CU men finish second, women fourth at NCAA cross country regionals

The University of Colorado men’s cross country team recorded a second-place finish on Friday afternoon at the NCAA Mountain Region Championship to earn their 28th straight trip to the NCAA Championships.

The CU women finished fourth in their race and will have to wait until the NCAA announces the 31-team field on Saturday.

The top two teams in each race receive an automatic berth, but Colorado head coach Mark Wetmore is quite optimistic the women will be joining the men in Terre Haute next Saturday.

“I’d be surprised if we don’t advance,” he said.

With the top three men’s teams in the nation racing against each other, No. 1 Northern Arizona, No. 2 BYU and No. 3 Colorado, it was going to be a race to the finish.

NAU placed all five of its scorers in the top nine, which included the first three finishers, to win the meet with 21 points. BYU and CU battled it out for second place and after the completion of the 10-kilometer race, the Buffs edged the Cougars, 53-56. This was the second meeting between the two teams as they raced against each other at NCAA Pre-Nationals where BYU defeated CU by two points (81-83).

The top three teams were in a league of their own as they were the only teams to finish with less than 100 points. Utah State placed fourth with 106 points.

“Always happy with the men,” Wetmore said “Nobody had a real bad day. We trained hard this week. They could be a lot better rested.”

The Buffs ran a great team race. They started off fourth after the 1k split and from then on, were second or third. Senior John Dressel was the top performer for CU. He tied his best regional finish with his second fifth-place finish. Dressel crossed the finish in 30:35.5.

Senior Joe Klecker and Eduardo Herrera also ran excellent races and finished 11th and 12th, respectively. Klecker (30:48.5) finished almost 1.5 seconds in front of Herrera (30:49.9).

The Buffs, which were ranked eighth nationally, ended up fourth in the race behind No. 3 BYU (70), No. 10 New Mexico (83) and No. 15 Air Force (107). CU’s 112.5 points helped it defeat No. 9 Utah (116), which had edged them twice this season.

In this stacked region, the Buffs’ main goal was to advance to the NCAA Championship and given the points CU has collected this season, the Buffs should move on.

Colorado senior Sage Hurta led the Buffs with a ninth-place finish. She earned a time of 20:09.4 in the 6-kilometer run. She ran a pretty steady race. She was 17th after the 2k split and was 10th at the midway point.

The NCAA will announce the additional 13 teams for the NCAA Championships during a selection show on Saturday. The show will be streamed online at starting at 3 p.m.

Rose Park Golf Course (Salt Lake City, Utah.)

Women’s 6k Team results: 1. BYU 70; 2. New Mexico 83; 3. Air Force 107; 4. Colorado 112.5; 5. Utah, 116; 6. Northern Arizona 146; 7. Weber State 244; 8. Southern Utah, 267; 9. Utah State 269; 10. Colorado State 281; 11. UTEP 313; 12. Wyoming 317.5; 13. Utah Valley, 334; 14. Texas Tech 340.5; 15. Montana State 365; 16. Montana 402; 17. New Mexico State 405; 18. Idaho State 492; 19. Neveda 541.

Women’s 6k Individual results (top 10): 1. Weini Kelati, UNM, 18.58.7; 2. Ednah Kurgat, UNM, 19:55.9; 3. Erica Birk, BYU, 19:57.7; 4. Courtney Wayment, BYU, 20:03.5; 5. Camila Noe, MSU, 20:04.5; 6. Alison Pray, SUU, 20:06.0; 7. Olivia Hoj, BYU, 20:07.9; 8. Maria Mettler, AFA, 20:08.1; 9. Sage Hurta, CU, 20:09.4; 10. Mahala Norris, AFA, 20:09.5.

Other CU finishers: 20. Rachel McArthur, 20:35.4; 21. Holly Bent, 20:37.0; 27. Karina Mann, 20:46.6; 35. Annie Hill, 21:02.3; 43. Liz Constien, 21:09.4

Men’s 10k team results: 1. Northern Arizona 21; 2. Colorado 53; 3. BYU 56; 4. Utah State 106; 5. Weber State 158; 6. Wyoming 217; 7. Utah Valley 250; 8. Southern Utah 252; 9. Air Force 257; 10. Montana State 279; 11. Colorado State 305; 12. New Mexico 329; 13. UTEP 347; 14. Idaho State 399; 15. New Mexico State 407; 16. Texas Tech 413; 17. Northern Colorado 426; 18. Nevada 573; 19. Montana 576.

Men’s 10k Individual results (top 10): 1. Geordie Beamish, NAU, 30:25.6; 2. Luis Grijalva, NAU, 30:27.8; 3. Brodey Hasty, NAU, 30:30.8; 4. Conner Mantz, BYU, 30:32.6; 5. John Dressel, CU, 30:35.5; 6. Abdihamid Nur, NAU, 30:39.0; 7. Kashon Harrison, CU, 30:42.4; 8. Jacob Heslington, BYU, 30:43.3; 9. Ryan Raff, NAU, 30:44.1; 10. Daniel Carney, BYU, 30:44.3.

Other CU finishers: 11. Joe Klecker, 30:48.5; 12. Eduardo Herrera, 30:48.9; 18. Gabe Fendel, 31:03.7; 40. Austin Vancil, 31:39.1; 51. Paxton Smith, 31:58.7.