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CSU track and field reloads with transfer talent

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Collegian | Brian Peña

As the offseason rolls on for all NCAA sports, many teams are trying to replace talent all across their roster. One of the most common methods is to use the transfer portal due to the athletes’ previous experience at the collegiate level. 

While the track and field portal is quite small compared to other sports, the Colorado State University team has managed to make a splash. The Rams have added four members who are ready to make an impact as they continue to march toward the 2023-24 season.

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The first to transfer was Yasmin Austridge, a distance runner from Lamar University. Originally from London, Austridge ran a variety of events last season, with the most success coming in the 800-meter race. Austridge earned Southland Conference first team honors in the event during both the indoor and outdoor seasons. She set the school record in the 800 at Lamar during the outdoor season with a time of 2 minutes, 4.37 seconds.

Another facet of Austridge’s talent showed in the distance meter relay during the indoor season. She finished first team all-conference along with being a member of the relay that set the school record. 

Austridge’s final school record came in the outdoor season during the 3,000-meter steeplechase. Austridge set the record with a personal best time of 9:52.12 while earning first team all-conference honors yet again. The graduate transfer qualified for the NCAA West Preliminary the past two years and hopes to make it there yet again as a Ram.

CSU’s second transfer is another distance runner: Kensey May from Syracuse University. May spent one season at Syracuse, competing as both a cross country and track and field athlete. She made an immediate impact during the cross country season, winning the John Reif Invitational 5,000-meter race with a time of 17:34.3. 

During her single track season, May exclusively ran the mile with a personal best time of 4:56.84. While her collegiate resume is limited, she has plenty of time and eligibility remaining to make an immediate impact at CSU.

The first and only male transfer of the class so far is Sam Griffith, a distance runner from Washington State University. After spending his first three years competing in both cross country and track and field, Griffith made the switch to only track last season.

Griffith spent his time running the 1,500- and 3,000-meter races, along with the 3,000-meter steeplechase. The incoming transfer showed the highest skill at the steeplechase, making the NCAA West Preliminary the last two seasons for the event. During the 2023 season, he finished with a time of 8:56.73 at the championship. However, his career-best time came during the 2021-22 season, clocking in at 8:50.21. Griffith will get plenty of chances to beat this record as a member of CSU.

The Rams’ fourth and final transfer is multi-athlete Tereza Babicka from East Carolina University. From the Czech Republic, Babicka made an immediate impact during her freshman year, emerging as the top multi-athlete within her program. 

During the indoor pentathlon, Babicka finished second in program history and sixth in the conference with a total of 3,707 points. Her top events came in the 800-meter, in which she finished second, and the long jump, in which she placed fourth.

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Her outdoor results were equally impressive, with 4,813 points in the heptathlon for a third-best result in program history and ninth in the conference. The heptathlon gave Babicka the chance to show off her javelin throw, finishing fifth with a distance of 34.23 meters.

These athletes all come from a variety of backgrounds and experiences, and they hope to make an immediate impact and keep Colorado State as one of the elite track and field programs in the region.

Reach Dylan Heinrich at sports@collegian.com or on Twitter @dylanrheinrich.

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