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Cross Country shines in season-opening meet at Wyoming Invite

The Colorado State Cross Country team competed in their first meet of the 2018-19 season at the Wyoming Invite as the No. 9 ranked men’s team took first place, while the women took third against teams from across the Front Range.

The teams included The University of Colorado, who came in ranked seventh nationally, as well as No. 16 Air Force Academy, Wyoming and Northern Colorado. Senior Eric Hamer set the tone for his teammates, finishing as the runner-up collegian of the meet.

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Senior Cole Rockhold finished six seconds behind his teammate in third. Junior Forrest Barton came in at fourth, with fellow seniors Carson Hume and Trent Powell rounding out the scoring for the Rams, tallying up 32 points.

With the course being more difficult than usual, coach Art Siemers is confident this opener shook off the nerves and anxiousness for his team, promising a successful season.

“We knew that on this course, Wyoming was going to come at us hard,” Siemers said. “They have some quality transfers, and (former CSU assistant) coach (Scott) Dahlberg is a good coach. I thought it was a great start for us given that it was a tough course: windy and at a little higher altitude than we train at.”

mens run cross country race
The Mens Cross Country team leads the race during the Wyoming Invite in Cheyanne on Friday. The Rams won the meet with a total of 32 points with Eric Hamer, Cole Rockhold and Forrest Barton placing second through fourth. (Matt Begeman | Collegian)

 

Siemers was very pleased with the men’s performance, focusing especially on Barton’s performance as a top-10 scorer.

“He’s been training really well for the last year-and-a-half, and it was only a matter of time until the training translated to racing,” Siemers said. “Forrest has had a few years in our program, and he’s one of those guys that we hope helps elevate us to the next level.”

On the women’s side, CSU finished as the third-place team. Pacing CSU for the women was Minnesota senior transfer, Bailey Ness. Ness finished third with a time of 18:14. Roxy Trotter finished with a time of 18:56 with redshirt freshmen Lily Tomasula-Martin and Jenna Diers as well as true freshman Ivy Gonzales contributing to the final team score.

Siemers is confident that the return of senior leaders and the Rams’ top two scorers, Ali Kallner and Macy Kreutz, will help improve the team’s standings later in the season.

“We didn’t have Ali since she got sick two days ago, and she’s our top returner this year. For her not to be able to run, I thought our ladies responded really well to run well against the other teams,” Siemers said. “I’m excited for when we get Ali and Macy (Kreutz) back, as they’re our top two returners and training really well. And you put them in with Bailey (Ness), who is going to be a star… the sky’s the limit for her this year.”

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The Rams will continue their season in four weeks in Madison, Wisconsin. The Rams will be competing at the prestigious Nuttycombe Wisconsin Invitational where they will defend former Rams’ star runner Jerrell Mock’s title. The action begins on Friday, Sept. 28.

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

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