CU Buffs’ Joe Klecker wins second straight Mountain Region title

University of Colorado junior Joe Klecker recorded his second consecutive NCAA Mountain Region individual title on Friday afternoon in Provo, Utah, leading the CU men to a third-place team finish.

The CU women’s team placed second to earn one of the two automatic bids to the NCAA Championships.

Klecker became the first Buff to win back-to-back region titles since Jorge Torres won three straight from 2000-02. Klecker finished the race in 29 minutes and 16.6 seconds, bettering his mark of 30:13.6 in 2017.

“I would have gladly traded a few spots at this meet a year ago for him to have a better day at the NCAA, but I do think this was much more controlled,” head coach Mark Wetmore said. “He looked comfortable the whole way and I think he’s ready to go in eight days.”

The eighth-ranked Buffaloes finished third, but put in an excellent performance with four finishing in the top 25. CU recorded 71 points, finishing behind top-ranked Northern Arizona (42) and second-rated BYU (56). The Buffs easily defeated in-state rival Colorado State, which placed fourth with 114 points.

NAU and BYU both received automatic berths to nationals with their finishes, while the Buffs will have to wait until Saturday’s NCAA announcement, but they shouldn’t have anything to worry about.

“I’m sure we’ll be through,” Wetmore said. “There’s no question really given how many points we have. It was as the form chart would have predicted.”

CU’s fourth-ranked women placed six harriers in the top-20 of the 6k race to place second to third-ranked New Mexico, 41-53. Three of those CU runners finished in almost identical times in the top-10. Senior Dani Jones led the Buffs, crossing the finish sixth in 20:01.3. Right on her tail were a pair of teammates, senior Makena Morley and junior Tabor Scholl. Morley finished seventh in 20:01.4, while Scholl was eighth in 20:01.5.

The NCAA Championships are Saturday, Nov. 17, in Madison, Wis. at Thomas Zimmer Championship Course. The women’s race is first at 9:45 a.m. MT, while the men will race at 10:45 a.m. MT.


East Bay Golf Course (Provo, Utah.)

Women’s 6k Team Results: 1. New Mexico 41; 2. Colorado 53; 3. BYU 85; 4. Southern Utah 155; 5. Air Force 169; 6. Northern Arizona 216; 7. Utah State 222; 8. Weber State 242.5; 9. Colorado State 280.5; 10. Nevada 285; 11. Utah 295; 12. Wyoming 300; 13. UTEP 323; 14. Montana State 324; 15. Utah Valley 376; 16. New Mexico State 408; 17. Idaho State 424; 18. Montana 492; 19. Texas Tech 546; 20. Northern Colorado 551.

Women’s 6k Individual Results (top 10):1. Weini Kelati, UNM, 19:15.0; 2. Ednah Kurgat, UNM, 19:31.7; 3. Erica Birk, BYU, 19:34.9; 4. Jaci Smith, AFA, 19:44.1; 5. Angie Nickerson, SUU, 19:57.6; 6. Dani Jones, CU, 20:01.3; 7. Makena Morley, CU 20:01.4; 8. Tabor Scholl, CU, 20:01.5; 9. Courtney Wayment, BYU, 20:01.7; 10. Linda Cheruiyot, BYU, 20:05.1.

Other CU Finishers: 14. Val Constien, 20:17.9; 18. Tayler Tuttle, 20:26.0; 19. Mackenzie Caldwell, 20:26.6; 40. Lindsey Koch, 21:05.6.

Men’s 10k Team Results: 1. Northern Arizona 42; 2. BYU 56; 3. Colorado 71; 4. Colorado State 114; 5. Southern Utah 156; 6. Wyoming 149; 7. Air Force 167; 8. Utah State 239; 9. Weber State 252; 10. New Mexico 256; 11. Montana State 257; 12. Idaho State 324; 13. UTEP 394; 14. Northern Colorado 406; 15. Utah Valley 427; 16. Montana 482; 17. Texas Tech 520.

Men’s 10k Individual Results (top 10): 1. Joe Klecker, CU, 29:16.6; 2. Tyler Day, NAU, 29:18.8; 3. Matthew Baxter, NAU, 29:19.0; 4. Aidan Reed, SUU, 29:23.3; 5. Eric Hamer, CSU, 29:24.1; 6. Conner Mantz, BYU, 29:24.8; 7. Peter Lomong, NAU, 29:25.0; 8. Rory Linkletter, BYU, 29:26.2; 9. Connor McMillan, BYU, 29:26.4; 10. Ryan Forsyth, 29:26.6.

Other CU Finisher: 12. John Dressel, 29:29.8; 22. Eduardo Herrera, 29:50.9; 26. Ethan Gonzales, 29:58.0; 65. Gus Newcomb, 31:08.3; 73. Paxton Smith, 31:17.9.

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