Only 10 University of Colorado athletes have ever finished a 3,000-meter race in under 8 minutes. Three did it on Saturday.
True freshman Ben Saarel led the way, finishing second in the invitational section of the 3K at the Husky Classic in Seattle.
Saarel clocked a time of 7:52.61 and was less than half a second behind Adams State's Kevin Batt (7:52.15) in the first 3K race of his career. The freshman's time placed him second all-time at CU behind Olympian Adam Goucher (7:46.03).
Blake Theroux, a two-time All-American in cross country, recorded a fifth-place finish with a time of 7:54.76, which placed him fifth on CU's all-time list.
Jake Hurysz rounded out the speedy trio, taking 10th overall (7:59.89). His time ranks 10th all-time in CU history.
"We have never had three CU guys break eight minutes for the 3K in the same season before," head coach Mark Wetmore said. "Ben ran the second fastest CU time ever. ... He is by far the fastest freshman in the NCAA at this distance this season and is sixth overall right now."
CU had three other runners in the race that also did well. Connor Winter placed 13th (8:02.70), Ammar Moussa was 18th (8:09.09) and Zach Perrin took 21st (8:12.31).
The women also did well in the invitational section of the 3K. Sophomore Carrie Verdon picked up a ninth-place finish with a personal best time of 9:18. Courtney Bouchet placed 31st with a time 9:53.37.
Former Buff Emma Coburn, who also serves as a volunteer coach at CU, finished sixth in the Wanamaker Mile (4:32.01) at the 107th Millrose Games in New York.