Buffs Finish Pac-12 Meet Strong
LOS ANGELES - It was another big day at the 2013 Pac-12 Track & Field Championships for the University of Colorado as the men recorded 10 points in the men's 5,000-meter run on Sunday afternoon.
Overall the men placed sixth with 70 points; 43 of those coming in either the 5k, 10k or the 3,000-meter steeplechase.
Connor Winter lead the way for the Buffs, finishing fourth overall in 14:09.45 and Aric Van Halen, who won the 3,000-meter steeplechase about 24 hours prior to the 5k, took fifth overall (14:12.56). Jake Hurysz was able to outkick Oregon's Jeramy Elkaim at the finish to claim eighth with a time of 14:16.71. Elkaim crossed the finish in 14:17.88.
"We knew the 5k was going to be a death march because of the long weekend and the 80-plus degree heat," coach Mark Wetmore said. "Connor has never run a 5k before and it was really a somewhat amazing performance for him looking at the people who were just a little ahead of him and then more importantly, some very accomplished 5k people who were behind him. It was a very good run for him.
"Van Halen doubled back from the steeple. The steeple is a hard event. It really beats you up and not many people make that double successfully, so for him to be fifth caused him to be the top team points scorer of the weekend."
Van Halen finished the weekend with 14 points for the Buffs.
Hurysz also placed fifth overall in the 1,500, finishing in 4:42.36 just a couple of hours before the 5k. He moved to the front of the field in the first 50 meters and was in fifth after the first 700 meters. Hurysz held strong and as he headed into the home straightaway, he picked off Arizona State's Nick Happe (3:42.56). Hurysz was just .03 seconds behind Stanford's Tyler Stutzman who was fourth (3:42.36).
"You didn't see a lot of people doing the 1,500 at 2 p.m. and then come back at 5 and run the 5k. That was a courageous run for Jake and we are proud of him," Wetmore said.
Mark Jones also had a great day in the high jump and recorded a lifetime best after clearing 7-2.50 to place second in the competition. Prior to today's mark, his previous best had been 7-0.25.
Jones cleared his first three heights on the first attempt (6-7, 6-9 and 6-11), before passing on 7-0.25. He missed his first two tries at 7-1.50 before making it over on the third. Jones cleared on his second attempt at 7-2.50 and was unable to get over the bar at 7-3.75.
"Mark is growing up," Wetmore said. "In his younger time with us, he was a little inconsistent. He would jump 7-0 at one meet and 6-9 in others; but he came here in these difficult conditions, with the sweltering sun and a bunch of delays in a very, very long competition and ended up second for us with a PR. It was a great job for Mark."
Joe Morris also picked up some points for the Buffs on Sunday and started the day with a fifth-place finish in the 100, finishing in 10.34. The field finished in a tight group, in particular the fourth-seventh-place finishers. Oregon's Arthur Delaney just barely beat Morris to the line, finishing in 10.31. Washington's James Alaka was sixth in 10.35 and Arizona State's Devan Spann was seventh (10.38). USC's Beejay Lee won in 10.07.
Morris was right back in action a little over an hour later, placing fourth in the 200. Morris had a good start to the race and finished in 20.94. USC swept the top three places as Olympians Bryshon Nellum (20.23) and Aaron Brown (20.53) were first and second, respectively, and Devonte Stewart was third in 20.85. Morris improved his placing in both the 100 and 200 from last year's meet when he was eighth in the 100 (10.47) and sixth in the 200 (20.92).
Morris also came back to run in the 4x400, which finished fourth overall in 3:09.84. He was joined by Tyler Baker, Shaw Gifford and Blake Berens.
"This is a good conference in the sprints," Wetmore explained. "In particular when you look at the history, you see USC, UCLA, Arizona State, this is a killer conference. So for Joe to score the points that he did for the team was great. If he is disappointed, he shouldn't be."
The women's 4x400-meter relay ran the third fastest time in CU history when they combined for a time of 3:36.95, which was fifth overall. Lindsy Mattson started the Buffs off and handed off to Brianne Beemer. Bridget Sweeney was the third leg and Eileen Gehring ran a great anchor leg and almost caught up to UCLA's anchor Danielle Low. UCLA won the first heat in 3:36.73, but it was USC that took the title in 3:32.39.
"They are all back next year except for Bri and I know that (assistant coach) Drew is looking to fill that spot." Wetmore said. "They will be chasing our school record next year for sure."
Also contributing to the team score was Carrie Verdon who placed eighth overall in the 5,000. She ran 16:49.83 and was just shy of finishing seventh as Washington's Lindsay Flanagan came across the finish in 16:49.24.
As a team, the women were 10th with 32 points. Oregon won both the men's (149.50) and women's (139) team titles.
"Overall it was a good weekend," Wetmore said. "We tell them all year that this isn't passive time trialing. This isn't sprint races run at 7,000 feet or distance races run in perfect conditions at Palo Alto. This is kind of the money meet. So when the form chart said 40 points and the men got 70, they have every reason to be proud of themselves, the women who scored for us, same thing."
The NCAA West Preliminary Championships are up next for the Buffs. The University of Texas will host the championships May 23-25 in Austin, Texas.
Katherine B. Loker Stadium (Los Angeles, Calif.)
1. Oregon 149.50; 2. USC, 108; 3. UCLA, 98.50; 4. Arizona State, 94; 5. Washington, 76; 6. Colorado, 70; 7. Arizona, 67; 8. California, 66; 9. Washington State, 45; 10. Stanford, 43. (Oregon State and Utah do not have men's programs)
1. Oregon, 139; 2. Arizona, 123; 3. Arizona State, 110.33; 4. UCLA, 87.33; 5. Stanford, 86.5; 6. USC, 81; 7. Washington, 55.33; 8. Washington State, 42; 9. California, 41.5; 10. Colorado, 32; 11. Utah, 14; 12. Oregon State, 6.
Men's 1,500 (finals): (1. Lawi Lalang, UA, 3:38.53) 5. Jake Hurysz, 3:42.36
Men's 100 (finals): (1. Beejay Lee, USC, 10.07) 5. Joe Morris, 10.34
Men's 200 (finals): (1. Bryshon Nellum, USC, 20.23) 4. Joe Morris, 20.94
Women's 5,000 (finals): (1. Megan Goethals, UW, 16:08.86) 8. Carrie Verdon, 16.49.83; 16. Camille Logan, 17:20.80; 20. Staci Foster, 17:42.66
Men's 5,000 (finals): (1. Nick Happe, ASU, 14:05.20) 4. Connor Winter, 14:09.45; 5. Aric Van Halen, 14:12.56; 8. Jake Hurysz, 14:16.71; 11. Ammar Moussa, 14:27.90; 12. Pierce Murphy, 14:29.57; 19. Martin Medina, 14:44.80; 25. David Kilgore, 14:50.03; 28. Blake Theroux, 14:55.08
Women's 4x400: (1. USC, 3:32.39) 5. Lindsy Mattson/Brianne Beemer/Bridget Sweeney/Eileen Gehring, 3:36.95
Men's 4x400: (1. Oregon, 3:05.63) 4. Tyler Baker/Joe Morris/Shaw Gifford/Blake Berens, 3:09.84
Men's Hammer Throw: (1. Remy Conaster, USC, 222-10) 12. Cameron Hutchins, 177-01
Men's High Jump: (1. Edgar Rivera-Morales, UA, 7-3.75) 2. Mark Jones, 7-2.50
Men's Discus: (1. Julian Wruck, UCLA, 214-7) 9. Brady Rutt, 169-3