Buffs Headed to NCAA Indoors
BOULDER - University of Colorado distance runners Brent Vaughn, Renee Metivier and Christine Bolf will be a small, but formidable contingent representing CU's track and field program at the 2005 NCAA Indoor Track and Field Championships March 11-12 in Fayetteville, Ark.
All three will be running the 5,000-m Friday night on the University of Arkansas' Randal Tyson track. The Buffs' squad of three is the smallest since matching that roster in the 1988, '89, '92 and 2003 indoor championships.
"And it feels like it," said head coach Mark Wetmore.
Vaughn's automatic qualifying time of 13:38.30 at the Husky Classic gave the sophomore a second place in that race in February and the second fastest time in the nation entering Friday's national title run behind Wisconsin's Matt Tegenkamp (13:36.48). According to Wetmore, Vaughn's PR in the event is also the fourth fastest American collegiate time ever and hopes for an All-American run and an outside shot at his first national title.
"Just a sophomore, my advise for Brent would be to run a conservative race," said Wetmore. "His field will be the fastest ever assembled for an indoor 5k. If it's a slow, tactical race that comes down to a kick, he could finish anywhere. I'm hoping that it's hard all the way because there are few runners in the country that are as fit as he is, giving him a reasonable shot to finish in the top three or four in the field."
Colorado's strongest hope for a national title this weekend is Metivier. She enters the race with a 15:59.38 run (sixth nationally) at the Big 12 championships, but according to Wetmore, that was in a very controlled conference race where Metivier had 11,000 meters of running to do that weekend. Metivier is also entered in the women's 3k (with the nation's fourth best time), and if she chooses to do so, will run on Saturday at 5:35 p.m.
If Metivier wins on Friday, it will mark the second national title in the event in three years and third in five years following Jodie Hughes (2001) and Sara Slattery (2003).
"Renee is in 15:40 to 15:45 shape which makes her hard to beat. She will be disappointed with anything less than a national title."
Joining her in that race will be Bolf who owns the fourth fastest time in the nation, a PR of 15:56.56 at the same Seattle race as Vaughn. Since running that race in early February she has improved her fitness and according to Wetmore, "can finish in the top five, and that's being conservative. She can move up from there."
The women's 5k race is at 5:50 p.m. (MT), followed by the men at 6:30 p.m.
Immediately following the championships, Wetmore and Metivier will meet freshman Liza Pasciuto at Denver International Airport where they will depart for Saint Galmier, France for the IAAF World Cross Country Championships being run March 19-20. Pasciuto will run in the junior women's 6k race on Friday and Metivier will run the open women's 8k, also on Friday.