Area athletes attending CU say conference move not unexpected

Football might be getting most of the attention in the University of Colorado’s move to the Pacific-10 Conference, but every athletic team will be affected.

The move won’t happen for two years, when Holly Odneal, a Palisade High School graduate, is a senior on the Buffs’ women’s track team.

“I think our coaches build it up a lot,” Odneal said of conference ties. “They talk about going to Big 12s; it’s what we look up to. The Big 12 was talked about being the most competitive conference.”

And now?

“I guess we’ll talk about the Pac-10 all year instead of the Big 12,” she said. “They were talking a lot about us not being in the Big 12 (during the season), and all of these different conferences, but nobody knew what was going on for sure.”

Fruita Monument High School graduate Steve Kasica just completed his sophomore season on the CU men’s track team, but will be a sophomore on the cross country team this fall, so he could be running in the Pac-Whatever cross country championships when he’s a senior.

Two Grand Junction High School graduates, Richard and Martin Medina, also run for CU’s cross country and track teams.

Kasica, who is taking classes in Boulder this summer, said the atmosphere around campus Thursday wasn’t much different than any other day.

“It’s pretty normal,” he said, adding the announcement wasn’t unexpected.

“I’m not surprised,” Kasica said. “We didn’t do well in football in the Big 12.”

When it comes to competition in track, it’s hard to find anything better than Eugene, Ore., Kasica said.

“Oregon, definitely,” he said. “At our conference meets, we’ve gone to College Station, Texas, Lubbock, Texas, Ames, Iowa, and we just got back from Columbia, Missouri,” said Kasica, who runs the 800 meters on the track team.

“They’re not great places to hang out or run. I’m looking forward to going to Eugene, Stanford and Washington.”

Odneal, who just finished her first season as a heptathlete, likes the prospect of running in California, Arizona, Oregon and Washington over Kansas, Missouri, Nebraska and Texas.

“That’ll be great,” she said. “It’s less humid.”


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