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CU track dominates first day of Cardinal Classic and Mt. Sac. Relays

The University of Colorado track and field program competed Friday in the first day of both the Mt. Sac Relays and the Cardinal Classic, posting numerous season best marks in 17 events competed.

Ryan Forsyth was the distance star Friday, running 13:38.01 to place sixth in the 5,000-meter invite section of the Cardinal Classic. John Dressel was right behind him in eighth with a time of 13:42.57, while Ethan Gonzales was second in the other section at 13:58.12, a three second personal best and his first time under the 14-minute barrier. Forsyth’s time was also a three second personal best.

On the other side of the state, Duane McClurkin Jr. and Jon Maas turned heads in the Mt. Sac Relays 200 by placing second and fourth with times of 21.05 and 21.32. Maas also placed sixth in the 400 open with a time of 47.02, finishing off his sprints for the weekend with a pair of lifetime bests. McClurkin Jr. will race tomorrow in the invite section of the 400 before anchoring the men’s 4×400 relay with Maas, Aaron McCoy and Kendal Smith.

One of the most impressive performances of the night came from redshirt junior Sage Hurta, who was competing unattached in the women’s 1,500 invite at Bryan Clay and placed second overall with a four second lifetime best of 4:09.48. Her time is better than the world’s best mark this season, though she will not hold the title as Hanna Green of Nike OTC Elite edged her for the win at 4:09.33. Her time will move her to fourth all-time in CU history.

Conditions were perfect for the performance with good pacing and weather. Hurta stayed in second to the bell lap and pulled up on the leader with 300 to go but she was unable to make the pass. She got passed on the turn with 150 to go, but she was able to split the middle of the two runners and push forward for second.

The women’s hurdles were another focus today with three CU women breaking the 14-second barrier. Valerie Welch and Dani Johnson both hit personal best marks at 13.97 and 13.96, respectfully to place 16th and 15th. Eriana Henderson placed 14th with a time of 13.89 seconds. Welch and Johnson also ran in the 400 hurdles, led by Welch’s fourth place finish in 1:00.07 to post personal bests in both races. Johnson ran 1:00.56 for seventh.

The men took to the 400 hurdles as well with Aaron McCoy leading with a 10th place finish in 53.24 seconds. Kellen Monestime ran 55.18 for 17th, while Nathan Hoy ran 55.35 for 19th.

In the Cardinal Classic 800, the Mann sisters both ran for second place finishes in the different sections. Elissa Mann was the runner up in the invite section with a season-best 2:06.42. Karina Mann was second in the second section with a lifetime best 2:06.72 seconds, a two second outdoor improvement.

Josh Ramos followed suit in the men’s 800 second section, placing second with a personal best of 1:51.95. Right behind him in third was Jonathan Horton with a three second personal record with a time of 1:52.03.

Also on the distance side, Kaitlyn Benner ran 15:59.19 to place fourth in the 5,000 invite section at the Cardinal Classic.

In the field events, Elisa Grandemange started things off with a 30-centimeter lifetime best in the javelin with a toss of 42.53m (139-6). She followed it up by winning the hammer throw with a toss of 58.67m (192-6), her second-best mark of the season.

Henry Carlson secured a second-place finish in the men’s javelin with a toss of 50.73m (166-5), while Wyatt Rhoads posted a season best mark of 49.10m (161-01) which was good for third. The men’s hammer throw followed with similar results as Caleb Penner placed second (49.47m | 164-4) and Brock Knechtel was third (49.12m | 161-2).

In the jumps, Gunner Rigbsy won the men’s long jump with his first jump over seven meters this season at 7.02m (23-0.5). Rhoads finished third in the event at 6.04m (19-9.75), while Cheyenne Cheshier placed fourth in the women’s long jump at 5.27m (17-3.5). The final jumper of the day was Kylee Harr in the high jump where she placed second with a clearance of 1.66m (5-5.25).