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Women Finish Second at Regionals, Men Place Third

Nov 12, 2021
Emily Covert placed 10th at regionals

PROVO, Utah — The University of Colorado women's cross country team recorded a runner-up finish on Friday afternoon at the NCAA Mountain Region Championship to earn their 13th straight trip to the NCAA Championships on November 20, in Tallahassee, Fla.
The men recorded a third-place finish at the meet and will likely advance as well. The top two teams in each race at the regional championships automatically move on to nationals, while every other team that finishes below those spots has to wait for the NCAA to announce the complete 31-team field, which will be done on Saturday, November 13, at 3 p.m. MT during a selection show at
"There's no question," coach Mark Wetmore said when asked about the men's team advancing. "I know we have to wait for the official announcement but there's no question."
The Buffs, who were ranked third nationally heading into the race, finished second in the 6-kilometer race behind second-ranked New Mexico, 62-83.
The race featured three of the top four and four of the top 10 teams in the USTFCCCA Division I Poll with No. 2 BYU and No. 7 Utah. UNM, CU and BYU were in the top three for the majority of the race, but Utah ended up finishing fifth behind No. 19 Colorado State.  
The Buffs led BYU and UNM with a little over 2k in the race. The Lobos surged past CU and BYU in the following kilometer as the Buffs and Cougars slipped to second and third, respectively, which is where those three teams would stay in the final stretch of the race. BYU ended up third with 107 points.
Abby Nichols led CU, finishing third overall in 20:22.5. She was 14th at the 1k split and moved up to sixth around the midway point. She was up with the lead pack and ran a well-executed race where she was able to defeat Gracelyn Larkin (UNM) at the finish by less than a second (20:22.6).
Scoring second for the Buffs was Emily Covert, who finished 10th in 20:29.4. She was always in the top-10 at the splits, getting as high as third at the 4k split. India Johnson placed 14th and was the Buffs' third scorer, crossing in 20:41.9.
Scoring for the first time this season as CU's fourth finisher was Micaela DeGenero, who placed 27th in 20:59.4. She has been coming back from an interruption and ran her first varsity race at the Pac-12 Championship two weeks ago where she was CU's eighth runner.
"Micaela is back in the scoring group and probably can help us in a week," Wetmore said. "She missed a bunch of the summer but is working her way back into shape."
Madie Boreman rounded out the team score for the Buffs, placing 29th in 21:04.2. CU's other finishers were Kaitlyn Barthell (45th) and Elizabeth Constien (57th).
There were a couple of faces missing from the line-up Friday but it is nothing to worry about as Colorado gets ready for NCAAs next week.
"We held out Hannah [Minuitti] and we held out Rachel [McArthur]," Wetmore said. "They'll be ready to go in eight days for sure. We did what we needed to do. This race is always a little more challenging than we want it to be, but we did what we needed to do on the women's side and advanced. We held out some people, BYU held out some people - I don't know New Mexico's team well enough to know if they ran everybody. But the three teams that were expected to keep going, did."
Northern Arizona's Taryn O'Neill won the individual title in 20:17.9.  
THE MEN'S RACE: Considering Northern Arizona has been ranked the top-ranked team in the national poll all season, CU was currently the No. 2 team and BYU was ranked eighth and was running at home, the NCAA Men's Mountain Region Championship was expected to be a battle.  
BYU rose to the challenge and defeated NAU, 42-57, while Colorado finished third with 83 points.
"BYU has been careful all season," Wetmore said. "They haven't run their full seven until today, I think. They ran well. They looked great - they had four guys finish very high."
BYU had four in the top 10 and the fifth runner was 21st overall. NAU placed its top four in the top 15 and had its final scorer come in at 26. The Buffaloes also ran in a pack with three in the top 16 and all five scorers in the top 24.
For the fourth time this season, Eduardo Herrera led the Buffaloes, this time finishing fifth. He crossed the finish in 29:46.5 in the first 10k race of the season for CU, beating NAU's Abdihamid Nur who was sixth in 29:49.3.
Stephen Jones and Austin Vancil placed 15th and 16th, respectively, crossing the finish a half-second apart. Jones finished in 30:14.6, while Vancil recorded a time of 30:15.1.
