Earlier this month, Colorado track head coach Mark Wetmore expressed regret at not being able to get Eduardo Herrera through to the NCAA championship rounds of the 5,000-meter run, explaining that Herrera had appeared fatigued down the stretch of the college season.
Herrera wasn’t able to quite shake that trend at the Olympic Track and Field Trials. Although Herrera was able to advance to the championship round at the Trials, Herrera’s hope for an Olympic bid in the 5K ended with a 15th-place finish Sunday morning at Hayward Field in Eugene, Oregon.
Herrera finished in 14 minutes, 0.46 seconds, and his run completed an impressive Trials for former CU Buffs stars. A release from CU said Herrera is expected to return next season for the Buffs.
Four former CU athletes will compete at the Tokyo Games, which begin July 23. Highlighting that quartet is 2016 Olympic bronze medalist Emma Coburn in the steeplechase, who will be making her third consecutive Olympic appearance. She will be joined on the steeplechase team by former CU standout Val Constien, who ran a personal-best 9:18.34 on Thursday to finish third secure a spot.
Former CU distance specialist Joe Klecker earned an Olympic bid by finishing third in the 10K last week, and he will be the first of the Buffs contingent to compete in Tokyo, with the 10K scheduled for July 30. Prior to the Trials, former CU runner Morgan Pearson secured a berth on the U.S. triathlon team.
Sage Hurta, who took second in the 1,500 at the NCAA outdoor championships earlier this month, still had a shot at securing a spot in the 800 before getting undone by a fall in the semifinals on Friday. Hurt announced on her Twitter account she suffered a broken wrist in the fall. Two other Longmont-area natives — Elise Cranny (5K) and Valarie Allman (discus) — will represent the US as well.
CU’s four Olympians is the fourth-most in school history, trailing 2008 (five), 2012 (five), and 2000 (six).