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CSU’s women’s cross country team ends championship drought

CSUs+womens+cross+country+team+ends+championship+drought
Collegian | Ava Kerzic

Colorado State competed in the Mountain West cross country championship in Eagle Island State Park in Idaho, where the men’s team competed in an 8K, while the women’s team raced a 6K.

Heading into the championship, the CSU women’s cross country team was projected to take home gold and win the conference. Since the last time the team won the championship in 2007, New Mexico has dominated the Mountain West, accumulating 15 straight championships. Not one other team in the conference has won the women’s team championship.

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Fortunately for Ram fans, Sarah Carter had something to say about that.

The senior was in complete control of the women’s race from the beginning. Her only competition was New Mexico junior Nicola Jansen, who clocked in shortly after her. Carter finished the race in first place, posting a 19:48.5 finishing time.

Junior Quinn McConnell stayed consistent throughout the race for the Rams and finished fifth, clocking in a 20:26.1 to help take home the championship for CSU.

Yasmin Austridge, a recent transfer to CSU, placed seventh for the Rams. CSU saw themselves sitting nicely in the standing with three top-10 placements. Kensey May placed 11th as well.

As a team, CSU had scored only 39 points, compared to Boise State, who scored 65 points and placed second. The Rams had a total time of 1:42:04.

The women’s team had collectively dominated the championship. They were in consistent control of the race, allowing them to take down New Mexico and collect their first Mountain West championship since 2007.

The men’s team, however, failed to live up to what the women’s team accomplished. Finishing in sixth place with a total of 141 points, the Rams couldn’t find and maintain a consistent stride in the race. They ended with a total time of 2:01:39.

On the plus side, Lars Mitchel placed 12th for the Rams — the best placement collectively as a team. He clocked in at an impressive 23:47.4 in the 8K. Sam Griffith was the closest Ram behind Mitchel, placing 21st with a time of 24:08.7.

New Mexico took home the trophy as they dominated the men’s side. New Mexico had an impressive new class of first-years: Habtom Samuel, Evans Kiplagat and Lukas Kiprop placed first, second and third, respectively. The trio’s incredible performance helped the Lobos take home the Mountain West men’s championship for the first time since 2014.

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Samuel went home as the individual men’s champion with an official time of 22:57.7. New Mexico fans have something to be excited about in the future with their men’s cross country team.

CSU’s cross country team has a lot to look forward to heading into the offseason. The men’s team will look to bounce back next season and win their first Mountain West title for the first time in six years. The women’s team will be celebrating their incredible win and will look to make back-to-back championship titles by this time next season.

Reach Ben Fairly at sports@collegian.com or on Twitter @benjaminfairly.

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