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CSU indoor track team claims both men’s, women’s MW titles

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Collegian | Ava Kerzic

Grab a dust pan because the Colorado State indoor track and field team has swept the Mountain West championships.

After a grueling three-day competition down in Albuquerque, New Mexico, the track and field team claimed both championship titles, with the women at 113 points and the men at 162.

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The meet began 10 a.m. Feb. 22 when the preliminaries for the men’s heptathlon put three Rams in the top six.

The distance medley relay ended the events of day one and set the tone for the rest of the meet as the women dominated the field with a time of 11 minutes, 33.99 seconds.

The athletes within this event were Brooklyn Ewert running the 800-meter leg, Grace Gordon running the 400, Anna Petr in the 1,600 and Yasmin Austridge starting the relay off in the 1,200.

The men also had a strong distance medley relay, as they placed fourth and gained one point after New Mexico‘s relay team was disqualified for misconduct in the 400-meter portion of the race.

The stakes were high going into the weekend, as the women were the reigning champions from last year by one point over New Mexico.

The men went into this weekend tied with New Mexico and Air Force for the No. 1 spot after placing second last year, falling just behind Air Force.

Every point mattered, and the Rams made that clear with several athletes reaching personal bests to place in the finals and claim points for the team.

These athletes — Ryan Birkmeier, Mya Lesnar and Mariano Kis — all grabbed the top spots in their events.

Coming down to the finish in the men’s 800-meter run, Birkmeier out-kicked Utah State’s Landon Bott by 0.27 seconds. In doing so, he won his first individual indoor title and broke the school record with a time of 1:48.54.

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In an interview with the MW after his 800, Birkmeier commented on the moments leading up to this race and how his training has been going.

“I knew I had 1:48 in me this season,” Birkmeier said. “I just haven’t really felt the best in other races, but I knew when it came to the conference race with the stake at hand of winning a team title, I would need to get it done.”

Even with a great finish to a tough competition, the Rams couldn’t seem to settle. For athletes like Lesnar, their seasons are not over. She will be traveling to Boston March 8 to compete against some of the best in the nation.

Her 19.10-meter shot put throw landed her not only a gold medal in the conference but also a No. 1 ranking in the nation.

On top of this prestigious honor, both her and her teammate, Kis, received the Most Outstanding Field Performer title, awarded by the MW.

“They are such a great team that challenges us all the time,” coach Brian Bedard said in an interview with the MW. “We make them better; they make us better.”

Kensey May can be reached at sports@collegian.com or on Twitter @rmcollegianspts.

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