Makena Morley, Dani Jones advance to NCAA finals in 5,000-meter run

Eduardo Herrera advances in 1,500-meter run

The Colorado track and field team will enjoy solid representation at the NCAA Championships.

One Buffaloes runner earned his first NCAA finals bid while two others will head to the championships to compete in multiple events after another solid night by CU Saturday at the NCAA West Preliminaries at Sacramento State University.

Makena Morley and reigning NCAA cross country champion Dani Jones led the way in the women’s 5,000-meter run. Morley, who qualified for nationals in the 10,000-meter run on Thursday, finished seventh in 15 minutes, 42.55 seconds. Jones advanced with a time of 15:46.93, placing 11th. Tabor Scholl missed the cut, finishing 25th, as did, perhaps more surprisingly, senior Kaitlyn Benner. Benner also previously qualified for nationals in the 10,000 but finished a distant 29th in the 5,000.

Like Morley, John Dressel will compete in two events at nationals, adding a bid in the 5,000 on Saturday to the finals berth in the 10,000 he collected on Thursday. Dressel, who finished seventh in the 5,000 at nationals two years ago, advanced on Saturday with a time of 14:07.98.

Third-year sophomore Eduardo Herrera earned his first ticket to the national finals in the men’s 1,500-meter run, finishing fifth with a time of 3:41.35. That mark was nearly four seconds better than Herrera’s preliminary time on Thursday. After a strong run Thursday in the women’s 1,500-meter run, Karina Mann’s NCAA hopes ended with a 19th-place finish Saturday night.

In the 4 x 400 relays, the CU women’s team advanced to the finals by placing eighth overall in 3:34.92. The men’s team was unable to repeat that feat, finishing off the pace in 22nd place.