CU Buffs’ Joe Klecker takes second in 5,000 at NCAAs

University of Colorado’s Joe Klecker finished second in the 5,000 meters on Friday at the NCAA championships in Birmingham, Ala.

The junior ran the race in a time of 13 minutes and 42.79 seconds. Wisconsin’s Morgan McDonald took first.

“I’m very happy with Joe’s race,” said head coach Mark Wetmore. “He made no mistakes. There is always traffic and rearranging of positions and he stayed calm through all of that and let things unfold and waited for attrition to thin it out. He had a great last kilometer and that’s a really excellent run for him. Very happy for him.”

Buffs junior John Dressel took 11th with a time of 13:54.58.

Two other Buffs had strong showings on the first day of the event.

The Buffs’ Makena Morley took All-American honors in the women’s 5,000 with a seventh place finish. She clocked in with a time of 15:41.67. Wisconsin’s Alicia Monson won the event.

“There are two ways to look at it, one is that she went in ranked 15th and finished seventh so that’s obviously an impressive performance,” Westmore said. “Also if you compare what she ran to get there to all the other women she might have had the best race out of the whole field because people ran 15:14 to get there then ran 15:30 something. She ran within a few seconds of her best.”

Gabby Scott advances to Saturday’s final in the 400 with third-place finish in the preliminaries.

The Buffs will continue competition on Saturday.

BUFFS SCHEDULE OF EVENTS: Saturday — Women’s mile final (3:10 p.m.); Women’s 400 final (3:50 p.m.; Women’s 3,000 final (5:10 p.m.); Men’s 3,000 final (5:25 p.m.).