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Colorado’s Makena Morley, Erin Clark and Kaitlyn Benner finished sixth, seventh, and 10th, respectively, in the women’s 10,000-meter run at the NCAA West preliminaries on Thursday in Sacramento.

All three will be moving forward to compete in the NCAA Championships in June. Morley is now the school record holder with her time of 32:28.58.

“In the women’s 10,000 meters we had three women advance, I think they were running pretty carefully. This is a strange meet because once you’re in the top 12 that’s all that matters, there is no prize for being first, second or third, and there’s no point score, so honestly it’s a matter of advancing as easily as you can, and in the 10,000 its never very easy,” Colorado head coach Mark Wetmore said, “So they were being a little bit cagey and keeping their eyes on who was around them and what position they were in, and once they were in a group of 11 that had broken away, they had dialed it back a little bit to save some energy for two weeks from now.”

Elissa Mann finished second in her heat and 19th overall in the women’s 800-meter run, clocking in at 2:08.16 and qualifying her for Friday’s quarterfinals.

Ben Saarel clocked in at 3:46.53 putting him in 11th place in the men’s 1,500-meter run. 

“Also kind of a courageous race in difficult conditions and he got himself through to Saturday,” Wetmore said. 

Saarel will race again on Saturday to determine if he qualifies for the NCAA Nationals.

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