the Arkansas Twilight, leading to his Mountain West men’s outdoor Co-Athlete of the Week honors.

On May 14, the Rams headed to Fort Worth, Texas, for the Mountain West Conference championships. As confident as Bedard and his team may have been going in, little did they know that the meet would go down in Colorado State track and field history. On the second day of the championships, Godell successfully defended his hammer throw title, winning with throw of 61.22 meters. In the heptathlon, Pearson set a personal best with 5,605 points, but finished in second place by 36 points. DeLoach won her second straight outdoor conference championship in the long jump with a track-record jump of 6.40 meters. Along with two indoor conference titles, DeLoach won four long jump conference titles overall.In the javelin throw, Pearson ended up with the second-best throw in school history, finishing second in the event and reaching the regional qualifying mark with a throw of 153 feet, 3.5 inches.

The final day of the championships is one that will go down in the annals of the Colorado State track and field program. The women’steam won two more individual conference titles, with Faubus winning the discus throw and Hemphill taking the title in the 5,000 meters, CSU’first-ever MWC title in the event. The highlight of the day, however, was the women’s team winning its first-ever outdoor conference team title,beating a BYU team that had won seven of the previous eight years. For this accomplishment, Bedard was named Mountain West Women’s Coach of the Year.

The men’s team also had a successful meet, finishing in fourth place overall. Morano rounded out the team’s individual titles, taking the 400 meters in a time of 45.98 seconds. The women’s team title was CSU’s third Mountain West Conference title, following wins by the 2002 men’s indoor team and the 2006 women’s indoor team.All told, the Rams had 14 athletes named all-conference in 22 events. Furthermore, 20 athletes qualified for the Midwest Regional in Lincoln, Neb., including DeLoach (long jump and 100 meters), Faubus (discus throw and shot put), Friese (800 meters), Godell (hammer throw and discus throw), Hemphill (3,000-meter steeplechase), Tanesha Johnson (triple jump and 100 meters), Pearson (javelin throw and 100-meter hurdles), Morano (400 meters) and Schutz (discus throw and hammer throw).

The Midwest Regional took place on May 31 and was yet another successful one for the CSU track and field program. Schutz was the only individual event winner, taking the discus with a throw of 55.73meters. He was an automatic qualifier for the NCAA championships in two events, earning a spot in the hammer throw along with the discus. Other automatic NCAA qualifiers included Morano in the 400 meter sand DeLoach in the long jump. Many other CSU athletes finished between sixth and 12th in their events and remained eligible for an at large bid, including Hemphil, who set a personal best in the 3,000-metersteeplechase (10:15.72) as she finished sixth.

Once the at-large bids were announced, the Rams had qualified nine athletes in 12 events for the NCAA championships, the most in the Mountain West. In addition to the automatic qualifiers, DeLoach (100 meters), Faubus (shot put and discus throw), Hemphill (3,000-meter steeplechase), Kevin Johnson(decathlon), Katie Lloyd (heptathlon), Pearson (heptathlon) and Ridge(high jump) all received NCAA invitations. For all the success of hi steam throughout the season, Bedard received his second award as he was named Mountain Region Coach of the Year by the USTFCCCA.The NCAA championships were held June 11-14 in Des Moines,Iowa.

The final meet of the outdoor season was another successful one for the Rams as four athletes were named All-America in five events.When DeLoach broke her own school record with a long jump of 6.50meters on the final jump of her career, it marked the 15th year in a row that the CSU track and field program had produced at least one All-American. She was also named as All-American in the 100 meters, becoming the third female athlete in school history to earn multiple All-America honors in the same season, joining Shelly Greathouse-Borrman (1998) and Wendy Koenig Knudson (1976).

Schutz concluded his college career by becoming only the fifth athlete in CSU history to receive consecutive All-America awards in the discus throw. Joining these two athletes as All-Americans were Lloyd and Pearson, who both earned the honor in the heptathlon, sharing CSU’s first All-America honors in the event.

The five All-America honors were the most in the Mountain West Conference and tied the 1998 school record for most in a single season. Following the season, the awards kept coming for the track program, as Schutz was named the Nye Trophy winner as outstanding male athlete at CSU and DeLoach won the Virginia K. Frank award as outstanding female athlete at CSU for all sports. Clearly the 2008 season was one of the best in CSU history.All-American Janay DeLoach2008 MWC women’s outdoor conference championship team