Hurta Wins Mile National Championship
FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. – Colorado track and field redshirt senior Sage Hurta claimed the 2021 NCAA Women's Mile National Tile here Saturday evening with a winning mark of 4:30.58.
Hurta ran an intelligent race, sitting behind in fourth through the first half. Around the 500-meter mark, Hurta quickly positioned herself of Krissy Gear's shoulder from Arkansas, and a few meters later was gapping the field quickly. By the time she reached the finish line with 400 meters remaining, Hurta had already built a five-meter lead.
Gear went with Hurta as best she could, but Hurta's 2-minute 800 speed was on full display as she dropped a 32.07 lap from 400 to 200 meters, faster than any lap anyone else ran in the race. She then added an extra measure of speed with the bell lap in 31.13 seconds. She finished with a final 800 time of 2:11.
"That was the strategy to go out easy and then take control," said Hurta following the race. "Over the second half, I knew I was strong and wanted to push it and make sure I was in position to win."
Hurta becomes just the second Buff to ever win the mile indoors for Colorado, joining Emma Coburn's title in 2013. She is the 24th individual national champion for Colorado in track and field and her title is the 19th indoor title.
Hurta led the Buffs to tying for a 20th-overall placing as a team.
On The Race
"Going into the race I knew I had a great shot to win. I thought it was going to be down to a couple of people so I wanted to make sure I went into the second half of the race confident. When I made my move I wanted to totally commit to it and not give anyone an opportunity to pass."
On Her Speed
"I'm pretty strong in the 800 so I knew that over the last couple of laps I could take anyone in the field and it was nice to have that in my back pocket to know that if it went out fast from the gun or whether we were jogging until 300 to go that I could out sprint anyone."
On What This Means Moving Forward To Outdoors And Beyond
"It feels like a stepping-stone to hopefully more exciting things in the next few months. We will have to see where this takes us to the outdoor season. I was glad to start my year with this, I think it bodes well."
POSTGAME MEDIA ZOOM
On The Race
"Yesterday in the prelim there was a bit of traffic and it bent me out of shape a bit so I went out today and saying ok there is going to be some pushing and shoving and be calm over the second half. Somewhere between 800 and 300 to go I wanted to make a decisive move and not look back."
On What This Mean
"The stubbornness that got me into injury trouble in all of 2020 was the same stubbornness I had with my cross training and my rehab. My comeback and going into this weekend I knew this was the opportunity that got me through those really hard days where I didn't want to workout, didn't want to get on the alterG or get in the pool. I said I've got to make the most of this I've been hanging onto this for a year and a half just to get back to competing for a NCAA Championships which ever since my 2019 outdoor season I knew was a realistic possibility."
On The Parallels Of Her Titles
"There's nothing that beat the cross country team championship. Those are the women that you are with every single day for years working together. On a personal ego level, there was a lot riding on today. It hasn't set in yet really, but since I stepped on campus at Colorado I really wanted to be a national champion."
On Her Injury Issues
"Starting midway through the 2019 cross season I had some shin pain that I ignored for three months. I found out it was a full stress fractur in my tibia. I had to take a long time off for that, came back to quickly, took some more time off then had a third minor bone injury in the same bone this past fall."
On Being Anxious
"I was super anxious, really wanted this opportunity. But at the same time if you put to much on one moment, one race it can be really overwhelming. Even going into this weekend, I obviously really wanted to win and I knew I could do it. I thought anything less than a win would be a disappointment. However, I also know this is a big important year with outdoor NCAA then the trials. This is a stepping-stone to those June meets that I think will be the pinnacle.
On Training With Jenny Simpson
"Recently I haven't been training with her that much because she's been doing a lot of base work and I've been hitting the track hard. She always makes a point to help like last week she timed her double so she could warm up with me for my workout. She's been really nice, we've got a great friendship. Going into this weekend her one piece of advice was the thing that's different between the 800 or the 1500 and mile is that in the 800 you are slowing down the last 200 and you've got to be ready to accelerate if need be in the mile."
On Her Time
"I was pleasantly surprised. Going into the race I thought it might be slow. When it was 4:30 I was pleased. It's nice to get a personal best. In a perfect race, a bit less traffic, I'm in sub 4:30 shape and I'd love to run that fast but I was telling myself not to get fixed on the times today because there will be 1500s outdoor this year where I get to run fast."