CU Buffs’ Sage Hurta named Pac-12 Scholar-Athlete of the Year


University of Colorado senior Sage Hurta has been named the Pac-12 Women’s Cross Country Scholar-Athlete of the Year, the league office announced on Friday prior to the racing of the conference championships.

The award, which is presented in each of the 24 sports the Pac-12 sponsors, was established to honor collegiate student-athletes that are standouts both academically and in their sports discipline.

Hurta is a three-time NCAA Cross Country All-American and is majoring in chemical and biological engineering. Through her first six semesters at CU, she has recorded a 3.98 grade point average. Hurta has been a member of the Dean’s List and Athletic Director’s Honor Roll all six semesters. She has also has recorded a 4.0 GPA five times. She has been a Pac-12 All-Academic First Team member twice and a USTFCCCA All-Academic selection three times.

The Hamilton, N.Y., native was named to the All-Pac-12 Second Team in 2017 as a sophomore after recording a ninth-place finish, which helped the Buffaloes win their third straight conference title. At the NCAA Mountain Region Championship, she was 12th overall in 2017, CU’s No. 2 scorer, which earned her all-region honors. At the NCAA Championships, she improved each year. Hurta was 40th in 2016, 35th in 2017 and in 2018, her 22nd place finish helped CU win the team championship for the first time since 2004.

This is the third time in four years the Buffs have earned the honor on the women’s side. Erin Clark was the women’s recipient in 2016, while Kaitlyn Benner won in 2017. In total, five Buffs have earned the award since 2015. The men won back-to-back honors with Morgan Pearson winning in 2015 and Ben Saarel earning the honor in 2016.

In order to be eligible for the Pac-12 Scholar-Athlete of the Year award, student-athletes must be a senior (in athletics eligibility) on track to receive a degree, have a cumulative grade point average of 3.0 or higher, participate in at least 50 percent of the scheduled contests in the sport and have a minimum one year in residence at the institution. Each Pac-12 institution may nominate one individual per sport, and the winners are selected by a committee of Pac-12 staff members at the conclusion of each sport’s regular season. The athletics accomplishments of the nominees are a consideration in voting for the award.