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Eduardo Herrera revels in final home competition at CU Invitational

Buffs collect 15 first-place finishes in two-day meet

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Eduardo Herrera has enjoyed a remarkably successful track and cross country career at Colorado. And it has been an unusually lengthy one, as well.

Thanks to redshirt seasons and the extra year of eligibility provided by the NCAA for the COVID year of 2020-21, Herrera has been in Boulder since the fall of 2016. The current true freshmen on CU’s track and cross country rosters were in eighth grade when Herrera first joined the Buffs.

Amid all those record-setting runs and All-American honors, Herrera has enjoyed precious few opportunities to compete on his home turf. Yet on Saturday, Herrera was able to do just that for the final time, winning the men’s 1,500-meter run during the annual CU Invitational at Potts Field.

Herrera was one of 16 CU seniors honored at their home field for the final time.

“As soon as I crossed the finish line, it was just kind of special for me because it’s obviously the last time for me,” Herrera said. “Even though I train here every day of the week, it doesn’t feel the same as a race. Being out here, and seeing the good support I have out here, it just felt good to compete one more time.

“It hasn’t really sunk in yet. I think that will kick in towards the end of the season. But being able to experience this Senior Day definitely was something that’s telling me it’s coming to an end. I’m excited about it and I’m just grateful that I’ve been given the opportunity to be here and I’m trying to get the best out of myself.”

Herrera was one of 15 event winners for the Buffs over the two-day meet, with seven on the men’s side and eight in women’s events. That list included a pair of individual victories for junior Avery McMullen, who took first in the 200-meter dash and the 100 hurdles. Madie Boreman made it a sweep of the 1,500-meter runs for CU by pairing Herrera’s win with a victory in the women’s race.

As for Herrera, his return to CU to use his extra season of eligibility was spurred in part by what was a personally disappointing finish to the outdoor season a year ago. Herrera finished 15th last year in the 5K at the NCAA West Regional, and both he and head coach Mark Wetmore admitted to missteps down the stretch in Herrera’s training regimen. With those lessons in mind, Herrera has his sights on ending his final season with the Buffs by qualifying for nationals in the 1,500 as well as the 5K.

“Definitely last year taught me a lot of things,” Herrera said. “It’s helped me approach this season, because what I think what happened is I started to decrease my mileage and I started to feel a little flat. I think I needed more of the aerobic workouts and the long workouts, which I love doing. It feels like home to me and feels like what I need to be doing to do well. Now, we’re really attacking the workouts and we’re going to keep that consistent.”

Colorado Invitational final results

CU finishers (includes Friday results)

MEN

3,000 steeplechase — 4. Shaw Powell, (unattached), 9:43.46; 6. Caleb Niednagel, 9:45.38; 8. Josh Torres, 9:50.62; 14. Tyler Scholl (unattached), 10:01.95.

4 x 100 relay — 1. Colorado (Luc Andrada, Tyler Williams, Ian Gilmore, Kellen Monestime), 40.95.

1,500 — 1. Eduardo Herrera, 3:44.46; 4. Lukas Haug (unattached), 3:53.89; 5. Grady Rauba, (unattached), 3:56.47; Jake Derouin, 3:57.40; 11. Ben Greene, (unattached), 4:00.90; 16. Brendan Fraser,  4:04.05; 17. Alex Baca (unattached), 4:04.32.

110 hurdles — 5. Nick Bianco, 15.02; 9. John Swabik, 15.59.

400 — 2. Ian Gilmore, 47.74; 6. Nick Nuhfer, 50.11.

100 — 1. Luc Andrada, 10.46; 14. Aidan Christiansen, 11.02; 28. John Swabik, 11.54.

800 — 5. Noah Hibbard, 1:54.34; 8. Charles Welch (unattached), 1:55.42; 11. Ryan Lindrud, 1:56.87.

400 hurdles — 1. Aaron McCoy, 50.95; 2. Garrett Nelson, 51.89; 3. Eli Heitmann, 54.11; 9. Cole Romig (unattached), 56.87.

4 x 400 relay — 1. Colorado (Nicholas Nuhfer, Elijah Heitmann, Garrett Nelson, Aaron McCoy), 3:14.45.

High jump — 1. Noah Bouchard, 6-11.50; 7. Ryan Charles, 6-3.25.

Long jump — 7. Nick Bianco, 21-8; 8. John Swabik, 21-8; 9. Noah Bouchard, 21-6; 10. Aidan Christiansen, 21-5.25.

Triple jump — 6. Jackson Meyer, 44.8.

Discus — 6. Laurence Atkinson, 160-9; 9. Tyler Sconce, 151-8; 16. Dominique Williams, 134-3; 17. Clayton Castro, 133-4.

Hammer — 1. Dominique Williams, 211-3; 2. Tyler Sconce, 200-0; 4. Clayton Castro, 184-8; 14. Laurence Atkinson, 143-8.

Javelin — 8. Henry Carlson, 163-4; 10. Nick Bianco, 144-0; 11. Laurence Atkinson, 135-4.

WOMEN

3,000 steeplechase — 6. Alisa Meraz-Fishbein, 11:38.93; 13. Whitney Valenti, 12:48.45.

4 x 100 relay — 1. Colorado (Grace Jenkins, Emma Pollak, Jaida Drame, Abbey Glynn), 45.67.

1,500 — 1. Madie Boreman, 4:29.25; 9. Annie Hill, 4:46.03; 11. Anna Shults, 4:47.72; 18. Joelle McDonald, 5:08.62; 20. Bailey Nock, 5:09.35.

100 hurdles — 1. Avery McMullen, 13.61; 2. Reese Renz, 14.14; 5. Jada Green, 14.55; 9. Kara Lucyk, 15.12; 15. Allie Routledge, 15.87.

400 — 1. Jaida Drame, 55.44; 3. Grace Jenkins, 55.85.

100 — 6. Kaleah Ruff, 12.30.

800 — 3. Carley Bennett, 2:17.74.

400 hurdles — 1. Abbey Glynn, 58.34; 3. Emma Pollak, 59.25; 4. Reese Renz, 1:03.19.

200 — 1. Avery McMullen, 24.60; 8. Kara Lucyk, 26.29; 27. Allie Routledge, 27.66.

High jump — 1. Kaylee Harr, 5-11.25; 5. Allie Routledge, 5-3; 12. Jada Green, 4-11.

Shot put — 3. Lauren Whyrick, 42-10.25; 15. Elise Gillett, 33-4; 18. Allie Routledge, 30-11.75.

Discus — 9. Gya’ni Sami, 131-9; 11. Elana Opp, 120-11.

Hammer — 3. Elana Opp, 177-4; 6. Jane Powers, 167-5; 7. Gya’ni Sami, 156-4; 13. Obi Osafo-Mensah, 146-9; 15. Bella Braun, 143-8; 17. Lauren Whyrick, 137-1; 20. Meghan Whyrick (unattached), 123-10.

Javelin — 1. Jada Green, 155-2; 5. Elise Gillett, 97-6; 12. Kara Lucyk, 79-6.

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