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Apr 29, 2004

NORMAN, Okla. - The University of Colorado track & field team got things underway here today at the first day of the 2004 Big 12 Outdoor Championships at John Jacobs Field at the University of Oklahoma.  The Buffaloes scored in four of the five events they competed here, and the women's team is in second place thanks to a strong showing in the 10,000 meters.


Sophomore Christine Bolf led the way for CU today with a second place finish in the women's 10,000 meter run.  She was the runner up in a time of 35:39.63, finishing behind Texas A&M senior Melissa Gulli, who won in 35:08.92.  Sophomore Kalin Toedebusch took fourth in 36:02.31, followed by senior Natalie Florence in seventh with a mark of 36:46.69.


"In the women's 10k, I was pretty sure that Christine would be second, the winner is a tough lady and one of the best in the whole country," said head coach Mark Wetmore. "I knew Christine could be second and would be second, even though she ran kind of controlled.  I'm looking forward to getting another point or two out of her in the 5k. Kalin did a good job of holding on to fourth. After her race in 10k in March in Palo Alto, she missed some fitness with leg problems, but to bounce back and finish fourth in hot and humid conditions that are not good for Buffaloes was a good run."


On the men's side in the 10K, Jon Severy was seventh in 31:23.51 for the top men's finish for Colorado on the day. He was followed by Erik Heinonen in 31:27.72. 


"In the men's 10k they went as we expected," said Wetmore.  "Jon and Erik coming out of the pack and picking up a few points.  I am particularly pleased with Erik, as he just joined the CU team in January and missed two years of training and to be able to score in his first season with us in 2-4 months of training is a pleasant surprise and bodes well for the future."


In throws action, sophomore Zach Hazen threw a personal best in the men's hammer to make the finals and take seventh.  His third throw of the afternoon measured 54.39m, or 165-11, and held up through the finals to make him the first CU scorer on the day.  His PR was not the only hammer best for the Buffaloes, as freshman Cortney Hutmacher also had her career best.  She did not make finals, but her mark of 165-11 was a 10-foot improvement on her PR.


"We opened the day on a real good note, with Cortney throwing a 10 foot PR, giving her 26 feet of PR's in the last six days," said Wetmore.   "It did not get her to the final, but she's improving so fast that it's not going to be long before she makes every final. We are real happy.  In the men's hammer, the highlight was Zach also throwing a pr by a meter, advancing to the finals and finishing seventh in an event he just learned a year ago."


Hannah Warfield-Ruffato scored in the women's javelin, taking sixth with a throw of 145-04.  It marks the second-straight year that she's scored in the javelin.


"Hannah's been in a bit of a slump, but Casey (Malone) has known that she's ready to throw very well, very soon," said Wetmore.  "Sometimes with throwers they have to get used to their new strength and technique in a competitive situation, and tonight she threw 10 feet further than she has this year, and is approaching pr fitness pretty soon. I know that she has advanced into the regionals, which gives her another month to bring it together."


Friday the Buffaloes will see action in long jump, discus, high jump and shot put on the field, with prelims in 100 meter through 1,500 meter races.


2004 Big 12 Track & Field Outdoor Championships


Colorado Athletes Only


Women's Hammer Throw

12. Cortney Hutmacher, 50.57m     165-11


Men's Hammer Throw

7. Zach Hazen, 54.39m     178-05

13. Matt Carr, 49.59m     162-08

15. Andy Passen, 42.20m     138-05      


Women's Javelin Throw

6. Hannah Warfield-Ruffato, 44.31m     145-04


Men's 10,000 Meter Run

7. Jon Severy, 31:23.51   

8. Erik Heinonen, 31:27.72   

16. Matt McCue, 33:18.32             


Women's 10,000 Meter Run

2. Christine Bolf, 35:39.63   

4. Kalin Toedebusch, 36:02.31    

7. Natalie Florence, 36:46.69