Colorado track and field senior Sage Hurta captured the women’s 800-meter Pac-12 Championships Sunday in the final day of competition at the 2021 Pac-12 Championships in Los Angeles.
The women finished fifth in the team standings with 74.5 points and were poised o finished third before a trip in the women’s 4×400-meter relay cost the team valuable points and allowed Arizona State and Washington to pass the Buffs. The men finished ninth overall with 42 points. The USC women defended their home track with 162.50 points for the title while the Oregon men stole the show with 185 points.
“Had we not had the mishap in the relay we would have been third,” said head coach Mark Wetmore. “So other than the last two minutes it was an excellent weekend, lots of people contributing. People came here and rose up in a way that we aspire to, but don’t immediately expect. So a really good weekend for the women, almost third place just the relay problem cost us that.
Sage had a nice win for us in a fast time. Abby Nichols I think is our high points scorer, great in two killer events, but great weekend all the way around with lots of people contributing.”
Hurta ran away from the competition and never was challenged in the 800, breaking the stadium record in 2:01.53 after leading from the gun. Her title is the first conference championship at the 800-meter distance for the women since Lee Ballanger last did it in 1980.
The top points-scorer for the women was Abby Nichols who captured a pair of runner-up finishes in the 5,000 and 10,000. She finished second in the 5,000-meter run today in 15:44.47, the seventh-fastest time in CU history. This comes less than 48 hours after running the fourth-fastest time in school history in the 10,000 Friday evening.
Another Buff that added an incredible double was Micaela Degenero. The junior started the day in the finals of the women’s 1,500 where she finished second overall in 4:15.80 ahead of teammates Rachel McArthur in fourth (4:16.81) and Madie Boreman in sixth (4:17.57). Less than an hour after the completion of that race, Degenero was back on the track and finished fifth in the women’s 800 in 2:05.78, earning the second-most points for Colorado in the span of just an hour.
Senior Eriana Henderson also had a busy day for the Buffs as she raced four times in the final few hours. She helped the women’s 4×100 finish seventh in 46.51 seconds, then picked up a point in the 100 hurdles in 13.78 seconds. She followed up that performance with a fourth-place finish in the 400 hurdles in 57.69 seconds, just two-hundredths of a second off her personal best time that she set at the NCAA Championships in 2019. She finished it off with the 4×400 relay but was tripped with 10 meters to go heading to the second exchange.
The men’s side was dominated by 400-meter runners today as the men picked up 21 team points between the 400-meter run, 400-meter hurdles and both relays. After the men’s 4×100-meter relay placed eighth for a point in 40.75 seconds, Ronald Sayles and Tyler Williams started the sprinter scoring with a fifth and sixth-place finish in 47.43 seconds and 47.61 seconds in the open 400, respectfully. Not too long later, Aaron McCoy and Garrett Nelson repeated the performance with their own fifth and sixth-place finishes in 52.17 and 52.71 in the 400 hurdles. The final large sum of points came in the 4×400 as the CU quartet of Williams, McCoy, Ian Gilmore and Sayles finished third overall in 3:09.01.
“We scored well in the men’s 400, above better than the form chart would have predicted and same thing in the 400 hurdles,” said Wetmore. “Coach Bockman’s men and women had an excellent weekend. Great relay, very nice relay in this conference. To be third I think is one of our highest finishes ever.”
Prior to the 4×4, Eduardo Herrera and John Dressel finished up action in the men’s 5,000. The two navigated a field of 38 athletes to finish fourth and sixth as Herrera ran 13:36.19 and Dressel ran 13:40.36. Herrera led for nearly seven laps before being overcome in the final lap while Dressel finishes out his final conference meet as the men’s top point-scorer with 11 after finishing as the runner-up in the 10,000 Friday evening.
Men: 1. Oregon 185; 2. USC 137; 3. Washington 114; 4. Arizona State 72; 5. Arizona 67; 6. Washington State 61.5; 7. Stanford 59; 8. UCLA 46.5; 9. Colorado 42; 10. Cal 31
Women: 1. USC 162.5; 2. Oregon 151; T3. Washington 77; T3. Arizona State 77; 5. Colorado 74.5; 6. UCLA 70; 7. Stanford 64; 8. Arizona 51.5; 9. Cal 48; 10. Oregon State 21; 11. Washington State 16.5; 12. Utah 6
Men’s 4×100 Relay: 1. USC 39.65; 8. Colorado 40.75
Men’s 400 Final: 1. Johnnie Blockburger (ARIZ) 45.57; 5. Ronald Sayles (COLO) 47.43; 6. Tyler Williams (COLO) 47.61
Men’s 400 Hurdles: 1. Cameron Samuel (USC) 49.09; 5. Aaron McCoy (COLO) 52.17; 6. Garrett Nelson (COLO) 52.71
Men’s 5,000 Final: 1. Cole Hocker (OU) 13:32.68 SR; 4. Eduardo Herrera (COLO) 13:36.19; 6. John Dressel (COLO) 13:40.36; 14; Ethan Powell (COLO) 13:59.49; 15. Alec Hornecker (COLO) 14:00.83; 18. Paxton Smith (COLO) 14:13.38; 24. Austin Vancil (COLO) 14:22.26; 28. Hunter Appleton (COLO) 14:24.45; 31. Ryan Robinson (COLO) 14:29.20
Men’s 4×400 Relay: 1. USC 3:05.29; 3. Colorado 3:09.01
Men’s Discus: 1. Elijah Mason (UW) 57.65m (189-1); 16. Tyler Sconce (COLO) 46.38m (152-2); 18. Henry Carlson (COLO) 42.32m (138-10)
Women’s 4×100 Relay: 1. Oregon 42.87; 7. Colorado 46.51
Women’s 1,500 Final: 1. Ella Donaghu (STAN) 4:15.43; 2. Micaela Degenero (COLO) 4:15.80; 4. Rachel McArthur (COLO) 4:16.81; 6. Madie Boreman (COLO) 4:17.57
Women’s 100 Hurdles: 1. Anna Cockrell (USC) 12.79; 8. Eriana Henderson (COLO) 13.78
Women’s 800 Final: 1. Sage Hurta (COLO) 2:01.53 (SR); 5. Micaela Degenero (COLO) 2:05.78
Women’s 400 Hurdles: 1. Anna Cockrell (USC); 4. Eriana Henderson (COLO) 57.69; 5. Abbey Glynn (COLO) 58.07
Women’s 5,000: 1. Julie Heymach (STAN) 15:40.74 MR; 2. Abby Nichols (COLO) 15:44.47; 10. Emily Covert (COLO) 16:09.44; 16. Annie Hill (COLO) 16:23.08; 18. Kaitlyn Barthell (COLO) 16:29.98; 23. Whitney Valenti (COLO) 16:47.48; 24. Elizabeth Constien (COLO) 16:50.22; 32. Alisa Meraz-Fishbein (COLO) 17:27.66
Women’s 4×400 Relay: 1. USC 3:30.41; 11. Colorado 3:49.02
Women’s High Jump: 1. Morgan Smalls (USC) 1.83m (6-0); T6. Kylee Harr (COLO) 1.70m (5-7); T12. Allie Routledge (COLO) 1.65m (5-5); T12. Avery McMullen (COLO) 1.65m (5-5)