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Sports / Recreation

CSU hosting MWC Track and Field Championships

May 11, 2011
By Tony Phifer

Perennial power BYU is the favorite in both the men's and women's competitions going on at Jack Christiansen Memorial Track.

Freshman hurdler Trevor Brown is expected to compete for a title at the MWC Track and Field Championships this week at Jack Christiansen Memorial Track.The best track athletes in the Mountain West Conference are on campus this week as CSU hosts the 12th MWC Track and Field Championships at Jack Christiansen Memorial Track.

The four-day meet began Wednesday with the opening events in the men’s decathlon and women’s heptathlon. Those competitions conclude today, with the bulk of the meet set for Friday and Saturday.

“This is a great way for us to showcase CSU, our program and Fort Collins,” Rams track coach Brian Bedard said. “The Fort Collins community really comes out and supports track and field well, so we are very excited to be hosting.”

Air Force originally was scheduled to host this year’s meet, but when construction of a new facility was delayed at the Air Force Academy, CSU – scheduled to host in 2012 – offered to hold this year’s meet. CSU last hosted in 2005.

Last hurrah for BYU, Utah

This year’s meet marks the final time teams from BYU and Utah will compete as members of the MWC, as BYU will be an independent and Utah a member of the Pacific-12 Conference starting in the fall. BYU has long been the dominant force in MWC track and field, winning every men’s title and nine of the 11 women’s championships. CSU (2008) and San Diego State (2003) are the only women’s teams to beat BYU.

“BYU has always presented a great challenge for everyone in the conference because of the great depth they have in both their men’s and women’s programs,” Bedard said. “I will miss the friendships we have developed with their coaches over the years, but from a competitive standpoint, will I miss them? Probably not.”

Rams youthful but competitive

Bedard is hoping his men’s team can put together a top-three finish and the women’s team is in the top four.

“We have the youngest women’s team I’ve ever been a part of as coach,” Bedard said. “We are loaded with freshmen. They are talented and they are improving, but they need to mature from a competitive standpoint. We just lack experience.

“We’re in a better position on the men’s side. We’ve got some every good hurdlers, some good throwers, some good jumpers and some good middle-distance runners. We would love to finish in the top three but it will be a big challenge.”

The men’s team will be led by hurdlers Trevor Brown and Kelby Dias, throwers Tyson Williams and Cameron Carter, steeplechaser Spenser Lynass and 800-meter specialist Seth Butler. The women are led by thrower Jessica Sharbono, high jumper Cate Brus, steeplechaser Nicole Peters and heptathlete Sophia Wagner.

Public invited to MWC's showcase event

Admission is free for today’s final events in the decathlon and heptathlon. Admission Friday and Saturday is $5 for adults and $3 for students and children. All-event tickets are $8 for adults and $5 for students and children.