Rams return after successful meets in Iowa and New Mexico

Leo Friedman

After being away for Thursday, Friday and Saturday, the Rams track and field teams have returned from their meets in Iowa and New Mexico with successful results.

The meet in New Mexico, which was focused on sprints, jumps and throws, brought numerous Rams personal records. Two freshmen, Celyn Stermer and Tom Willems, moved into CSU’s top five records on the first day for pole vaults and 400-meter sprints, respectively. Stermer placed fourth out of 28 athletes, with a height of 12 feet, 8 inches. Willems finished his 400-meter sprint with a time of 47.81, good enough for a top five finish in CSU history. 

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On the second day in New Mexico, CSU placed fourth in the women’s 4×400 relay and third and fourth in the women’s shot put. Junior Tarynn Sieg hit a season-best in that event, tossing the shot put 52 feet, 7.25 inches, and Maria Muzzio finished right behind her teammate with 51 feet, 10.5 inches. The men placed second in their 4×400 relay with a time of 3:12.08.

Other Rams that added personal records in New Mexico were Amelia Harvey in the women’s 200-meter with a time of 24.50Yolonda Johnson (57.69 seconds) in the women’s 400-meter, DeVon Washington (48.48 seconds) in the men’s 400-meter and John Fulton (21.91 seconds) and Will Domier (22.01 seconds) in the men’s 200-meter.

“I thought we had some highlights in most of our event groups,” said head coach Brian Bedard about the Don Kirby Elite Invitational. “Several season and lifetime bests, but we also had some rough spots we need to iron out before the Mountain West Championships.”

Ideally, the Rams left New Mexico with a greater understanding of the facility for the Mountain West Championships and an idea of how to prepare better for the future competition.

In Iowa, the distance runners also set some major CSU records. Redshirt senior Ali Kallner, who stood at number 20 on the CSU all-time list for the 3,000-meter race, broke her previous PR by 30 seconds to top the 3,000-meter race record with a time of 9:26.93.

“(Kallner) rarely runs the 3K, but she was ready for the challenge, and she ran a perfect race,” said head distance coach Art Siemers. “She started off in the back but worked her way up diligently and capped it with a great finish. It was funny; they were doing a new system of timing chips, and at first she didn’t get the record, but it recalculated, and she was ecstatic. … It takes a lot of coachability to improve like she has time-wise.”

On the men’s side of the Iowa meet, CSU 5K invite record holder and senior Eric Hamer placed third, notching a time of 13:43.62 seconds. While he didn’t beat his own record set earlier this season, it still is better than the second place mark on the CSU all-time list, adding to his already successful 5K career.

“He didn’t get PR, but he showed that his Boston performance (school record in December) wasn’t a fluke,” said Siemers on Hamer’s race. “He had a tough race at CU the other week and has really rebounded. He went up against some of the best in the country today and still did very well. It’s a big confidence booster for him.”

On the final day of the Iowa State meet, the Rams added three more names to Colorado State’s all-time record lists. Redshirt junior Jacob Brueckman notched a personal record and placed at number 11 on CSU’s all-time men’s mile list with a time of 4:05.76.

On the women’s side of the mile, junior Lauren Offerman just made it onto the CSU top 20 list at number 19, recording a time of 4:57.38. This beat her previous record by five seconds.

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Full results for both days of both events can be found on the CSU track and field website.

The Rams will hopefully keep their momentum in the next meet on Feb. 21 at Air Force and the Mountain West Indoor Championships soon after, beginning Feb. 27.

Leo Friedman can be reached at sports@collegian.com or @LeoFriedman13 on Twitter.