CU women’s cross country takes first place at Pre-Nationals

CU men place second in Tallahassee

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The fifth-ranked University of Colorado women’s cross country team flexed its muscle on Friday morning in Tallahassee, Fla., winning the NCAA Pre-National Invitational by almost 100 points.

The Buffaloes recorded 54 points in the 6-kilometer garnet race at Apalachee Regional Park and the runner-up, 10th-rated Utah, recorded 149. CU’s dominating performance was led by All-American Abby Nichols as she recorded her first cross country win in a CU uniform, crossing the finish line in 19 minutes, 46.4 seconds.

Not to be outdone, the men placed second in the men’s garnet 8k race. Top-ranked Northern Arizona won the men’s race (64) while the Buffs edged out ninth-ranked Arkansas. Both teams recorded 128 points but the Buffs took won the tiebreaker to place second while the Razorbacks placed third. No. 5 BYU finished fourth with 131 points.

Individually Eduardo Herrera led the men with a seventh-place performance, crossing in 23:01.4.

“The men’s race was a little deeper than the women’s,” head coach Mark Wetmore said. “We were the highest-ranked team in the women’s race so it’s not a big surprise that we won. I think we ran a little better than people expected and we beat some other ranked teams by more than was expected.”

Colorado’s women turned in a dominating performance, especially in the second half of the race. The Buffaloes were in seventh at the 1,170-meter split, but at the second split (2,170) CU had moved up to second and was less than 50 points behind the host, No. 15 Florida State, 73-120.

The Buffs continued their patient drive to the front and in the following 800 meters completed that drive, basically flipping the score with FSU, 73-108. From that point on, Colorado would only increase its lead. At the 4K split, the lead was 65-137 over FSU. With 1,000-meters left to run, CU extend the advantage even more over the Seminoles (58-140).

Colorado’s men raced against 11 other USTFCCCA ranked teams and it was a battle as CU, BYU and Arkansas ran a close race against each other.

At the midway point of the 8k race, NAU had pulled away from the field, but the race for second was just getting started. Colorado was second with 113 points, while BYU was third (117) and Arkansas (121) was fourth. The standings were the same at the 5k split, but things were still tight (107-122-128).

A change came in the team standings with 1,000-meters left to race as the Razorbacks pulled in front of BYU and CU. UA recorded 131 points at that time and BYU and CU each had 132. The Buffaloes pulled ahead of BYU in the final stretch and even though they technically tied UA, CU took second, winning the tiebreaker 3-2.

The Buffs will start postseason action with the Pac-12 Championships on October 29.

NCAA PRE-NATIONAL INVITATIONAL

Tallahassee, Fla. (Apalachee Regional Park)

Garnet Women’s Race (6k)

Team Results (Top 10 of 33): 1. Colorado 54; 2. Utah 149; 3. Florida State 163; 4. Ole Miss 165; 5. North Carolina 184; 6. Arkansas 243; 7. Northern Arizona 279; 8. Liberty 279; 9. Illinois; 10. Georgetown 317.

Individual Results (Top 10 Individuals of 246): 1. Abby Nichols, CU, 19:46.4; 2. Lauren Gregory, Arkansas, 19:47.7; 3. Lauren Ryan, FSU, 19:51.1; 4. Taryn O’Neill, NAU, 19:53.4; 5. Emily Covert, CU, 19:54.6; 6. Adelyn Ackley, Liberty, 20:05.0; 7. Calli Doan, Liberty, 20:05.0; 8. Krissy Gear, Arkansas, 20:08.0; 9. India Johnson, 20:08.4; 10. Joyce Kimeli, Auburn, 20:10.9.

Individual Results (CU Athletes Only): 16. Rachel McArthur, 20:13.5; 23. Hannah Miniutti, 20:16.5; 30. Madie Boreman, 20:23.8; 49. Kaitlyn Barthell, 20:39.9; 70; Annie Hill, 20:53.4.

Garnett Men’s Race (8k)

Team Results (Top 10 of 40): 1. Northern Arizona 64; *2. Colorado 128; 3. Arkansas 128; 4. BYU 131; 5. Notre Dame 203; 6. Texas 233; 7. Princeton 233; 8. Florida State 281; 9. Alabama 325; 10. Georgetown 331.

*CU earned the tiebreak win over Arkansas

Individual Results (Top 10 Individuals of 304): 1. Connor Mantz, BYU, 22:47.0; 2. Adriaan Wildschutt, FSU, 22:49.5; 3. Victor Kiprop, Alabama, 22:54.8; 4. Abdihamid Nur, NAU, 22:55.2; 5. Dylan Jacobs, UND, 22:55.5; 6. Drew Bosley, NAU, 23:00.5; 7. Eduardo Herrera, CU, 23:01.4; 8. Casey Clinger, BYU, 23:06.0; 9. Nico Young, NAU, 23:12.4; 10. Amon Kemboi, Arkansas, 23:13.1.

Individual Results (CU Athletes Only): 23. Brendan Fraser, 23:26.0; 24. Austin Vancil, 23:26.3; 36. Andrew Kent, 23:37.9; 38. Charlie Sweeney, 23:39.6; 40. Stephen Jones, 23:42.1; 105; Alex Hornecker, 24:17.3; 131. Ethan Powell, 24:27.1.

Men’s Open Race (8k)

CU Individuals: 9. Noah Hibbard, 24:26.0; 13. Paxton Smith, 24:32.9; 26. Hunter Appleton, 24:55.7; 88. Jonathan Horton, 25:54.7; 95. Josh Torres, 25:57.5

Unattached CU Runners: 57. Shaw Powell, 25:31.3

Women’s Open Race (6k)

CU Individuals: 3. Elizabeth Constien, 20:54.2; 7. Micaela DeGenero, 21:05.6