STILLWATER, Okla. — The Colorado cross country team has had much better days than it had on Monday.

At the NCAA Championships, the Buffaloes finished seventh as a team on the women’s side and a surprising 14th on the men’s side, capping a COVID-19-delayed season.

The highlight of the day for CU was senior Abby Nichols placing 18th in the women’s 6K. A graduate transfer from Ohio State, Nichols earned her first career All-American honor with the top-20 finish.

In 2019 at Ohio State, Nichols was 41st at nationals.

“She absolutely had another good day,” CU head coach Mark Wetmore said. “This is her best race of the year for us, her best race ever in our uniform. She’s getting better every race. She certainly was the highlight. Very nice run for her.”

Outside of Nichols, it was a tough day for CU.

The women came to nationals ranked sixth in the USTFCCCA poll, and finished seventh. It was the eighth consecutive top-10 finish for the women, but Wetmore said that wasn’t necessarily because the Buffs ran well.

“The women weren’t wonderful,” he said. “We had one or two highlights, but for the most part, it was not an excellent race. The NCAA is an opportunity to beat people that aren’t having excellent races. That’s how we ended up seventh is we were a little less off our game than a lot of other teams, but we could have run a lot better and some people didn’t seem ready today.”

The same was true on the men’s side, as the Buffs fell short of expectations. They were ranked No. 8 coming into the meet, but posted their lowest finish since 2010, when the Buffs were 15th. In the previous nine years, the Buffs were top four on seven occasions, including a pair of national titles.

On Monday, CU was led by senior Alec Hornecker’s 59th-place finish in the 10K race.

“Honestly, for the men there are very few highlights,” Wetmore said. “Seven racers have seven bad races, it has to be on me. Some way I didn’t have them ready. I’m not sure how. We’ll have to go back to the drawing board in a day or two and look at what we did and figure out what we did wrong.”

Senior Eduardo Herrera, who won the Pac-12 championship on March 5, was CU’s fourth finisher, placing 107th overall. He had been top-55 in his previous three trips to nationals.

It was a big day for BYU, as the women won their first-ever national team title. On the men’s side, the Cougars were led by individual champion Conner Mantz.

Northern Arizona won its fourth men’s team title in the last five years, with four runners in the top nine.

Alabama’s Mercy Chelangat won the women’s individual title in her first trip to nationals.

NCAA Cross Country Championships

At Stillwater, Okla.

Men’s 10K

Team scores – 1, Northern Arizona, 60; 2, Notre Dame, 87; 3, Oklahoma State, 142; 4, Arkansas, 181; 5, Stanford, 194; 6, Tulsa, 237; 7, BYU, 254; 8, Iowa State, 265; 9, Southern Utah, 270; 10, Iona, 311. Others of note: 14, Colorado, 398; 19, Air Force, 464; 25, Washington, 568.

Top 10 individuals – 1, Conner Mantz, BYU, 29:26.1; 2, Adriaan Wildschutt, Florida State, 29:48.2; 3, Wesley Kiptoo, Iowa State, 29:54.9; 4, Nico Young, Northern Arizona, 29:58.3; 5, Patrick Dever, Tulsa, 30:00.0; 6, Blaise Ferro, Northern Arizona, 30:02.0; 7, Abdihamid Nur, Northern Arizona, 30:05.3; 8, Isai Rodriguez, Oklahoma State, 30:08.3; 9, Luis Grijalva, Northern Arizona, 30:10.2; 10, Danny Kilrea, Notre Dame, 30:11.5.

CU results – 59, Alec Hornecker, 31:05.6; 87, Austin Vancil, 31:24.4; 95, Ethan Powell, 31:30.3; 107, Eduardo Herrera, 31:35.4; 117, Paxton Smith, 31:39.8; 183, Jace Aschbrenner, 32:36.7; 195, Hunter Appleton, 32:44.4.

Women’s 6K

Team scores – 1, BYU, 96; 2, North Carolina State, 161; 3, Stanford, 207; 4, Michigan State, 212; 5, Minnesota, 239; 6, New Mexico, 274; 7, Colorado, 279; 8, Alabama, 280; 9, Boise State, 304; 10, Arkansas, 316. Others of note: 13, Washington, 330; 16, Oregon State, 375; 23, Colorado State, 532.

Top 10 individuals – 1, Mercy Chelangat, Alabama, 20:01.1; 2, Tayor Roe, Oklahoma State, 20:06.7; 3, Amaris Tyynismaa, Alabama, 20:10.2; 4, Mahala Norris, Air Force, 20:11.8; 5, Hannah Steelman, North Carolina State, 20:14.9; 6, Taryn O’Neill, Northern Arizona, 20:23.0; 7, Summer Allen, Weber State, 20:23.3; 8, Bethany Hasz, Minnesota, 20:25.2; 9, Kelsey Chmiel, North Carolina State, 20:26.4; 10, Ella Donaghu, Stanford, 20:26.7.

CU results – 18, Abby Nichols, 20:35.8; 72, Elizabeth Constien, 21:18.5; 74, Madison Boreman, 21:19.2; 87, Micaela Degenero, 21:26.7; 96, Emily Covert, 21:29.0; 100, Camille Jackson, 21:29.8; 133, Rachel McArthur, 22:01.8.