CU women finish 10th at NCAA cross country

Sage Hurta captures fourth All-American title

iTERRE HAUTE, IN – NOVEMBER 23: Colorado senior Sage Hurta #161 races during the NCAA cross country championships at LaVern Gibson Championship Cross Country Course on November 23, 2019, in Terre Haute, Indiana. (Photo by Daniel Petty/The Denver Post)

TERRE HAUTE, Ind. — The No. 10-ranked Colorado Buffaloes came into Saturday’s NCAA cross country championships hoping to finish better than their rank, but a late-season injury to a key senior runner made the task much harder.

“It definitely wasn’t a perfect day,” senior Sage Hurta said. “It wasn’t what our aspirations were, but it felt hard out there. Everyone went out there and fought, and we’ve had our ups and downs, but I’m proud of how we’ve come together as a team as opposed to seven individuals out there and running for each other.”

Senior Tabor Scholl suffered a lower leg injury just eight days ago at the regional championships in Salt Lake City.

“Our training staff went full speed ahead trying to get her patched up,” head coach Mark Wetmore said after the race. “I wasn’t sure we would be able to run her at all. It was only yesterday that I thought that she could race fairly well. Today she raced fairly well, but not what she should have been, judging by six weeks ago.”

Arkansas captured the team title with 96 points, completing a so-called calendar sweep by winning the 2019 indoor, outdoor and now cross country NCAA team titles. Air Force performed well, finishing 8th with 259 points, while Colorado tallied 294 points for 10th.

Runners slogged 6,000 meters through LaVern Gibson Championship Course here in near-freezing drizzle under dark gray skies.

“It was really wet,” Hurta said. “The ground was really soft, and that was the hardest thing to manage. It sapped my legs by running too much in the soft mud. The cold and the rain I didn’t notice as much. Those are the types of things you forget about when you’re running hard.”

Despite the team performance, Hurta finished 38th overall, falling 10 places in the last 2,000 meters. It was enough, still, to capture her fourth All-American title. Only one other woman in CU history, Shalaya Kipp, a 2012 Olympic steeplechaser, has also won All-American honors four times.

“I know she’s not happy with that position, but I think she deep down she’ll be pretty satisfied with being a four-time All-American, as rare as it is,” Wetmore said.

Hurta was followed by sophomore Holly Bent in 43rd, junior Rachel McArthur in 85th, freshman Annie hill in 100th, Scholl in 126th, senior Karina Mann in 189th and junior Madison Boreman in 216th.

“Our team wasn’t brilliant, but they got around the course. We weren’t sure about Tabor and her leg and some colds that we had,” Wetmore said. “It was a star-crossed year for the women. I think they know they could have done some things differently since September to be a little further up, but we’ll talk about that after Thanksgiving.”


Women’s Team Standings — 1. Arkansas 96; 2. BYU 102; 3. Stanford 123; 4. New Mexico 168; 5. NC State 190; 6. Michigan State 209; 7. Wisconsin 235; 8. Air Force 259; 9. Furman 290; 10. Colorado 294; 11. Washington 296; 12. Florida State 308; 13. Michigan 395; 14. N. Arizona 406; 15. Notre Dame 415; 16. Utah 471; 17. Boise State 474; 18. Penn State 482; 19. Indiana 509; 20. Boston College 514; 21. Ole Miss 541; 22. Illinois 549; 23. Ohio State 566; 24. Villanova 575; 25. Tulsa 584; 26. Oregon 618; 27. Columbia 624; 28. Minnesota 691; 29. Cornell 693; 30. Texas 713; 31. Harvard 782.

Women’s Individual 6-Kilometer Leaders (252 finishers)—1. Weini Kelati, UNM, 19:47.5; 2. Alicia Monson, Wis., 19:57. 1; 3. Katie Izzo, Ark., 19:59.3; 4. Taylor Werner, Ark., 20:11:1; 5. Courtney Wayment, BYU, 20:16.1; 6. Erica Birk, BYU, 20:16.1; 7. Whittni Orton, BYU, 20:17.0; 8. Ella Donaghu, Stanford, 20:17.9; 9. Ednah Kurgat, UNM, 20:18.4; 10. Elly Henes, NC State, 20:20.7.

CU Finishers – 38. Sage Hurta, 20:44.3; 43. Holly Bent, 20:54.0; 85. Rachel McArthur, 21:10.2; 100. Annie Hill, 21:16.2; 126. Tabor Scholl, 21:52.2; 189. Karina Mann, 21.58.1; 216. Madison Boreman, 22:13.3