Colorado Women Dominate Final Day Of Prelims
COLLEGE STATION – The Colorado track and field women qualified seven student-athletes through to the 2021 NCAA Championships here Saturday evening at the NCAA West Preliminaries.
The women had a stellar day, qualifying three women through in the 1,500, a pair in the 400 hurdles and one in the steeplechase and 5,000. In total, CU will compete eight individuals in nine events at the NCAA Championships in Eugene.
"The women had a great weekend all the way around," said head coach Mark Wetmore. "Everybody either made it through or ran better than their ranking. Eriana came in ranked 11th so had a good day to make it through but Abbey was a big excitement also getting through. Then Abby Nichols doubling back and running great, very good 5k/10k double for her. So yeah, the woman had an excellent weekend."
The 1,500-meter trio started things off for the Colorado women. Alone in the first heat, Micaela Degenero had to deal with a trio of Stanford and Arkansas runners. She stuck around the eighth spot, then outkicked three athletes to take the fourth-qualifier spot in 4:12.36, passing Christina Aragon of Stanford and Olivia Howell of Illinois.
In the second heat, Sage Hurta and Rachel McArthur went straight to the second and third spots from the gun. McArthur took the lead while Hurta held the final transition with 800 remaining. Hurta took the lead with 200 meters remaining with McArthur in third around the bend, but the CU women finished 1-2 in 4:12.01 and 4:13.25, respectfully.
"That was very big (to get all three women through)," said Wetmore. "We thought each one of them is good and each one of them should be thought of as a contender. But to get three out of 12 is a pretty tall order. It was the highest we could have hoped for and we got it. And they ran fast"
The Buffs women also qualified through both Abbey Glynn and Eriana Henderson in the 400 hurdles. Henderson was the first through, picking up the third automatic qualifying spot in the second heat. She was the beneficiary of a fall by another athlete but would've made it through anyways with her time. Freshman Glynn picked up her first ticket to the NCAA Championships after she finished second in the third and final heat in 58.02.
Madie Boreman is now making her return to the NCAA Championships, nearly four years after her runner-up finish. The senior picked up the first of the 'next three-fastest time' qualifier spots after running 9:50.97 in the steeplechase to finish fourth out of the first heat. Her time ended up eighth overall and was faster than two of the automatic qualifiers out of the third heat. Alisa Meraz-Fishbein also ran in the first heat, finishing 36th overall in 10:37.07.
"She was in the final in 2017 and interrupted in all kinds of ways for a few years," said Wetmore on Boreman's return. "She's worked very hard in the last six months to battle back into this thing. We're pleased that she made it."
Earning her second qualification was Abby Nichols who ran an excellent 5,000-meter race and finished second overall in 15:58.03. Nichols let Washington's Haley Herberg take the lead and work hard, while Nichols stuck with a pack of seven for a majority of the race. Slowly individuals kept dropping but Nichols held on, then with 300 meters left she began to move up the pack. Stanford's Julia Heymach passed Herberg with 200 left in the race and Nichols covered the move and finished the final 100 meters passing BYU's Whittni Orton to finish second.
"Abby ran the 10,000 and ran very well," said Wetmore. "She's been nursing a sore leg a little bit and we weren't sure this was the right thing to do but she said, 'I'm here, let's do it.' And then, once the gun went off, she was just a terrier, she's a quiet killer."
Also for the women in the 5,000, Annie Hill finished 15th in the first heat in 16:39.13 and Kaitlyn Barthell ran 16:43.76 to finish 16th in the heat. The two finished 28th and 31st overall, respectfully.
The women ended the amazing day with the women's 4x400 relay of Jaida Drame, Henderson, Tamia Badal and Glynn running 3:38.42 for seventh overall in the first heat. Their time is good for seventh in school history and finished 17th overall.
"Well the women's 4x4 ran their fastest time of the year, one of the fastest times ever at Colorado and that was not too long after the two women were in the 400 hurdles so all around, very good day," said Wetmore.
Aaron McCoy was the first CU athlete on the track today as the men's finals got pushed to Saturday due to rain on Friday. McCoy finished 21st in the 400 hurdles in 53.26 seconds.
The men's 4x400 of Tyler Williams, McCoy, Ian Gilmore and Ronald Sayles ran 3:06.04 for the 12th-best time on the day, unfortunately not qualifying to the NCAA Championships. Williams had an amazing first leg from the ninth lane, giving McCoy the baton around fourth. The men, who were sitting in a qualifying spot in the final heat, held tight until the handoff to Gilmore where Arkansas snuck by and took the final time qualifier as no more moves extended to the end. The mark is the second-fastest relay in school history.
"The men's four by four finished one spot out," said Wetmore. "They ran the fastest time of the year I think they ran the second fastest time ever in Colorado. And for an hour, the team in front of them was being protested, so it was a real nail biter or perhaps a hoof biter. I didn't see it, Burke didn't see it, it just popped up as under review. Of course you don't want to wish for something bad on somebody else, but if there was a foul or somebody ran out of their lane we'd want our team in. It was a long hour then dismissed but they ran really well those guys."
