CSU track and field excels during busy weekend in California

Mamadou Balde

The Colorado State Rams kicked off a busy weekend in California with the Bryan Clay Invitational and the Pacific Coast Intercollegiate where multiple Rams registered personal bests.

In the heptathlon, the Rams were led by Talia Marquez who registered 4,963 total points to place fourth in the event. Her score ranks 10th on CSU’s all-time outdoor list in the event. Marquez registered a time of 2:18.96 in the 800 meters to earn 839 points towards her total, her highest scoring event.

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“She (Talia Marquez) finished well today,” assistant head coach Ryan Baily said in a statement. “She was a gamer and put a good heptathlon together. I’m really proud of the way she competed. She’s heading in the right direction and moving towards where she wants to be.”

men start a 800m race
Teammates Blake Yount (right) and Cole Rockhold (left) start the 800m race next to each other on Saturday April 7th at the CU Boulder Track Invitational.(Matt Begeman | Collegian)

Registering a personal best in the men’s shot put was senior Austin Blaho. Blaho set a mark of 17.55 meters for a second-place finish and to move up to 14th on CSU’s all-time list. Maria Muzzio set a personal best in the women’s discus with a mark of 49.83 meters. Her mark moves her up to 16th on the all-time list.

“Considering the issues we had traveling today (delayed flight), for Austin (Blaho) and Maria (Muzzio) to hit lifetime bests on a day like today is a real testament to how they were able to prepare and be able to compete,” head coach Brian Bedard said. “Definitely wasn’t the best situation to have these guys ready, so this was a really good job on their part.”

At the Mt. SAC Relays, the Rams’ distance crew continued their scorching hot season. Cole Rockhold led the Rams in the 5,000 meters with a time of 13:47.52. Currently, Rockhold’s time ranks fifth in the nation. His time ranks fourth on the all-time list. Three athletes joined Rockhold in the top 10 of CSU’s all-time list. Eric Hamer placed third in the event with a personal best time of 14:00.55 (seventh all-time). He was followed by Wayde Hall who placed fourth with a personal best time of 14:00.84 (eighth all-time). Carson Hume rounded out the top 10 with a seventh place finish and a time of 14:03.64.

“I thought we had some good things happen this weekend, and I thought we ran tough given the travel,” distance coach Art Siemers said. “We’re taking the right steps to doing some big things heading to the end of the season. I thought that the guys running in the last 5k of the night ran especially well. Their goal was to run a time that would be an NCAA first-round qualifier and traditionally that’s under 14:05. They did that, and that’s a big PR for each of those guys.”

The final day of the California trip ended with Destinee Rocker matching her own freshman record in the 100-meter hurdles. Rocker placed fourth at the Beach Invitational with a time of 13.41 to match her record. Her time is 43rd in the nation and sixth in the nation among freshman.

In the women’s high jump, the Rams were led by Autumn Gardner and McKenzie Wright who both cleared a height of 1.75 meters. Gardner placed third in the event while Wright placed fourth. In the men’s high jump Trenton Wallace set a personal best by clearing a height of 2.10 meters to place sixth in the event.

“I thought that we had some good performances today but I thought it was a little bit of a mixed bag overall,” Bedard said. “We did have some highlights this weekend, but for this particular trip, I thought we’d have more highlights or more people hitting PRs or peaking here. We’ll regroup at Wyoming, tune some things up and get ready for conference.”

The Rams will compete at the 7220 Invite hosted by the University of Wyoming in Laramie, Wyoming on April 27, their last stop before the Mountain West Championships from May 9-11.

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

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