BIRMINGHAM, Ala. – Led by junior Joe Klecker, the Colorado track team capped its indoor season in impressive fashion on Saturday at the NCAA Championships.
Klecker, Makena Morley and Gabby Scott all claimed first-team All-American honors on Saturday, the second day of the national meet, held at the Birmingham CrossPlex.
After a runner-up finish in the 5,000 meters on Friday, Klecker came back Saturday to place third in the 3,000 meters with a time of 7 minutes, 54.34 seconds.
CU finished 16th in the men’s team standings with 14 points – all scored by Klecker. He scored the most points ever by a CU individual at the indoor championships.
“Joe beat Oregon, USC … he beat every Pac-12 team except Stanford,” head coach Mark Wetmore said. “He had a great weekend. The guys that beat him this weekend are excellent runners beyond just this year. They are excellent career-long runners, two of the best guys that have been in the NCAA a long time. He ran with them right to the wire two nights in a row. Brilliant double and brilliant future maybe.”
Morgan McDonald of Wisconsin won the national title in the 3,000 and 5,000, adding to the cross country title he won in the fall. Klecker wasn’t far behind, though, and now has six All-American honors in his career between cross country and track.
Morley also doubled-up on All-American honors at the meet. She placed sixth in the 3,000 on Saturday, posting a time of 9:06.74 – 5.6 seconds behind champion Jessica Hull of Oregon.
Morley was seventh in the 5,000 on Friday. A junior, she has three first-team All-American honors in his career, and two second-team honors.
“Certainly the form charts would not have predicted her scoring in both events and being first team All-American in both events,” Wetmore said. “She had an excellent weekend tactically. She is really learning how to race this level.”
To start the night for the Buffs, Scott put a cap on her sensational season, finishing seventh in the 400-meter run with a time of 53.19 seconds. USC’s Kaelin Roberts won the title, in 51.5 seconds.
Scott is the first woman in CU history to earn an All-American honor in the 400. She joined Leona Russell in 1996 as the only woman to compete in the event at the NCAA Championships for CU.
“Her 400 today was a little more like what I feared would happen yesterday; a little more traffic,” Wetmore said. “She had a great weekend to make the final; I was pleasantly surprised that she did that. She beat some people in the final and ran another good time. She has made a big step this year and maybe she can do more outdoors. She should be very happy with how things went.”
Arkansas won the women’s team title, while Florida took the men’s title.