Colorado Olympic alum Jenny Simpson reflects on Buffs' performance
LOUISVILLE, CO - After a sweep by the No. 1-ranked men and a battle for second place by the No. 16-ranked women at Saturday's Pac-12 Cross Country Championships, former Buffalo Jenny Simpson expressed her pride in Colorado's program.
"When you see the look on their face everyday in practice and you see the collective energy that's put into the team effort, to see it pay off is exponential because you feel so happy for each individual," said the 2012 Olympian, now a volunteer assistant coach for Colorado.
As a Buff, Simpson broke five NCAA DI records, broke the U.S. and North American record in the 3000m steeplechase finishing fifth at the 2009 World Championships and also became one of four American women at the time to break four minutes in the 1500m. After graduating in 2009 from Colorado, Simpson began running professionally for New Balance and has since earned a gold medal in the 1500m at the 2011 World Championships, competed for the U.S. at the 2012 Olympic Games and won silver at the 2013 World Championships in Moscow.
Simpson was one of many notable Colorado alumni supporting the Buffaloes at their home course on Saturday in Louisville. The Colorado men and women responded to the hometown support by finishing with a men's team title sweep of 28 points and a women's runner-up team finish of 75 points.
"It (men's race) built momentum throughout the race, and by the end all those hopeful emotions for the team were at a busting point, I was so excited," Simpson said with a huge smile.
The Colorado men earned their third straight Pac-12 conference title with junior Blake Theroux (third overall) leading the pack, followed by a dominant spread of all five scorers in the top ten finishing spots.
Another impressive performance followed with No. 16 Colorado women battling for a team conference title against No. 1 Arizona (69 points total). With only a six point difference, the Colorado women earned second place against the No.1 ranked team in the country, fighting for every step to the finish line.
"They (Colorado women) executed brilliantly and really shined here beyond what people thought they were able to do," Simpson said. "I'm really proud to be just a small small smidgen of their succes today."
The next test for the Colorado men and women will be at the NCAA Mountain Regional meet Nov. 15, which will undoubtedly draw a great amount of support from Simpson as well as the many other enthusiastic Colorado fans and alumni.