Buffs Head To Pac-12 Outdoor Track & Field Championships
BOULDER –The University of Colorado is set to compete at the 2014 Pac-12 Outdoor Track & Field Championships, Saturday and Sunday, May 17-18, at the Mooberry Track & Field Complex on the Washington State University campus in Pullman, Wash.
With the Pac-12 Multi-Events contested last weekend, the men sit in the third position (five points) and the women are in sixth place (three).
Shalaya Kipp and Blake Theroux have a chance to repeat a sweep of the men and women’s 3,000-meter steeplechase. Kipp is ranked first in the Pac-12 for the event after establishing a speedy 9:39.12 time just two weekends ago at the Payton Jordan Invitational; the second fastest time in the world this year. Theroux is ranked second in the conference for the event with a time of 8:51.96, established at Mt. SAC relays. Last year, Emma Coburn and Aric Van Halen swept the race the first time one school had achieved that since 2007.
Emily Hunsucker, the CU record holder in the hammer throw, is looking to make an improvement on last year’s seventh place finish at the Pac-12 Championships. Currently, she is ranked first in the Pac-12 for the event, and her best mark, 212-11, is over 11 feet longer than the second spot. She has consistently been above 200 feet all season long and has won two events and earned one second place finish this season.
Overall the Buffs have incredible depth going into the Pac-12 Championships. In the men’s 5,000 meter run, CU has eight competitors, the most of any school in the event. Of those competitors, two are in the top 10, including Morgan Pearson who is ranked fourth in the Pac-12. On the women’s side, three of the four athletes competing in the 5,000 are in the top 10. Abby Levene is ranked sixth, Kipp seventh and Carrie Verdon is ranked ninth.
In addition, Pierce Murphy is returning to compete in the 10,000 meter run after earning bronze in the event last year. Currently, he is tied for sixth with his teammate, Pearson.
Freshman Ben Saarel is making his first appearance Pac-12s, participating in both the 1,500 and the 5,000. In the 1,500, he is currently sixth. Jake Hurysz is also ranked in the top 10, sitting in the ninth position.
Levene is ranked fourth in the Pac-12 in the 10,000-meter run. Earlier this season, she ran the event at the Stanford Invitational and achieved a new personal best, 33:17.58 in the invitational section.
In the sprints, Shaw Gifford is looking for a strong finish to his senior season in the 100 and 200. In the 200, he is ranked in the top 10. He has had top performances in the event for the entirety of the season, recording three first place finishes and two second place accolades.
Jaron Thomas looks to make his mark as a freshman as well in the 100- and 400-meter hurdle races. He is ranked third in the 400 hurdles for the Pac-12. He established his fastest time yet, 51.77, just two weeks ago at the Longhorn Invitational
Lindsy Mattson is set to run the 400 after recording a 54.71 finish at the Mt. SAC Relays earlier this season. She currently sits in the 17th position in the conference.
The combined events athletes will return for their chance to extend their success after competing in the heptathlon and decathlon last weekend. Jason DeWitt and Brock Emory will be competing in their specialty event, high jump, after earning third and fourth place in the event last weekend. They will both also be competing in the 110-meter hurdles.
On the women’s side, Abrianna Torres and Brittany Lewis will be taking the long jump by storm. Torres is coming off a first place finish in that event from last weekend’s heptathlon when she leaped for a mark of 18-11.75.
The meet will start at 1 p.m. MDT on Saturday, May 17, with the men’s hammer throw, and the first track event will start at 2 p.m. with the preliminaries of the 4x100 meter relay. Sunday’s events start at 12 p.m. with the women’s hammer throw. The first track event is the final round of the women’s 4x100 meter relay.
Live stats, results and a complete schedule for the championships can be found http://www.pac-12.com/2014-pac-12-track-field-championships.