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Sage Hurta, Joe Klecker and Dani Jones named To Academic All-America first team

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)

After another successful year in the classroom and on the track and cross country course, the University of Colorado placed three, Sage Hurta, Dani Jones and Joe Klecker, on the CoSIDA Academic All-America first team.

This is the second Academic All-America honor for Hurta as she was selected to the second team in 2019. Jones and Klecker are making their first appearances on the team.

The three honorees are the most CU has had in one season. Prior to this, the most the Buffs had recorded in one year was two, which they did twice. In 2018 Ben Saarel was named to the first team, while Kaitlyn Benner was tabbed to the third team. The following season Benner was elevated to the second team and was joined by Hurta.

Hurta completed her eligibility in cross country this past fall where she was named the Pac-12 Women’s Cross Country Scholar-Athlete of the Year, but will be a senior on the track and field team for the 2021 season. She became just the second female at CU to earn All-American honors in cross country all four seasons, following in the footsteps of Olympian Shalaya Kipp. The CU outdoor 800-meter record holder (2:00.99), Hurta is pursuing a degree in chemical and biological engineering. She has recorded a 3.97-grade point average over the last four years.

Jones graduated in May. She earned a pair of degrees in psychology as well as speech, language and hearing sciences while recording a 3.33 GPA. A four-time national champion, Jones earned three All-America honors following this past indoor season. She led the NCAA in the mile in 2020 and had the third-best time in the 5k. She broke a 42-year-old CU indoor 800-meter record (2:04.38), which was the fifth-best time nationally this season. Finally, she was part of CU’s distance medley relay team that ranked sixth in the NCAA.

Klecker also graduated in May with a degree in Biochemistry and a 3.66 GPA. In his final cross country season, he led CU to a team Pac-12 Championships while earning the individual crown. At the NCAA Championship, he raced to a runner-up finish and helped CU placed third as a team. During the indoor track season, he reset his school record in the 5k (13:34.10) and broke the state of Colorado soil record in the mile (4:01.00). Once converted, that time (3:55.13) led the NCAA. He also ranked sixth this season in the 5k and was seventh in the 3k.