Four Rams Qualify for NCAA Outdoor Championships
SACRAMENTO, Calif. – Kelcey Bedard, Mostafa Hassan and Cole Rockhold of the Colorado State track & field team turned in NCAA Outdoor Championship qualifying performances on Saturday's final day of the NCAA West Preliminary, joining distance runner Grant Fischer, who qualified on Thursday.
An athlete must finish in the top 12 in an event to advance to the Championships.
Despite missing nearly the entire outdoor season due to injury, Hassan will make his sixth NCAA Championships appearance. The two-time NCAA indoor champion placed fifth in the shot put on Saturday, notching his best throw of 64-6.5 (19.76m) on his third and final attempt .
"He was very composed and did exactly what he needed to do," head coach Brian Bedard said. "I think he set himself up pretty well heading in to the NCAA Championships, and looks much more technically sound. He's healthy and I feel pretty good about where he's at and the direction he's headed in. It was another big step from the conference meet."
Rockhold took second place in his heat and seventh overall with a time of 13:49.82 in the 5,000 meters to advance to nationals in the event for the second consecutive season. Carson Hume (14:04.83) finished 27th in the 5,000 meters, while Wayde Hall (14:46.04) placed 45th in the event.
"In championship races, things can go a lot of ways," said distance coach Art Siemers. "The whole strategy regardless of how fast the race went or didn't go was to stay out of trouble and to try to stay up front so that you can make a move when the best guys make a move. Cole did a great job of that and matched them when the pace picked up.
"I think (Utah State's) Dillon (Maggard) may have had a little chip on his shoulder from conference and was the first one to take off and may have gotten the jump on Cole. This is about qualifying, though, not winning your heat, and Cole closed the fastest over the final 400 meters. It's a step in the right direction heading to NCAA finals."
Bedard will make her first NCAA Championships appearance after finishing 10th in the women's hammer on Saturday. The junior from Fort Collins, had her best mark on her first attempt with a mark of 203-0 (61.88m).
"She had a really nice throw on her first attempt and was good in warm-ups - she did a good job of getting prepared to compete," Coach Bedard said of his daughter. "It was obviously one of her goals to reach the NCAA Championships, and I don't know if it's sunk in yet today for either me or her."
Linnea Jonsson finished just shy of a bid to Eugene, Ore., placing 16th in the women's hammer with a mark of 200-1 (60.98m). Aimee Larrabee was the third Ram to finish in the upper half of Saturday's hammer competition, finishing 22nd overall with a mark of 195-6 (59.59m). Rounding out performances by Rams in the throws was Austin Blaho's 45th-place finish and shot put mark of 54-7.25 (16.64m).
In other track events, Colorado State's women's 4x100-meter relay team of Jasmine Chesson, Destinee Rocker, Marybeth Sant and Lettia Wilson finished 21st overall with a time of 45.71, while Roxy Trotter finished 24th in the women's 1,500 meters (4:35.01). In other field events, sophomore Trenton Wallace made his second NCAA West Preliminary high jump appearance, placing 34th overall. The Texan's mark was 6-9 (2.06m).