CU's next two runners, Alec Hornecker and Brendan Fraser, ran across the finish within a second of each other. Hornecker placed 23rd with a time of 30:24.1 and Fraser was 24th in 30:24.8. Not far behind those two was Charlie Sweeney. He was 28th in 30:31.4. Andrew Kent placed 32nd overall, finishing in 30:34.8.
"Judging by the way our men looked through the shoot, I think everybody was pretty much under control," Wetmore said.
Connor Mantz (BYU) took home the individual title, crossing the finish in 29:39.6.
ALL-REGION: The top 25 individuals in each race were named to the All-Mountain Region Team. CU placed five men and three women on the team. Those men are Eduardo Herrera, Stephen Jones, Austin Vancil, Alec Hornecker and Brendan Fraser. The women are Abby Nichols, Emily Covert and India Johnson.
NCAA SELECTION SHOW: With two teams advancing to the NCAA Championships in each of the nine regions that leave 13 of 31 spots remaining to be filled. The NCAA will announce those additional 13 teams during a selection show on Saturday, Nov. 13. The show will be streamed online at starting at 3 p.m. MT. While the women earned an automatic spot in the championship, the men have to wait for the announcement on Saturday for it to be official.
UP NEXT: The NCAA Championships are Saturday, November 20, in Tallahassee, Fla., at Apalachee Regional Park. The women's 6k race is set for an 8:20 a.m. MT start, while the men's 10k run is scheduled to begin at 9:10 a.m. MT. Both will be broadcast live on ESPNU for the second straight year. More information can be found at
Timpanogos Golf Course (Provo, Utah.)
Women's 6k Team Results:
1. New Mexico 62; 2. Colorado 83; 3. BYU 107; 4. Colorado State 116; 5. Utah 146; 6. Northern Arizona 168; 7. Utah State 199; 8. Weber State 212; 9. Utah Valley 217; 10. Air Force 260; 11. Southern Utah 325; 12. Wyoming 356; 13. Nevada 363; 14. Montana State 411; 15. New Mexico State 415; 16. Idaho State 440; 17. UTEP 512; 18. Montana 528; 19. Texas Tech 539.
Women's 6k Individual Results (top 10):
1. Taryn O'Neill, NAU, 20:17.9; 2. Tierney Wolfgram, UN, 20:20.4; 3. Abby Nichols, CU, 20:22.5; 3. Gracelyn Larkin, UNM, 20:22.6; 5. Alison Pray, SUU, 20:24.4; 6. Anna Camp, BYU, 20:26.5; 7. Aubrey Frentheway, BYU, 20:26.6; 8. Summer Allen, WSU, 20:27.0; 9. Abbe Goldstein, UNM, 20:28.2; 10. Emily Covert, CU, 20:29.4.
Other CU Finishers:
14. India Johnson, 20:42.1; 27. Micaela DeGenero, 20:59.4; 29. Madie Boreman, 21:04.2; 37. Kaitlyn Barthell, 21:21.4; 57. Elizabeth Constien, 21:48.8.
Men's 10k Team Results:
1. BYU 42; 2. Northern Arizona 57; 3. Colorado 83; 4. Air Force 130; 5. Southern Utah 152; 6. Weber State 155; 7. Montana State 177; 8. Utah State 177; 9. Colorado State 216; 10. Utah State 301; 11. Wyoming 308; 12. Nevada 353; 13. UTEP 358; 14. New Mexico 368; 15. Idaho State 452; 16. Montana 473; 17. Texas Tech 528.
Men's 10k Individual Results (top 10)
1. Connor Mantz, BYU, 29:39.6; 2. Nico Young, NAU, 29:40.8; 3. Casey Clinger, BYU, 29:42.9; 4. Christian Allen, Weber State, 29:43.4; 5. Eduardo Herrera, CU, 29:46.5; 6. Abdihamid Nur, NAU, 29:49.3; 7. Christian Ricketts, SUU, 29:54.5; 8. Brandon Garnica, BYU, 29:58.5; 9. Aidan Troutner, BYU, 30:04.2; 10. Drew Bosley, NAU, 30:07.0.
Other CU Finisher:
15. Stephen Jones, 30:14.6; 16. Austin Vancil, 30:15.1; 23. Alec Hornecker, 30:24.1; 24. Brendan Fraser, 30:24.8; 28. Charlie Sweeney, 30:31.4; 32. Andrew Kent, 30:34.8