Colorado Set For Fresno State Invitational
BOULDER – The University of Colorado track and field program heads to the Fresno State Invitational this Saturday in Fresno, Calif.
The Buffs currently have 24 athletes set to compete at the NCAA West Preliminaries in 30 events, as well as a pair of relays. There are five other athletes in the top-70 seeking a top-48 ranking, as well as a pair of athletes in Madie Boreman and Charlie Sweeney in the top-70 looking to add another event to their already NCAA West bound schedule.
Of all the athletes, heptathlete Avery McMullen leads the way ranked in the top-48 in three individual events while already NCAA Championships bound with a 10th ranking in the heptathlon. She is 13th in the NCAA West after her wind-aided 20-9 long jump last weekend, 33rd in the high jump and 48th in the 100 hurdles. This weekend she will compete in the 200-meter dash, long jump and 100 hurdles.
The main focus for the men is the 5,000-meter run where Andrew Kent will lead the way as he is already ranked 11th in the west. He and Eduardo Herrera, who is running the 1,500 along with Noah Hibbard, are the only men heading to prelims in the 5,000 at the end of May. The men will run Sweeney, Austin Vancil, Alec Hornecker, Jace Aschbrenner, Paxton Smith, Hunter Appleton, Brandon Fraser and Jake Derouin and all try to run better than 13:47, the current 48th-best mark in the west this season. Sweeney is currently 60th in the 5,000 while Appleton and Derouin are ranked top-70 in the 10,000.
For the women, the 1,500-meter run will be a main focus with Rachel McArthur and Madie Boreman looking to return to the NCAA Championships along with Abby Nichols, Carley Bennett and Anna Shults. McArthur has not competed this outdoor season, while Boreman and Nichols are already heading to the Preliminaries in the steeplechase and 5,000, respectfully.
The defending NCAA Mile National Champion Micaela DeGenero will compete this weekend in the 800. Also for the distance squad, Kaitlyn Barthell and Kyla Christopher-Moody will run the 5,000 while Gabrielle Orie, Alisa Meraz-Fishbein and Whitney Valenti will run the steeplechase.
Other Preliminaries hopeful include Grace Jenkins and Jaida Drame in the women's 400. They will compete this weekend in the event with Jenkins currently ranked 70th. Both women are on the 4x400-meter relay that is heading to preliminaries along with Abbey Glynn and Emma Pollak who are both set to compete in both the 400-meter hurdles and 4x400-meter relay at the prelims.
For the men's quarter-milers, Tyler Williams and Ian Gilmore will work on their speed in the 200, while Aaron McCoy, Garrett Nelson, Kellen Monestime and Eli Heitmann will all compete in the 400 hurdles. Williams is ranked highly in the open 400 in the west while McCoy and Nelson are in good standings in the hurdles. Monestime is currently ranked one spot out in the hurdles.
For the field events, Noah Bouchard is set to compete in the high jump and long jump this weekend, the first of which he is heading to prelims in. Dominique Williams and Tyler Sconce will compete in the hammer throw with Sconce on the edge with the 46th-best mark in the NCAA West. Allie Routledge will be the lone CU woman competing in the high jump but is one of three women heading to prelims in the event including Kylee Harr and McMullen.
Jada Green is currently set to compete at the end of May in the javelin and will compete this weekend in the event as well. She is also seeking a top-24 spot in the heptathlon in the NCAA for a ticket straight to the championships. She needs a few hundred points more than her best to head there and will work on the 200, 100 hurdles and javelin this weekend to prep for the Pac-12 Championships heptathlon.
The Buffs are closing out the outdoor season, with only the Air Force Twilight May 7 left on the schedule before the Pac-12 Championships.