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Buffs Head To NCAA West Preliminaries

May 22, 2013

BOULDER -The University of Colorado track and field team is set to compete at the 2013 NCAA West Preliminary Championships, May 23-25, in Austin, Texas.

The CU men are sending 11 individuals and the 4x400-meter relay, while the women are sending nine athletes as well as their 4x400 relay to the meet at Mike A Myers Stadium on the campus of the University of Texas at Austin. Live results and a live video stream are available at on the track and field page.

Senior Emma Coburn is the top ranked Buff in the regions as she leads the country in the 3,000-meter steeplechase after running 9:28.26 at the Payton Jordan Cardinal Invite on April 28. She is the two-time defending USATF Champion in the event as well as the 2011 NCAA Champion. Coburn is the favorite to win prelims, as well as nationals since the next closest time is more than 22 seconds behind her.

The men also look strong in the steeplechase and are led by Aric Van Halen. Van Halen is ranked fourth in the region and is sixth nationally at 9:41.73. Blake Theroux and Hugh Dowdy could also do well at the meet as they are 13th and 15th, respectively.

Jake Hurysz is also very high up on the list of competitors in the 1,500. Hurysz ranks seventh with a time of 3:40.63. Richard Medina leads the CU men in the 5k (13:45.50).

The sprinters are once again led by Joe Morris, who will be competing in the 100 and 200-meter dashes as well as the 4x400-meter relay. He is ranked fifth in the 200 (20.52) and is 11th in the 100 (10.27). On the womenGÇÖs side, Eileen Gehring will also perform a double at this meet individually as well as competing on the 4x400 relay. Gehring is the CU record holder in the 200 (23.80) and 400 (53.23) and ranks 41st and 18th, respectively in those events.

The field events will also be represented in the jumps and throws. Mark Jones is ranked third in the region in the high jump after recording a huge PR of 7-2.50 at the Pac-12 Championships and Kelsey English is 12th on the womenGÇÖs side. Abrianna Torres will compete in the long jump and Emily Hunsucker, the CU record holder in the hammer throw (203-9), is 15th.

The top 12 athletes in each event will advance to the NCAA Championships June 5-8 in Eugene, Ore. There are two preliminary championships this weekend (west and east), which are considered the first rounds of the NCAA Championships.

The weather for the meet will be very hot and humid. Highs are expected in the low 90GÇÖs with partly cloudy skies and a 10% chance of rain each day.