The Colorado State men’s cross country team put an exclamation mark on their impressive season with their first Mountain West Championship in program history.
CSU also brought home the individual championship as redshirt senior Jerrell Mock finished the 8K race with a time of 23:49.74. This time was the fifth fastest in the tournament’s history. It was the second individual conference title for in Mock’s career and second win for him on the season. Mock won Mountain West Athlete of the Year for his strong performance all season and six-year head coach Art Siemers won Men’s Coach of the Year.
Along with Mock, the Rams had three more runners finish in the top eight. Redshirt junior Cole Rockhold took second with a time of 23:50.59. Junior Eric Hamer finished fifth with a time 23:56.77 and redshirt senior Grant Fischer finished eighth at 24:03.66. The Rams also had runners finish 15th and 18th for a total of six inside the top 20. All together, it was one of the strongest performances for the Rams on the season and it could not have come at a better time than at the conference championships.
The Rams finished with a total team score of 31 points and an average finishing time of 24:02.46. Air force came in second with and team score of 59 while last year’s champion Boise State finished third with 64 points.
Meanwhile, the women’s cross country team finished seventh with 179 team points while New Mexico took home the team title with 22 team points. The top finisher for the Rams was Junior Ali Kallner with a time of 22:06.01. The women’s team earned two Mountain West Athletes of the Week honors this season as senior Darby Gilfillan and redshirt senior McKenna Spillar earned the awards.
The Rams also earned two awards during the championships, The Rams are also well represented in the All Mountain West honors. Mock, Rockhold and Hamer all received first team nods, with Fischer finding a spot on the second team.
The Rams will now travel to Logan, Utah to compete in the Mountain Regional on Nov. 10 with a chance to advance to the 2017 NCAA Division I cross country championships on Nov. 18.
Collegian sports reporter Tyler Johnson can be reached by email at email@example.com or on Twitter @TylerGjohnson20.