CSU track & field set to open 2017-18 indoor season

Mamadou Balde

Hassan prepares to throw shot put
Senior Mostafa Hassan competes at the Mountain West Indoor Championships. Hassan enters the 2017-18 season as a leader for CSU. (Juan Labreche/NCAA photos)

The Colorado State Rams are slated to kick off the 2017-18 indoor track & field season at the two-day Colorado School of Mines Alumni classic in Golden, Colo. beginning Thursday, Dec. 7. Following the action on Friday, CSU will head to Colorado Springs to participate in the Air Force Holiday Open.

The rams finished last season with the program’s highest-ever indoor finish, placing at No. 12. CSU sent 10 athletes to the NCAA Outdoor Track and Field Championships last season, six on the men’s side and four on the women’s side.

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Returning for the Rams is senior Mostafa Hassan, who last season led the nation in the outdoor shot put event and finished second at the NCCA Championships. Hassan set a Mountain West record last year with a mark of 69-11/21.31m, breaking the previous record by four feet. The Cairo, Egypt native recently competed at the IAAF World Championships against 32 other athletes in London. Hassan also earned All-Mountain West honors and the Mountain West Student-Athlete of the Year Award.

The Rams had six other indoor MW individual champions in 2016 including Jerrell Mock (5,000-meter), Josh Cogdill (heptathlon), Aaliyah Pete (shot put), Hunter Price (high jump), Cole Rockhold (3,000-meter) and Emily Romo (400-meter).

CSU recently added former Colorado School of Mines coach Andrew Epperson as an assistant coach. In 2015, Epperson helped coach Mines to its first NCAA Championship in any sport.

“I thought hard and long about who could really help our program keep moving in the right direction,” head coach Art Siemers said about Epperson in a release. “I had coached Andrew for three years at Mines and he was one of the hardest workers I have ever coached in my career. He’s a huge student of the sport and loves track & field and cross country.”

Epperson, who continues to run professionally, is looking to help the already improving track & field program grow.

“I have a huge passion for running and working with student-athletes and am excited to start a new chapter at Colorado State,” Epperson said in a release. “The men’s and women’s teams have improved vastly in the past couple years and look to be on the brink of something very special. I look forward to bringing my experience from Mines and applying it to the season and challenges ahead.”

The CSM Alumni Classic will take place on Thursday, Dec. 7 and Friday, Dec. 8 at the Steinhauer Fieldhouse in Golden, Colo.

Collegian sports reporter Mamadou Balde can be reached by email at sports@collegian.com or on Twitter @mamadoubalde62.