CSU track & field gaining momentum after strong Air Force Invitational

Mamadou Balde

The Colorado State track & field team continued action at the Air Force Invitational last weekend where dominant performances from the women’s weight throw and men’s shot put highlighted a successful two days for the Rams.

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)

On day one in the weight throw event, five of the Rams on the women’s side scored points towards the team’s total. Aimee Larrabee led the charge, placing second with a mark of 18.56 meters. Linnea Jonsson placed third with a mark of 18.46 meters, a personal best. Jonsson’s distance also places her as 10th all-time on CSU’s indoor list. Sophomore Kelcey Bedard placed fourth with a mark of 18.45 meters.

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“I thought the women’s weight throwers competed well tonight,” head coach Brian Bedard said in a statement. “Any time you see that many athletes scoring points for our team, that’s a good thing. Aimee (Larrabee) was very close to a lifetime best tonight and for Linnea (Jonsson) it was a lifetime best.”

No finals races were held on day one, only preliminaries.

 

On day two, the Rams dominated the men’s shot put by claiming the three top spots. Mostafa Hassan made his season debut and did not fail to impress. Hassan won the shot put event by nearly six-and-a-half feet with a mark of 19.55 meters, a mark that stands at fourth in the nation and first in the Mountain West. Austin Blaho placed second with a mark of 17.61 meters, 12th all-time on CSU’s indoor list. Alex Blaho finished third at 17.31 meters.

After these performances, CSU has three of the top four shot putters in the Mountain West with Hassan placing first, Austin Blaho second and Alex Blaho fourth.

“To go one-two-three with some pretty good competition there, that’s always good,” Bedard said. “Austin Blaho had a lifetime best, so that was fun to see. Mostafa (Hassan) didn’t throw great for him – he was pretty inconsistent – but we were looking for 19.5 to 20 meters as a starting point for him and he threw 19.55. We just need to get back to some consistent training and get him settled down after he traveled back from Egypt. The plan is to prepare to throw him at the CU Open and get him on track.”

Picking up where they left off on the track, Destinee Rocker placed second in the 60 meter hurdles with a time of 8.41, a personal best. In the men’s 60 meter hurdles, Jalen Hunter also recorded a personal best with his time of 7.93 and a third place finish. Both Rocker and Hunter’s times are third on CSU’s all-time indoor lists.

In the women’s 60 meter hurdles, Marybeth Sant continued her dominant performance this season with a second-place finish and a time of 7.43, her season best. The performance ranks fifth all-time on CSU’s indoor list. Jasmine Chesson placed third in the 400 meters with a time of 55.93, good for seventh all-time on CSU’s indoor list.

“I thought overall our team competed pretty well,” Bedard said. “The sprints and hurdles had a pretty good day. We have some good young people getting it done. We’re going to really go after it at the CU Open. We’ll rest them up a bit, bring our full squad up there and give it a go. It should be exciting.”

The Rams next meet is scheduled for Feb. 1-3 at the CU Open in Boulder, Colo.

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