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Emily Covert, India Johnson post pair of top-10 marks in 10K for CU Buffs at NCAA finals

Micaela DeGenero, Madie Boreman advance to Saturday finals

The first championship race for the Colorado Buffaloes at the NCAA outdoor track and field championships was a typical one for the program.

In the distance events, the Buffs always are ready to compete. In the rounds day of the women’s events on Thursday in Eugene, Ore., Emily Covert and India Johnson gave the Buffs a pair of top-10 finishers in the 10,000-meter run.

Overall, CU advanced two of the five athletes competing in individual semifinal heats at historic Hayward Field.

Covert entered the 10K final with the top qualifying time and ultimately finished fourth, posting a time of 33 minutes, 14.64 seconds. Alabama’s Mercy Chelangat won the first women’s title of the weekend, recording a winning time of 32:37.08. Johnson placed 10th with a time of 33:34.93.

The busy Thursday for the CU women began in the 1,500, where Micaela DeGenero was able to advance to Saturday’s championship round while Rachel McArthur was undone by a particularly fast second heat. DeGenero, the reigning NCAA indoor champion in the one mile, was able to advance by finishing third in the opening heat with a time of 4:21.61.

McArthur actually finished three spots ahead at 12th with a 4:21.15, but that second heat accounted for the top 12 overall times in the event. With the top five in each of the two heats earning automatic bids, McArthur fell short of one of the two at-large spots.

The Buffs also went 1-for-2 in the 3,000-meter steeplechase, with senior Madie Boreman advancing to Saturday’s championship. Boreman finished second in the second heat to advance and placed sixth overall with a personal-best mark of 9:41.95. Gabrielle Orie finished 10th in the second heat and 18th overall at 10:04.28.

Abbey Glynn narrowly missed advancing out of the semifinal round of the 400 hurdles, finishing 10th overall in 57.18 seconds. Glynn was just .43 of a second behind the final at-large spot for the championship round.

Glynn had another opportunity to advance to the Saturday women’s championship round with the Buffs’ 4×400 relay team, but the squad — also including Grace Jenkins, Jaida Drame and Emma Pollak — fell short of advancing after finishing 23rd in the 24-team field (3:40.44).

Other than Avery McMullen continuing to compete in the women’s heptathlon, Friday will be a quieter day for the CU women before Saturday’s championship heats. DeGenero runs in the 1,500 championship on Saturday at 3:41 p.m. MT, followed by Boreman in the steeplechase final at 3:54 p.m. MT. Saturday’s action will be capped in the 5K at 5:25 p.m. MT, when CU senior Abby Nichols takes aim at an NCAA title.

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