New Colorado graduate Sage Hurta looked as if she was ready to make her move. Instead, her Olympic dreams ended in a stunning and crushing moment.
Looking for a final kick that would propel her into the championship heat of the women’s 800 meter run at the US Olympic track and field trials, Hurta accidentally clipped the back of the legs of another runner before tumbling hard to the track. Instead of competing for her first Olympic bid, the NCAA runner-up in the 1,500 was left prone on the turf.
Needing to finish in the top three of either heat, or post one of the two next-best times, in order to advance to Sunday’s final, Hurta was running in fifth in the opening heat but was on the heels of the lead runners. She perhaps was too close to the heels of Hanna Green, as Hurta appeared to graze the back of Green’s feet before losing her balance.
Hurta’s tumble proved to be the focal point for a tough day for local competitors at Hayward Field in Eugene, Ore. While his fellow Fairview Knights were competing at the state finals in Lakewood, Fairview senior Gavin Schurr finished 21st in the first round of the 200 meter dash, finishing in 20.92 seconds.
Another new CU graduate, Eriana Henderson, originally was an alternate in the 400 hurdles but was summoned to Eugene earlier this week after a scratch in the lineup. Henderson, who finished 19th at the NCAA championships two weeks ago, did not advance after finishing 22nd (58.55).
With Hurta and Henderson out, only two races remain with former Buffs. On Saturday, former CU distance specialists Makena Morley and Carrie Verdon compete in the championship of the 10K. That event was moved from Saturday evening to 11 a.m. MT in hopes of getting ahead of the heat wave assailing Eugene. On Sunday, Eduardo Herrera is set to run in the 5K championship, which also has been moved to 11 a.m. MT.