John Dressel left it all on the track in his final race for the Colorado Buffaloes.
While Dressel narrowly fell short of adding one last top-10 finish at an NCAA championship to his collegiate resume, he nonetheless turned in one of the top runs of his career Wednesday night at the end of the first day of the NCAA outdoor track and field championships.
Competing in the Buffs’ first event of the four-day championship meet, Dressel placed 12th in the 10,000 meter run at Hayward Field in Eugene, Ore. The CU senior was seeded 17th in the event, and his final time of 28 minutes, 3.87 seconds shattered Dressel’s previous personal-best of 28:42.17, which he posted last month while finishing second at the Pac-12 finals.
Dressel’s time also was the second-best outdoor 10K mark in CU history, trailing only Dathan Ritzenhein’s time of 27:38.50 from 2004.
Tulsa’s Patrick Dever won the 10K with a time of 27:41.87, while Colorado State’s Eric Hamer finished fifth at 27:44.87. Stanford freshman Charles Hicks was the top Pac-12 performer in the event, placing seventh (27:47.63).
“That was a hard one to process,” CU head coach Mark Wetmore said in a statement. “John ran his fastest ever, and one of the fastest ever for anyone at CU…but 12th will certainly be a disappointment for him, and he will just miss the Trials standard by a few seconds. He had a great career for Colorado, many time All-American, and never ran poorly on a big stage. He has been a great team member. I think he has still some big running coming.”
Dressel previously finished 10th in the 10K at the NCAA outdoor finals in 2019. He also placed eighth in the 5K in 2017 and 14th in the 5K in 2019. During his CU career, Dressel also posted two top-10 finishes at the NCAA indoor championships (fourth in the 5K in 2017; eighth in the 3K in 2017) and also recorded two top-10 finishes at the NCAA cross country championships (seventh in 2019, ninth in 2018).
Day two of the meet on Thursday will be a busy one for the Buffs with the opening rounds of the women’s competitions, beginning with a trio of Buffs — Sage Hurta, Micaela Degenero, and Rachel McArthur — competing in the semifinal heat of the 1,500 meter run at 4:46 p.m. MT.
Madie Boreman, the 2017 NCAA runner-up in the steeplechase, takes off in the semifinal of that event at 5:02 p.m. MT, followed by Eriana Henderson and Longmont native Abbey Glynn in the semifinal heat of the 400 hurdles at 6:30 p.m. MT. Abby Nichols caps the day with the first of her two championship events in the 10K at 7:08 p.m.