Men Place Third, Women Fifth at Battle Born Collegiate Challenge
NORTH LAS VEGAS, Nev. — In a final tune-up before the postseason begins, the Colorado cross country teams turned in a pair of top-five finishes at the Battle Born Collegiate Challenge on Friday at Craig Ranch Regional Park in North Las Vegas, Nevada.
CU's varsity teams ran in the yellow races, which were billed as the fastest of the meet. The No. 10 men finished third behind second-ranked Northern Arizona and fifth-rated Stanford. NAU recorded 20 points to win the race, while the Cardinal picked up 48 points. CU ended up with 70 points, besting fourth-place Southern Utah (101) by 31 points.
"Teams are juggling indoor track and cross country and using the weekends however they feel is best for their team to get their people to both nationals," head coach Mark Wetmore said. "So Iowa State was entered here and withdrew. BYU at one time was entered here and withdrew. Notre Dame also withdrew and the Washington men. So the faster men's race was depleted a little bit over the last few weeks."
In the women's race, the No. 5 Buffaloes placed fifth with 102 points, but were just two points from third-place. No. 4 New Mexico won the meet with 60 points, while No. 6 Stanford was second with 85. No. 16 NAU came in third with 100 points and No. 4 Boise State was one point behind with 101 points.
Individually senior Eduardo 'Lalo Herrera turned in the best performance for Colorado's men in the 8-kilometer race, finishing third, while the women were led by graduate transfer Abby Nichols, who finished eighth in the women's 6k race.
MEN'S YELLOW RACE:
Herrera recorded his second straight top-five finish, crossing the finish third in 22 minutes, 35.3 seconds. He broke up a trio of NAU runners, finishing behind its first two scorers and before its third. Abdihamid Nur won the race in 22:30.1 and Nico Young was the runner-up in 22:30.7. Finishing fourth overall was Luis Grijalva (22:35.4), just a split second behind Herrera.
"There was a big pack and it dwindled down," Wetmore said. "He (Lalo) led a little bit and then two guys got away from him in the last kilometer to 1500 meters."
Alec Hornecker was CU's second scorer, finishing seventh overall in 23:10.6 for his second consecutive top-10 finish this season. The Buffaloes had two other runners finish in the top-20. Austin Vancil was 16th overall (23:35.3) and Hunter Appleton placed 17th (23:35.5). CU's fifth runner was Jace Aschbrenner, who was 28th overall (23:51.9).
The Buffaloes had five other runners in the field. Paxton Smith was 37th, Ethan Powell placed 41st, Josh Torres was 59th, Caleb Neidnagel took 63rd and Noah Nibbard placed 70th.
"I thought we made a few steps here and there," Wetmore said. "They are young guys so maybe we can make a few more."
WOMEN'S YELLOW RACE:
The women were led by Nichols, who had her best race in a CU uniform. She placed eighth, finishing in 20:02.5. She was with a tight group at the end of the race, finishing just after Boise State's Olivia Johnson, who took seventh with the same time and just in front of Colorado State's Lily Tomasula-Martin (20:02.6).
"This is the race we knew Abby could run," Wetmore said. "She was a little off two weeks ago but solved that problem. We were hoping for this and got it."
Coming in second for the team was Madie Boreman. She was 19th overall, finishing in 20:16.8, and was right between a pair of Washington runners.
"Madie had a great run," said Wetmore. "It's her best race for us in a really long time. She's been working hard, making some sacrifices. This is the kind of run we all knew was waiting to come out of her."
Elizabeth Constien and Micaela Degenero finished 23rd and 24th, respectively. Constien clocked in at 20:25.5, while Degenero came in at 20:28.0. Rounding out the Buffs' score was Emily Covert, who placed 28th (20:34.7).
CU had three other runners in the race, including two who placed in the top-40. Annie Hill was 33rd and Kaitlyn Barthell took 37th. Whitney Valenti was just outside of the top-50, coming in 51st overall.
Stanford's Ella Donaghu won the individual crown in 19:44.0.
Rachel McArthur was noticeably missed but was held out for precautionary reasons. Wetmore noted she had a little lower leg problem and that they hoped to have her back in two weeks.
WOMEN'S GREEN RACE:
Colorado's emerging varsity team ran in the green race and placed all seven of its runners in the top-10. Camille Jackson recorded her first collegiate win, crossing the finish in 20:57.2, while Kyla Christopher-Moody was second in 21:05.2.
