Any Colorado men’s relay team reaching the finals of the NCAA outdoor track and field championships is a rare occurrence.
Until Wednesday, no men’s 4×400 relay team had ever represented the Buffaloes at the NCAA outdoor championship. The Buffs tried to make the most of the opportunity, but it proved to be a short stay in Oregon.
The CU team of Aaron McCoy, Tyler Williams, Ian Gilmore and Garrett Nelson finished sixth in the third heat of the semifinals on Wednesday night in Eugene, falling short of advancing to the championship round. CU finished 19th overall with a time of 3 minutes, 6.12 seconds.
It was the first NCAA finals appearance by any CU men’s relay squad since the 4×100 team in 2010.
The Buffs quartet advanced to the finals after a late scoring change at the NCAA West Preliminaries two weeks ago. The Buffs posted a time of 3:05.50 in that race, the second-best mark in the history of the CU program.
Thursday will be a busy opening round of competition for the CU women, who will feature a program-record-tying 12 competitors. The day will be highlighted by Emily Covert and India Johnson running in the championship of the 10K. Covert owns the top time in the 24-runner field — the 32:30.82 she posted at the Pac-12 championships.
The CU women will have a number of competitors running in the semifinals of their respective events, led by reigning indoor one-mile NCAA champ Micaela DeGenero and Rachel McArthur taking off in the 1,500-meter run at 6:46 p.m. MT. That event quickly will be followed by the semifinals of the steeplechase for sixth-year senior Madie Boreman and Gabrielle Orie.
Mead alum Abbey Glynn also is scheduled to have a busy day, first competing in the semifinals of the 400 hurdles at 8:30 p.m. MT before turning around a little more than an hour later to run in the 4×400 relay semifinal alongside Grace Jenkins, Jaida Drame and Emma Pollak.