CU track’s Kaitlyn Benner and Ben Saarel named to academic all-district team

University of Colorado’s Kaitlyn Benner and Ben Saarel have been named to the All-District 7 Track and Field/Cross Country teams by the College Sports Information Directors of America (CoSIDA). This award honors student-athletes for their top performances both in the classroom and on the field.

Benner, a Superior native, is a chemical and biological engineering major and maintains an impressive 3.93 grade point average. This is the second time Benner has been named to the All-District 7 team, she also received the honor in 2016. In the fall of 2017, she was named the Pac-12 Cross Country Scholar Athlete of the Year.

During the 2017 cross country campaign, Benner helped the Buffs take home their third Pac-12 team title with an eighth place individual finish. She also finished 14th at regionals and earned her third All-America cross country honor at NCAAs with a 36th place finish.

Benner has been a vital asset to the CU distance runners; she ran a personal best at the Pac-12 Track and Field Championships earlier this month in the 10,000-meter run, clocking in at 33:11.50 for second place. She also finished 10th in the women’s 5,000 at Pac-12s.

Benner qualified for the NCAA Championships, June 6-9 in Eugune, Ore., in the 10k after finishing 10th at the west preliminary championships last Thursday in Sacramento, Calif. In the race, Benner clocked the third fastest time in school history, finishing in 32:45.05.