Former runners seek to support those who replaced them for CSU

Michelle Gould

In the lead up to the season, Colorado State Men’s Cross Country was ranked No. 9 according to the U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches’ Association Division I National Coaches’ Poll.

Along with this impressive national accolade, the Rams’ preseason ranking checks them in at fourth in the Mountain region, with the top-ranked being 2017 National Champions, Northern Arizona. The team has recollected themselves after CSU graduate Jarrell Mock’s faltered finish at last year’s national championship.


Coach Art Siemers speaks with the men’s and women’s cross country team before practice Monday afternoon in the Glenn Morris Field House. (Photo courtesy of Eliot Foust)

After their best national finish since 1978, the Art Siemer’s led team has instilled a culture of elite running at Colorado State with a trust in coaching, the team and their fitness at the forefront.

This recent breakthrough for the program has not only enticed Colorado’s finest and the country’s best to join the nationally-ranked team but has also begun to guide former Rams to begin their professional career in racing.

2018 graduates Mock and Grant Fischer have teamed up with coach Siemers to launch their professional careers in running, with the creation of a new Fort Collins club team called Siemers Dreamers.

The team has only expanded on what current Rams and alumni are capable of.

Although top-scoring athletes like Mock, Fisher and graduate student Wayde Hall are off of the roster, the team still look to be in good position, being led by senior Cole Rockhold. 

With Siemers coaching at both a professional and collegiate level, there is no doubt that the Rams have room for improvement, and their secret weapon is Siemers’ exceptional coaching.

The appreciation and gratitude shared among the team was the inspiration for the club team name as well as the brand name the cross country team has given themselves. 

 “The whole team has put in the best summer training that we’ve ever had,” Siemers said.

A specific focus on trust is what Siemers has begun to engrain into the program. A belief in the athletes long hours of training and overall fitness is what can make a difference, according to Siemers.

This specific style of coaching is what has brought so many newcomers to CSU.


 “The freshmen class is the best recruiting class we’ve ever had — the best CSU’s ever had,” Siemers said.

Among this talented class is freshman Michael Mooney, one of the nation’s top recruits in not only cross country but soccer.

Mooney was named 2017-18 Colorado Gatorade Player of the Year this year for his talents in soccer.

Mooney is still adjusting to the higher level of training as he transitions from being both a soccer and cross country athlete. With the limited training for cross country that encompasses being a dual-sport athlete in high school, Mooney still led the country with a top time of 8:50.96 for the 3200.

“I’m still getting adjusted to the training, but the guys on the team make it fun,” Mooney said. “And when I see myself up there with Cole (Rockhold) on some of the workouts, I know I’ve got to be doing something right. It’s pretty cool to be a part of this.”

It is not unusual for freshman runners to redshirt their first year in collegiate programs because of the increase in mileage and intensity of training. However, if they are projected to score, Siemers predicts some newcomers may be able to assist the team in their quest for another Mountain West title.

Rockhold will be returning as a newly-minted cross country All-American with tunnel-vision moving forward into his final season as a Ram.

“I want to be an All-American again,” Rockhold said. “Obviously we want to improve on our ranking and show that Colorado State is a top-five program.”

Siemers went a step further regarding the team’s success.

“Even without some of our stars, we have the confidence to compete with the best in the country,” Siemers said.

The cross country team will begin their journey to the National Collegiate Athletics Association Cross Country Championships on Aug. 31 at the Wyoming Invitational.

Collegian sports reporter Michelle Gould can be reached at or on Twitter @michellegouldd.