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Abby Nichols’ return to competitive 10K brings Pac-12 title to CU Buffs

Nichols sets CU, conference records

If the rest of the weekend goes as well as Friday did for the Colorado track and field teams, it will be an enjoyable business trip to Eugene.

Abby Nichols capped off the opening night of the three-day meet in style for the Buffaloes on Friday, winning the Pac-12 title in the 10,000-meter run while setting a conference record along the way.

Nichols had not run a competitive 10K since an injury prevented her from reaching the finish line at the NCAA nationals last year. She required no time whatsoever to shake off any rust, claiming the conference crown with a personal-best time of 32 minutes, 27.25 seconds. That mark established new CU and Pac-12 records, with Nichols’ effort topping the previous Pac-12 record by more than 10 seconds. It also was the top NCAA 10K mark this season.

CU collected three top-eight finishes in the 10K, with Emily Covert placing third and India Johnson finishing eighth.

Among preliminary heats on the women’s side, Micaela DeGenero posted the top overall time in the 1,500 and Rachel McArthur also won her heat. Those two athletes, along with Madie Boreman, advanced to the championship heat on Sunday afternoon.

The Buffs also recorded two heat victories in the 400 hurdles, with Abbey Glynn posting the third overall time in the women’s race (59.94) while Aaron McCoy recorded the top time in the men’s race (51.52). Those two Buffs each will have a teammate alongside them in Sunday’s final, with Garrett Nelson and Emma Pollak both advancing out of the preliminary round.

The meet continues on Saturday, with Boreman scheduled to compete for the second women’s steeplechase  conference title of her career and Dominique Williams taking aim at the CU men’s outdoor hammer throw record.

PAC-12 CONFERENCE TRACK and FIELD CHAMPIONSHIPS

Hayward Field, Eugene, Ore.

Friday CU Buffs results

Men

1,500 (Preliminaries): 11. Noah Hibbard, 3:42.74 (Q); 12. Eduardo Herrera, 3:43.13 (Q).

200 (Preliminaries): 22. Luc Andrada, 22.27.

400 hurdles (Preliminaries): 1. Aaron McCoy, 51.52 (Q); 7. Garrett Nelson, 52.58 (Q); 10. Kellen Monestime, 53.17; 11. Eli Heitmann, 54.14.

Javelin (Final): 12. Henry Carlson, 49.71 (meters).

10,000 (Final): 4. Andrew Kent, 28:15.06; 5. Austin Vancil, 28:16.62 (PR); 7. Charlie Sweeney, 28:46.06; 9. Brendan Fraser, 29:03.02 (PR); 11. Jace Aschbrenner, 29:22.32; 12. Paxton Smith, 29:22.73; 13. Jake Derouin, 29:25.44 (PR); 15. Hunter Appleton, 29:39.81.

Women

1,500 (preliminaries): 1. Micaela DeGenero, 4:17.46 (Q); 2. Rachel McArthur, 4:20.41 (Q); 8. Madie Boreman, 4:18.17 (Q).

400 hurdles (preliminaries): 3. Abbey Glynn, 59.94 (Q); 6. Emma Pollak, 1:00.73 (Q); 17. Reese Renz, 1:03.83.

10,000 (Final): 1. Abby Nichols, 32:27.25 (PR); 3. Emily Covert, 32:30.82 (PR); 6. India Johnson, 33:01.89 (PR); Hannah Miniutti, 33:49.31; 11. Kaitlyn Barthell, 34:11.59; 18. Kyla Christopher-Moody, 35:17.37.

(Q=qualified for finals; PR=personal record)

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