CU cross country has strong showing at NCAA regionals

Women finish second to nab auto; men take third place

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The University of Colorado women’s cross country team recorded a runner-up finish on Friday afternoon in Provo, Utah, at the NCAA Mountain Region Championship to earn their 13th straight trip to the NCAA Championships.

The men recorded a third-place finish at the meet and will likely advance as well. The top two teams in each race at the regional championships automatically move on to nationals, while every other team that finishes below those spots has to wait for the NCAA to announce the complete 31-team field, which will be done on Saturday at 3 p.m. during a selection show at NCAA.com.

“There’s no question,” coach Mark Wetmore said when asked about the men’s team advancing. “I know we have to wait for the official announcement but there’s no question.”

The CU women, who were ranked third nationally heading into the race, finished second in the 6-kilometer race behind second-ranked New Mexico, 62-83.

Abby Nichols led CU, finishing third overall in 20 minutes and 22.5 seconds. She was 14th at the 1k split and moved up to sixth around the midway point. She was up with the lead pack and ran a well-executed race where she was able to defeat Gracelyn Larkin (UNM) at the finish by less than a second (20:22.6).

Considering Northern Arizona has been ranked No. 1  in the national poll all season, CU was currently the No. 2 team, and BYU was ranked eighth and was running at home, the NCAA Men’s Mountain Region Championship was expected to be a battle.

BYU rose to the challenge and defeated NAU, 42-57, while Colorado finished third with 83 points.

“BYU has been careful all season,” Wetmore said. “They haven’t run their full seven until today, I think. They ran well. They looked great — they had four guys finish very high.”

For the fourth time this season, Eduardo Herrera led the Buffaloes, this time finishing fifth. He crossed the finish in 29:46.5 in the first 10k race of the season for CU, beating NAU’s Abdihamid Nur who was sixth in 29:49.3.

The top 25 individuals in each race were named to the All-Mountain Region Team. CU placed five men and three women on the team. Those men were Herrera, Stephen Jones, Austin Vancil, Alec Hornecker and Brendan Fraser. The women were Nichols, Emily Covert and India Johnson.

Up next

The NCAA Championships are Saturday, Nov. 20, in Tallahassee, Fla., at Apalachee Regional Park. The women’s 6k race is set for an 8:20 a.m. start, while the men’s 10k run is scheduled to begin at 9:10 a.m. Both will be broadcast live on ESPNU for the second straight year.

2021 NCAA MOUNTAIN REGION CHAMPIONSHIPS

Timpanogos Golf Course (Provo, Utah.)

Women’s 6k team results: 1. New Mexico 62; 2. Colorado 83; 3. BYU 107; 4. Colorado State 116; 5. Utah 146; 6. Northern Arizona 168; 7. Utah State 199; 8. Weber State 212; 9. Utah Valley 217; 10. Air Force 260; 11. Southern Utah 325; 12. Wyoming 356; 13. Nevada 363; 14. Montana State 411; 15. New Mexico State 415; 16. Idaho State 440; 17. UTEP 512; 18. Montana 528; 19. Texas Tech 539.

Women’s 6k individual results (top 10): 1. Taryn O’Neill, NAU, 20:17.9; 2. Tierney Wolfgram, UN, 20:20.4; 3. Abby Nichols, CU, 20:22.5; 3. Gracelyn Larkin, UNM, 20:22.6; 5. Alison Pray, SUU, 20:24.4; 6. Anna Camp, BYU, 20:26.5; 7. Aubrey Frentheway, BYU, 20:26.6; 8. Summer Allen, WSU, 20:27.0; 9. Abbe Goldstein, UNM, 20:28.2; 10. Emily Covert, CU, 20:29.4.

Other CU finishers: 14. India Johnson, 20:42.1; 27. Micaela DeGenero, 20:59.4; 29. Madie Boreman, 21:04.2; 37. Kaitlyn Barthell, 21:21.4; 57. Elizabeth Constien, 21:48.8.

Men’s 10k team results: 1. BYU 42; 2. Northern Arizona 57; 3. Colorado 83; 4. Air Force 130; 5. Southern Utah 152; 6. Weber State 155; 7. Montana State 177; 8. Utah State 177; 9. Colorado State 216; 10. Utah State 301; 11. Wyoming 308; 12. Nevada 353; 13. UTEP 358; 14. New Mexico 368; 15. Idaho State 452; 16. Montana 473; 17. Texas Tech 528.

Men’s 10k individual results (top 10): 1. Connor Mantz, BYU, 29:39.6; 2. Nico Young, NAU, 29:40.8; 3. Casey Clinger, BYU, 29:42.9; 4. Christian Allen, Weber State, 29:43.4; 5. Eduardo Herrera, CU, 29:46.5; 6. Abdihamid Nur, NAU, 29:49.3; 7. Christian Ricketts, SUU, 29:54.5; 8. Brandon Garnica, BYU, 29:58.5; 9. Aidan Troutner, BYU, 30:04.2; 10. Drew Bosley, NAU, 30:07.0.

Other CU finishers: 15. Stephen Jones, 30:14.6; 16. Austin Vancil, 30:15.1; 23. Alec Hornecker, 30:24.1; 24. Brendan Fraser, 30:24.8; 28. Charlie Sweeney, 30:31.4; 32. Andrew Kent, 30:34.8