Madie Boreman continues CU Buffs steeplechase tradition as national runner-up

She didn’t quite bring home gold. Yet Madison Boreman undoubtedly has set the tone toward becoming the University of Colorado’s next great steeplechase performer.

Boreman capped a stellar freshman campaign Saturday with another stirring run in the final of the 3,000-meter steeplechase, finishing second overall at the NCAA outdoor track and field championships in Eugene, Ore.

Sophomore Dani Jones placed fifth in the women’s 1,500-meter run, while Erin Clark finished 16th in the women’s 5,000-meter run.

Boreman turned in the meet’s fourth-best preliminary time on Thursday, winning the opening heat with a career-best mark of 9 minutes, 51.00 seconds. She was even better on Saturday, finishing in 9:46.48 to edge Penn State’s Tori Gerlach (9:46.76) for the runner-up slot. Boise State’s Allie Ostrander won the event with a time of 9:41.31.

While Ostrander, also a freshman, might prove a difficult foe to conquer in the coming years, Boreman’s performance puts her on track to perhaps join a list of elite CU steeplechase standouts that includes Jenny Simpson, Shalaya Kipp, and Emma Coburn. That trio combined to win six NCAA outdoor steeplechase national championships in eight seasons between 2006 and 2013.

Jones turned in the top 1,500-meter prelim time on Thursday at 4:10.74 but her paced dipped somewhat on Saturday, finishing fifth with a 4:14.35. Jones was narrowly edged for fourth-place by Oregon freshman Katie Rainsberger, a Colorado Springs native who won a total of 10 track and cross country titles at Air Academy.

“We had a good day. I am happy with how the women did on this final day,” CU coach Mark Wetmore said. “Dani had a good run in the 1,500 meters. Just a sophomore finishing fifth, the race was packed up and had a wild last lap, a couple girls ran a 61, and Dani had a 62. But, she was ninth a year ago and fifth this year, she keeps moving up. Great time from two days ago, the 4:10 is the fastest collegiate time in the country. So good day for Dani and a really great year.”

“(Boreman) came in on nobody’s form chart, had a wonderful trial round two days ago at 9:51, the fastest CU freshman ever. But found another gear today and ran with the leaders, gunned down second place in the last 100 meters or so. 9:46.48, again the fastest freshman at Colorado ever, and points for the team.”

Two days after earning All-American accolades with a fifth-place finish in the 10,000-meter run, Clark capped her season with a time of 16:04.91 in the 5,000.

The Buffaloes finished 12th in the team standings with 16 points, the program’s best showing at the outdoor finals since a 12th-place finish in 2005.

“Erin Clark came back after running the 10,000, very few people do that well. And she did it well,” Wetmore said. “Didn’t get any points for us, but she did get an All-American honor and ran her fastest time of the year. She was running against a lot of runners with fresher legs. End of the day, the women were 12th, that is a high finish for us. We are really pleased with that.”

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