|Posted March 3, 2010|
Second-year program makes major strides
Despite the fact that it was announced Wednesday that CSU-Pueblo's provisional national qualifiers would not be included in the National Indoor Championships next weekend, the ThunderWolves exit the 2009-10 Indoor season with lots of bright spots for second-year program.
CSU-Pueblo finished 2010 ranked in the top half of the nation's women's indoor track and field teams, ranked 40th out of 80 teams in the U.S. Track and Field/Cross Country Coaches' Association national rankings.
At the Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference Championships, which features some of the nation's top teams, including defending national champion Adams State, CSU-Pueblo finished sixth, netting eight all-conference recepients (First- and second-place finishers earned First-Team honors, while third- and fourth-place finishers were named Second-Team, and fifth- and sixth-place finishers were named Third-Team):
First Team all-RMAC: Krista Wiltberger (Triple Jump)
Second Team all-RMAC: Blair Gilkes (60-meter), Danita Wyatt (Triple Jump)
Third Team all-RMAC: Maya Richards, Leanne Carberry, Jazmin Evans, Vanessa Emerson (4x400 relay), Summer Hawkinson (high jump).
Nationally, the ThunderWolves ended the indoor season with one automatic qualifer in Shannon Elliott (Fr., El Paso, Tex.), who had the fourth-longest triple jump in the nation, though she regrettably had to forfeit her berth in the national championships due to injury. The Pack also had three additional provisional qualifiers in Krista Wiltberger (RFr., Colorado Springs, Colo.) and Danita Wyatt (So., Aurora, Colo.) in the triple jump, and Blair Gilkes (So., Aurora, Colo.) in the 200-meter. Wiltberger had a top-25 jump while Wyatt was 35th nationally, and Gilkes' 200-meter gallop was the 27th-best in the nation.
The ThunderWolf track team also claimed the Indoor Track and Field points in the "Steel and Silver Series," the all-sports competition between CSU-Pueblo and UC-Colorado Springs. The ThunderWolves finished higher than UCCS at the conference championships, sending the points for the sport to Pueblo. Last season, UCCS bested the first-year progam at conference.
"We're proud of the strides we've made this season," Pack coach Chad Perry said. "For us to accomplish what we have only being a second-year program is huge. We're still a young team and the sky's the limit and we're excited to see what the next few years hold."
And that's the beauty of track and field - when the indoor season is over, the outdoor season is ready to begin. The Pack tracksters have four weeks to rest before the outdoor season begins at the Colorado Mines Open in Golden on March 27.