AUSTIN, Texas — A pair of Colorado runners advanced to the NCAA championships in the women's 10,000-meter run on Thursday night.

At the NCAA West regional at Mike A. Myers Stadium, Erin Clark and Makena Morley both finished in the top 12 to advance to nationals, while senior Carrie Verdon just missed the cut.

Several other Buffs had strong performances on the first day of the meet, including Dani Jones winning her heat of the women's 1,500 meters.

In the 10,000 meters, Clark led the way for CU with a sixth-place finish, crossing the finish line in 34 minutes, 41.16 seconds. A junior, Clark will be going to nationals for the third year in a row, having qualified in the 3,000-meter steeplechase the previous two years.

Morley, a freshman, finished 12th to just make the cut. She finished in 35:01.40, about seven seconds ahead of Verdon. A senior, Verdon finished 13th.

Jones finished her heat of the 1,500 meters in 4:24.12 — the fourth-best time of the day — to easily move onto the quarterfinals. She will compete in the quarterfinals Saturday night.

On the men's side, three Buffs advanced to the quarterfinals in their respective events.

In the men's 400-meter hurdles, senior Jaron Thomas finished fourth in his heat and had the 14th-best qualifying time, at 51.76 seconds. Thomas will have a busy day Friday, competing in the first round of the 110 hurdles at 4 p.m. and the quarterfinals of the 400 hurdles at 6:15 p.m.


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In the 800 meters, Nick Harris placed fifth in his heat and had the 16th-best qualifying time, at 1:50.88. He will compete in the quarterfinals Friday evening.

Ben Saarel advanced in the men's 1,500 meters, posting the second-best qualifying time of the day, at 3:49.45. He finished second in his heat, having no trouble moving on. He will compete in the quarterfinals Saturday night.

In addition to Thomas and Harris, the Buffs will have three other athletes in action Friday. Rajon O'Quinn will compete in the women's high jump, while Madison Boreman and Sage Hurta will compete in the women's 3,000-meter steeplechase.

The NCAA championships will be held June 7-10 at Hayward Field in Eugene, Ore.