Fort Collins’ own Jasmine Chesson integral in CSU’s championship pursuit

Mamadou Balde

Having grown up in the town nestled in the foothills, freshman track & field member Jasmine Chesson was familiar with the area known as “Ram Country.” Attending Colorado State was no hard decision.

With the Rams off to a thunderous start, Chesson reflects on how she has contributed to the team’s success and the moments of joy she has experienced this season. 

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Chesson Smiles
Jasmine Chesson poses for the Rams’ Track and Field media day. Chesson, a Fort Collins native, is off to a quick start in her college career. (Photo courtesy of CSU Athletics)

Throughout the season, multiple Rams have recorded times that rank on Colorado State University’s Indoor top 20 all-time lists in a multitude of events; program records have been broken and the Rams seem poised for another run at a title this season. With the indoor track & field season already underway, the Rams have proved why they deserve to be in contention. While the Rams have relied on veteran team members during their start, performances from the team’s newest members have also greatly contributed to the overall success of the team.

Chesson is a Fort Collins native and attended Fort Collins High School before joining the Rams. She holds the high school record for the 4×400-meter relay (3.49.5) and 4×100-meter (47.9).  Chesson also helped lead the team to state championships in 2014 and 2016. She won the state title for the 4×400-meter relay in 2015.

“There are some kids who you know are going to be late bloomers and are going to develop and just get better and better,” said Conrad Crist, FCHS track and field coach. “She was an intense competitor, when it comes down to racing she was all in, she never once held back. She has so much determination and grit deep inside her.”

Chesson has had a scorching hot start to her first season against collegiate competition. At the Air Force Invitational, Chesson competed in the 400 meters event and finished with a time of 55.93. Chesson’s time ranks seventh on CSU’s all-time list for the event.

“It was very exciting because I felt like all of the hard work definitely paid off throughout the fall semester,” Chesson said. “I was quite worried about how I was going to do, especially for my first 400. Usually I’m a runner whose times aren’t that good towards the beginning; but towards the end of the season when I’m well-conditioned, I’m able to PR and do great. I was shocked, excited, but I was ready to do more and compete against anybody that came my way.”

Chesson is also an active member on CSU’s all-time list for the 200 meter. At the CU Invitational, Chesson finished the 200 meters with a time of 25:03. Chesson’s time earned her the 16th spot on the all-time list for the event. The freshman credits the start that she has had to sprints and hurdles coach Karim Abdel Wahab.

“Karim (Abdel Wahab), my sprint coach, definitely knows what he’s talking about when he’s sprinting,” Chesson said. “Sometimes it may not come out the best way or he may get on your nerves but he knows what he’s talking about and every time you’re doing bad there’s always something to improve on so it’s like a guarantee you’ll get better every time.”

“Jasmine is a very mature young woman that has a lot of potential on the track,” Wahab said. “She is really excited to be a specialized quarter-miler. She has big aspirations to do great things on the track for the Rams.”

The Rams have built an accepting culture in the locker room to help new athletes with the transition to college. For some athletes, the transition from high school can be a difficult one to adjust to; for the first time, athletes truly understand the meaning behind the student-athlete.

“Trying to fit in the different practices and trying to do well and meet coaches expectations and trying to make everyone happy overall is the hardest part,” Chesson said. “But the support of the team and atmosphere is great. I always have someone to talk to in case I had a bad day or a bad practice.”

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While Chesson has started the season off well already, her main focus is what’s ahead. The Mountain West Championships are right around the corner, taking place from Feb. 22-24.

“My mindset is to get better in the four (400 meters) and the two (200 meters), hopefully PR-ing in those two events as well as focusing on the competition,” Chesson said. “I usually let competition get to my head a little bit too much but when I’m able to manage the competition or focus on what I’m doing, I’ll be able to perform better and hopefully be able to PR and make the team proud and the coaches proud.”

With talent like Jasmine Chesson on their side, the Rams are in good hands for years to come. The Rams hope to get in shape at the Air Force Open in Colorado Springs, Colo. on Feb. 16, in preparation for the looming MW Championships.

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