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CSU XC looks to NCAA Championships with new additions

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Collegian | Brian Peña

The 2023-24 season will be an exciting one for Colorado State cross country. Earlier this month, they were voted to win the Mountain West Conference in the preseason poll

This would be a big feat for first-year head coach Kelly Hart, who comes in as the youngest coach in the Mountain West. She was listed on the Notre Dame roster just two years ago in 2021.

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Hart’s youth gives her a unique perspective into what it’s like to be a student-athlete. 

“I remember what it was like to be a student-athlete,” Hart said. “Sometimes it can be too much. You have to separate a little bit, and it’s easy to get so emotional with their highs and lows, and I remember what that feels like.”

This will help her in her quest to get the Rams back to the NCAA championships in November. Hart was an assistant coach last year when the Rams sent both of their men’s and women’s squads to Stillwater, Oklahoma.

This will help her coach a team that retained a lot of its athletes from the year before. While largely staying the same, the Rams added five names via the transfer portal.

Women

Yasmin Austridge is a graduate student transfer from Lamar University, where she won the 1,500-meter in the Western Athletic Conference Outdoor Track and Field Championships. She joins the Rams with plenty of hardware and should be able to compete right away for CSU. 

Claire Hengesbaugh came over from Loyola University Chicago as a graduate transfer. She was selected to the first team All-Missouri Valley Conference team in 2018, 2020 and 2021. She will also come in and compete right away for the Rams.

Kensey May came over from Syracuse after her first-year season. She placed first in the 5,000-meter at the John Reif Invitational in her first-year season. She is one of seven athletes listed as freshman on the women’s roster.

Audrey Thronson came over from Tennessee and is the Rams’ other first-year transfer. She made the Southeastern Conference first-year academic honor roll and will bring youth to CSU.

Men

Sam Griffith is the lone transfer for the men’s team. He came to CSU from Washington State as a graduate transfer. He’s run in multiple Pac-12 championships for the Cougars and will help bolster the men’s roster.

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The Rams will run the same schedule they did last year. Their first meet will be Saturday, Sept. 2, as they travel across the border to attend the Wyoming Invite

Reach Damon Cook at sports@collegian.com or on Twitter @dwcook2001.

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About the Contributor
Damon Cook
Damon Cook, Sports Editor
Damon Cook is the 2023-24 sports editor for the The Collegian and has been at the paper since August 2022. He started doing coverage on volleyball and club sports before moving onto the women's basketball beat. He is in his third year and is completing his degree with a major in journalism and media communication and a minor in sports management. As The Collegian's sports editor, Cook reports on CSU sports and helps manage the sports desk and content throughout the week. After having a year to learn and improve, Cook will now get to be part of a new age under the sports desk. The desk moved on from all but one other person and will now enter into a new era. Damon started school as a construction management major looking to go in a completely different direction than journalism. After taking the year off during the COVID-19 pandemic, he quickly realized that construction wasn't for him. With sports and writing as passions, he finally decided to chase his dreams, with The Collegian helping him achieve that. He is most excited to bring the best and most in-depth sports coverage that The Collegian can provide.

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