The Buffs also took sixth through 10th. Alisha Meraz-Fishbein led that group, finishing sixth in 21:19.3. Tiya Chamberlin was seventh (21:22.6) and Sarah O'Sullivan placed eighth (21:31.9). Ninth overall was Olivia Brooks (21:38.2) and Carley Bennett placed 10th (21:39.9).
As a team, the group from the section, defeating Wyoming 21-45.
"I wish we had a little better race for them," Wetmore said. "They dominated the top-10 once again. Had them been able to run in the faster race against other people's varsities, it would have been interesting. They are all very young and they are making nice progress, which will be very useful for us very soon."
UP NEXT: The postseason begins as Colorado heads to the Pac-12 Championships at University Place, Washington, March 5. The women will race first at 12 p.m. and the men will follow at 1 p.m.
BATTLE BORN COLLEGIATE CHALLENGE
Las Vegas (Craig Ranch Regional Park)
Yellow Men's Race (8k)
1. Northern Arizona 20; 2. Stanford 48; 3. Colorado 70; 4. Southern Utah 111; 5. CBU 153; 6. Boise State 154; 7. Colorado State 180; 8. Wyoming 187; 9. Nevada 287.
Individual Results (Top 10 Individuals of 87)
1. Abdihamid Nur, NAU, 22:30.1; 2. Nico Young, NAU, 22:30.7; 3. Eduardo Herrera, CU, 22:35.3; 4. Luis Grijalva, NAU, 22:35.4; 5. Blaise Ferro, NAU, 22:42.8; 6. Charles Hicks, SU, 22:57.9; 7. Alec Hornecker, CU, 23:10.6; 8. Brodey Hasky, NAU, 23:23.1; 9. Cole Sprout, SU, 23:23.6; 10. Devin Hart, SU, 23:24.4
Individual Results (CU Athletes Only)
16. Austin Vancil, 23:35.3; 17. Hunter Appleton, 23:35.5; 28. Jace Aschbrenner, 23:51.9; 37. Paxton Smith, 24:07.1; 41. Ethan Powell, 24:12.7; 59. Josh Torres, 24:43.0; 63. Caleb Neidnagel, 24:52.5; 70. Noah Hibbard, 25:11.5
Yellow Women's Race (6k)
1. New Mexico 60; 2. Stanford 85; 3. Northern Arizona 100; 4. Boise State 101; 5. Colorado 102; 6. Washington 132; 7. Colorado State 177; 8. Utah 242; 9. Washington State 256; 10. Southern Utah 258; 11. CBU 279; 12. Nevada 318.
Individual Results (Top 10 Individuals of 102)
1. Ella Donaghu, SU, 19:44.0; 2. Zofia Dudek, SU, 19:48.9; 3. Taryn O'Neill, NAU, 19:55.5; 4. Tyler Beling, BSU, 19:58.0; 5. Poppy Tank, Utah, 19:58.1; 6. Adva Cohen, UNM, 19:59.3; 7. Olivia Johnson, BSU, 20:02.5; 8. Abby Nichols, CU, 20:02.5; 9. Lily Tomasula-Martin, CSU, 20:02.6; 10. Gracelyn Larkin, UNM, 20:05.1
Individual Results (CU Athletes Only)
19. Madie Boreman, 20:16.8; 23. Elizabeth Constien, 20:25.5; 23. Micaela Degenero, 20:28.0; 28. Emily Covert, 20:34.7; 33. Annie Hill, 20:41.0; 37. Kaitlyn Barthell, 20:45.5; 51. Whitney Valenti, 21:06.9
Green Women's Race (6k)
1. Colorado 21; 2. Wyoming 45; 3. Embry-Riddle Arizona 97; 4. Dixie State 107; 5. UNLV 117.
Individual Results (Top 10 Individuals of 50)
1. Camille Jackson, CU, 20:57.2; 2. Kyla Christopher-Moody, CU, 21:05.2; 3. Katelyn Mitchem, Wyoming, 21:11.7; 4. Abi Archer, SU, 21:13.7; 5. Kaylee Bentley, Wyoming, 21:17.5; 6. Alisa Meraz-Fishbein, CU, 21:19.3; 7. Tiya Chamberlin, CU, 21:22.6; 8. Sarah O'Sullivan, CU, 21:31.9; 9. Olivia Brooks, CU, 21:39.9; 10. Carley Bennett, CU, 21:39.9.