The men's 5,000 didn't go as well as planned. Stuck in the first heat alone, Eduardo Herrera went out with a slow paced heat and paid for it as he was passed in the final 250 meters by two runners and finished sixth, one spot out from an automatic qualifying mark. The second heat, which included John Dressel and Alec Hornecker, went out much faster to take the two time qualifying spots by six seconds as Herrera finished 15th overall in 14:01.69, followed by Hornecker in 24th in 14:16.43 and Dressel in 30th in 14:25.30. Dressel will be the lone male representative in Eugene after qualifying in the 10,000 Wednesday evening.
"Lalo got stuck in the heat with a lot of really good kickers," added Wetmore. "Then it went slow. He didn't kick brilliantly. But he's looked tired for a couple of weeks, I think maybe I didn't do the year perfectly with him. He was in monster shape in October and very good shape in April, and I think it was just a bridge too far."
"Overall very good day for everyone, one disappointment in Lalo and I got to feel that was on me," said Wetmore.
Colorado will return to action June 9-12 at Hayward Field for the 2021 NCAA Outdoor Track and Field Championships.
|Saturday||Aaron McCoy||400H Finals||12:55 p.m.||21st - 53.26|
|Saturday||Ronald Sayles||4x400 Finals||2:15 p.m.||12th - 3:06.04|
|Saturday||Tyler Williams||4x400 Finals||2:15 p.m.||12th - 3:06.04|
|Saturday||Aaron McCoy||4x400 Finals||2:15 p.m.||12th - 3:06.04|
|Saturday||Ian Gilmore||4x400 Finals||2:15 p.m.||12th - 3:06.04|
|Saturday||Sage Hurta||1,500 Finals||2:45 p.m.||4th - 4:12.01|
|Saturday||Micaela Degenero||1,500 Finals||2:45 p.m.||5th - 4:12.36|
|Saturday||Rachel McArthur||1,500 Finals||2:45 p.m.||8th - 4:13.25|
|Saturday||Madie Boreman||Steeplechase Finals||3:45 p.m.||8th - 9:50.97|
|Saturday||Alisa Meraz-Fishbein||Steeplechase Finals||3:45 p.m.||36th - 10:37.07|
|Saturday||Eriana Henderson||400H Finals||5:30 p.m.||10th - 58.05|
|Saturday||Abbey Glynn||400H Finals||5:30 p.m.||9th - 58.02|
|Saturday||Eduardo Herrera||5,000 Finals||6:05 p.m.||15th - 14:01.69|
|Saturday||John Dressel||5,000 Finals||6:05 p.m.||30th - 14:25.30|
|Saturday||Alec Hornecker||5,000 Finals||6:05 p.m.||24th - 14:16.43|
|Saturday||Abby Nichols||5,000 Finals||6:50 p.m.||2nd - 15:58.03|
|Saturday||Annie Hill||5,000 Finals||6:50 p.m.||28th - 16:39.13|
|Saturday||Kaitlyn Barthell||5,000 Finals||6:50 p.m.||31st - 16:43.76|
|Saturday||Eriana Henderson||4x400 Finals||7:35 p.m.||17th - 3:38.42|
|Saturday||Abbey Glynn||4x400 Finals||7:35 p.m.||17th - 3:38.42|
|Saturday||Tamia Badal||4x400 Finals||7:35 p.m.||17th - 3:38.42|
|Saturday||Jaida Drame||4x400 Finals||7:35 p.m.||17th - 3:38.42|
|Wednesday||Dominique Williams||Hammer Throw||12:30 p.m.||43rd - 55.77m|
|Wednesday||Ronald Sayles||400m Prelims||6:25 p.m.||27th - 46.86|
|Wednesday||Aaron McCoy||400H Prelims||7:20 p.m.||27th - 51.36 Q|
|Wednesday||John Dressel||10,000 Finals||8:10 p.m.||7th - 29:12.07|
|Thursday||Jada Green||Javelin||12:30 p.m.||17th - 48.73m|
|Thursday||Avery McMullen||Long Jump||2:00 p.m.||35th - 5.96m|
|Thursday||Sage Hurta||1,500 Prelims||5:30 p.m.||13th - 4:19.86 Q|
|Thursday||Micaela Degenero||1,500 Prelims||5:30 p.m.||18th - 4:22.05 Q|
|Thursday||Rachel McArthur||1,500 Prelims||5:30 p.m.||14th - 4:20.05 Q|
|Thursday||Annie Hill||1,500 Prelims||5:30 p.m.||35th - 4:29.84|
|Thursday||Eriana Henderson||400H Prelims||7:20 p.m.||4th - 57.93|
|Thursday||Abbey Glynn||400H Prelims||7:20 p.m.||7th - 58.45|
|Thursday||Abby Nichols||10,000 Finals||8:10 p.m.||9th - 33:52.00|
|Thursday||Emily Covert||10,000 Finals||8:10 p.m.||17th - 34:34.22|
|Thursday||Elizabeth Constien||10,000 Finals||8:10 p.m.||29th - 35:33.96|
|Thursday||Kaitlyn Barthell||10,000 Finals||8:10 p.m.||32nd - 35:56.64|