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Record setting roster heading to NCAA outdoor championships for CU Buffs

Eleven individuals, two relay teams to represent Buffs

At the very end, Madie Boreman and many of her Colorado Buffaloes teammates will get an opportunity to make a little history.

It has been nearly six full years since Boreman arrived on CU’s campus. Boreman has put her name alongside some of the most successful runners in the rich history of the Buffs’ track and field program, yet thanks to twists unique to the times — specifically, redshirt seasons combined with the extra year of eligibility granted by the NCAA for the 2020-21 pandemic year — Boreman’s collegiate career has stretched a lengthy five years and nine-plus months.

The final days of that career have finally arrived. Boreman and national title contenders like Abby Nichols, Emily Covert and Micaela DeGenero will lead a sizeable contingent of Buffs into the NCAA outdoor track and field championships, which begin Wednesday in Eugene, Ore.

Overall, the Buffs are sending 11 individual entrants, as well as both the men’s and women’s 4×400 teams, to Oregon. The 12 overall women athletes for CU matches a program record, and the 12 events those athletes are set to compete in will mark a new program high. The 1996 team featured 12 women athletes competing in 11 events.

“I feel like the Pac-12 title we got in cross (country) my sophomore year in the fall of 2018, that was a big one because we were really kind of building up some momentum going into nationals,” Boreman said when asked about her career. “And then even nationals that year, I never felt gutted like that when we ended up getting third. And then freshman year and (winning) Pac-12s this year was really, really special.”

To put Boreman’s journey, and her on-campus arrival in the fall of 2016, into the general perspective of a CU sports fan, when she arrived the CU football team was just starting to embark on its Pac-12 South Division championship run. Derrick White had yet to play a minute of basketball for the Buffs. Now he is a key contributor for a Boston Celtics squad attempting to win the NBA Finals. Taylor Kornieck had yet to register a goal or an assist in a career that eventually made her the all-time points leader for the CU women’s soccer team. Kornieck currently is in her third pro season in the NWSL.

In Oregon, the Buffs will have a chance to add new entries to the program history book. DeGenero (1,500) won the NCAA indoor one mile championship three months, while Nichols will be one of the runners to watch in the 5K. Covert owns the top NCAA time this season in the 10K.

The men’s 4×400 squad is the first CU men’s relay to reach the NCAA finals since the 4×100 team in 2010. As a true freshman, Boreman was the national runner-up in the steeplechase 2017, turning in a time of 9 minutes, 46.48 seconds that remains fourth in program history behind eventual Olympians Jenny Simpson, Emma Coburn and Shalaya Kipp. Boreman, who considered starting law school last year before returning for her extra season, finished 15th at the outdoor nationals last year.

“It’s kind of crazy,” said Boreman, a two-time Pac-12 Conference steeplechase champion. “I’m exploring what the pro life could offer me, so that’s in the mix. Law school is around forever, but running at this level isn’t. I would hate to not get everything out of it.”

NCAA outdoor track and field championships

WHERE: Hayward Field, Eugene, Ore.

WHEN: Wednesday through Sunday.

BROADCAST: Wednesday — ESPNU (5:30 p.m. MT); Thursday — ESPNU (6:30 p.m. MT); Friday — ESPN2 (7 p.m.); Sunday — ESPN (3:30 p.m. MT). All field events and women’s heptathlon events available live via ESPN3.

CU BUFFS SCHEDULE (All times MT): Wednesday — Men’s 4×400 relay semifinal (Tyler Williams, Ian Gilmore, Garrett Nelson, Aaron McCoy), 8:48 p.m. Thursday — Women’s 1,500 semifinal (Micaela DeGenero, Rachel McArthur), 6:46 p.m.; Women’s 3,000 steeplechase semifinal (Madie Boreman, Gabrielle Orie), 7:02 p.m.; Women’s 400 hurdles (Abbey Glynn), 8:30 p.m.; Women’s 10,000 meter final (Emily Covert, India Johnson), 9:08 p.m.; Women’s 4×400 relay semifinal (Grace Jenkins, Emma Pollak, Jaida Drame, Abbey Glynn), 9:48 p.m. Friday — Women’s heptathlon (Avery McMullen), 2 p.m.; Men’s 4×400 relay final* (Williams, Gilmore, Nelson, McCoy), 9:21 p.m. Saturday — Women’s heptathlon (McMullen), 11:30 a.m.; Women’s 1,500 final* (DeGenero, McArthur), 3:41 p.m.; Women’s 3,000 steeplechase final* (Boreman, Orie), 3:54 p.m.; Women’s 400 hurdles final* (Glynn), 4:57 p.m.; Women’s 5,000 final (Abby Nichols, Covert, Johnson), 5:25 p.m.; Women’s 4×400 relay final* (Jenkins, Pollak, Drame, Glynn), 5:51 p.m.*

*Requires advancing through earlier round.

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