CU Buffs’ Dani Jones returns to Prefontaine Classic

Benner, Belk named Tom Hansen medalists

BOULDER CO – MAY 30, 2019: Dani Jones, center, during warm ups for the University of Colorado track athletes. (Photo by Cliff Grassmick/Staff Photographer)
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A year ago, Dani Jones was coming off a redshirt year during Colorado’s outdoor track and field season when she entered the 2018 Prefontaine Classic in the high performance section. Jones’ performance set the stage for a memorable 2018-19 school year for the Buffaloes.

One year after winning her division at the Prefontaine, Jones returns to the race on Sunday at Stanford as a much more decorated competitor. Jones was able to maintain the momentum from her win a year ago the Prefontaine Classic throughout the year for the Buffaloes, winning the women’s cross country national championship last fall before adding a title in the 5,000-meter run at the NCAA outdoor track and field championships earlier this month.

Jones’ 1,500-meter race on Sunday will feature 14 of the top runners from around the world. Her event is scheduled to begin at 3:30 MT. Jones logged a personal-best time of 4 minutes, 7.33 seconds in the 1,500 last summer at the Portland Track Festival and won the Prefontaine last year in 4:07.74.

Former Buffaloes star Emma Coburn, the reigning Olympic bronze medalist in the 3,000-meter steeplechase, will compete in the Diamond League section of the steeplechase.

Honors

Earlier this week, recently-graduated seniors Kaitlyn Benner (cross country/track) and Wilson Belk (golf) were named CU’s recipients of the Tom Hansen Conference Medal, which is awarded to a senior male and female athlete from each Pac-12 school that exemplifies “the greatest combination of performance and achievement in scholarship, athletics and leadership.”

Belk was a five-time Dean’s list honoree at CU while posting a 3.67 GP as an integrative physiology major. Benner, from Monarch High School, was the 2019 Pac-12 women’s track and field Scholar-Athlete of the Year and recorded a 3.94 GPA while majoring in chemical and biological engineering.

Additionally, Benner and teammate Sage Hurta earned 2019 Google Cloud Academic All-American second team honors.

Director’s Cup

The final results of the 2019 Director’s Cup were released this week, with Stanford taking the top national honor for the 25th consecutive year. The Cardinal won six national championships during the 2018-19 school year (men’s golf, women’s tennis, women’s volleyball, men’s gymnastics, women’s swimming, women’s water polo) and posted an aggregate score of 1,567.75. Next in line from the Pac-12 was USC (fifth nationally, 1,075.75 points) and UCLA (sixth nationally, 1,056.50). CU finished ninth in the Pac-12 and 50th nationally with 511 points.

Notable

The Pac-12 Conference announced the Pac-12 Network will broadcast live this year’s Pac-12 cross country championships. The race is scheduled for Nov. 1 with Oregon State as the host school at Trysting Tree Golf Course in Corvallis, Ore…The CU soccer team begins preseason practice Aug. 5. The Buffs volleyball team starts practice Aug. 10.