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Covert Leads Buffs In Women’s Opening day

Jun 9, 2022

EUGENE – Colorado women's track and field sophomore Emily Covert opened the 2022 NCAA Outdoor Track and Field Championships for the women with a fourth-place finish in the 10,000-meter run final here Thursday evening.
Covert picked up a First Team All-American honor, the first for her outdoors, after running 33:14.64. Her teammate India Johnson earned a Second Team All-American honor finishing 10th in the race in 33:34.93.
The race was a bizarre one with a story of two halves. The first half saw Covert along with 22 other women losing sight of Washington's Haley Herberg who set out a blistering pace through the first 5,000-meters, built a lead as large as 130 meters in the process. Covert stayed patiently with the chase group, sitting around fifth for most of the first half. Johnson started from the back of the race and made her way up to 14th through the first half.
In the second half of the race, Herberg's 89-second laps began to get cut by consecutive 86-second laps for a chase pack of six that included Covert. They closed the gap to 50 meters with two miles remaining, and half a mile later Alabama's Mercy Chelangat had passed Herberg and never looked back. Covert did her best to match the moves of Chelangat and Rice's Grace Forbes but stayed in fifth for most of the race as Johnson had worked her way up to 12th. Covert passed Herberg for her finishing position, giving her a First Team All-America honor in cross country and outdoor track along with a Second Team honor indoors this year. Johnson passed two other athletes on her way to her first Second Team All-America finish for Colorado.
One other Buff picked up Second Team All-America honors today while two others secured their spot in the finals of their events and secured All-American finishes. Abbey Glynn raced in the 400-meter hurdles first heat, coming off the final curve in fifth before stumbling slightly over the final hurdle. She was able to keep her composure and reclaim the fifth position in the final five meters of the race after giving it up off the hurdle. Glynn finished in 57.18 seconds, ending the first heat with the final bubble time. Unfortunately, that time was passed as she finished 10th overall. Her time was greater than the automatic third qualifying spot out of the third heat, but due to that athlete moving onto finals, Glynn drops one spot to finish 11th in the NCAA.
The two athletes that advanced to finals are Micaela DeGenero in the 1,500-meter run along with Madie Boreman in the steeplechase. DeGenero was the first Buff on the track Thursday in the first heat of the women's 1,500 and she immediately went to the front of the race, sitting on the outside of lane one. Stanford's Aragon took the lead after the first 300 meters as the pack went out with a slow 76-second first 400 meters. DeGenero tried to take the lead with 500-meters remaining in the race, finally taking it with 250 meters remaining. DeGenero picked up the speed around the curve to hold off Binghamton's Emily Mackay, the was passed with 40 meters left to finish third in her heat in 4:21.61.
In the women's steeplechase second heat, Boreman slid right into third with her teammate Gabrielle Orie at the back of the pack. The pack was so tight at the start of the race an athlete fell on a barrier and forced another athlete outside the rail temporarily. Boreman sat third right behind the leader with two laps remaining as a pack of seven broke out. She moved up to second at the bell but fell to third on the backstretch. Boreman claimed the lead momentarily heading into the water jump before moving over to clear safely as she cruised to the finish in a personal best time of 9:41.95, the sixth-best time in the semifinals. Orie finished 10th in the heat and 18th overall in 10:04.28.
Rachel McArthur also ran in the 1,500 today in the second heat that went out much faster. McArthur started in seventh, then with 500 meters remaining she made a move up to fifth. On the backstretch, McArthur was clipped from behind, slowing her down significantly as she fell to the back of the race and finished in 4:21.15, faster than the winners of the first heat. A protest was filed on McArthur's behalf due to the impediment but ultimately was ruled that the contact was not consequential.
The night closed with the quartet of Emma Pollak, Jaida Drame, Grace Jenkins and Glynn in the women's 4x400-meter relay semifinals. Pollak came out of the blocks and handed off to Drame who made the 100-meter break in seventh. Drame dropped a spot on the curve but made it up in the homestretch when she handed off to Jenkins. Jenkins stayed in seventh before handing off to Glynn in eighth, who was able to catch Tennessee at the end to finish seventh in the first heat in 3:40.44. Their time was six seconds off their NCAA Preliminaries mark as Pollak and Drame combined for a 1:50.55 first two legs, averaging 55 seconds, followed by Jenkins at 55.47 and Glynn at 54.43.
Covert's five points pushed the Buffs into a tie for 18th in the team scoring as Arizona State claimed the lead with 18 points followed by a three-way tie for second with Virginia Tech, Nebraska and Florida with 14 points.
Heptathlete Avery McMullen begins the first day of the women's heptathlon tomorrow beginning at 2 p.m. MT with the 100 hurdles. She will compete in the high jump, shot put and 200-meter run as well, as Friday looks to be a rainy day in Eugene. McMullen will close out competition Saturday along with DeGenero, Boreman, Abby Nichols, Covert and Johnson.
Head Coach Mark Wetmore
On Emily Covert
"Very satisfying race. I'm not sure where she was on the form chart coming out of the regionals, but we had hoped she could get into the top eight, get on the podium, First Team All-American and she exceeded all of our goals. Excellent, she's just a sophomore and has a big future."
On Micaela And Madie Advancing
"Well, that's what we had hoped for. According to the chart, they would make it to the finals and they did. They ran smart, ran controlled. Nobody ever feels brilliant on these semifinal days. So now they have a day of rest, get some good body work and a long relaxing day tomorrow and then back to work."
On Rachel's Protest
"Rachel was certainly impacted by traffic in the last lap. We filed a protest and the judges felt it was not significant enough to advance her to the final."
On India And Abbey
"Like Emily, India ran smart, patient outran her ranking and moved up throughout the race. We couldn't be more pleased. Another All-American certificate for her, we're very pleased. Same with Abbey. Abbey ran I think her second fastest time ever and struggled with one hurdle, but she's really relatively new to this event. I think she's been doing the 400 hurdles for about a year and two months so she'll continue to get better."
On Gabrielle And The 4x4
"Well, Elle made nice progress this year technically. It's hard to be perfect in the NCAA final when it's going so fast. I think she was out a little too hard for her fitness. When you get extra tired in the steeplechase technical things begin to happen. It wasn't the best technical race of the year but a huge step for her to get to this meet and a year to go, so she's going to be a factor next year. And then the women's 4x4 it wasn't their best race, but they've never seen this. They've never seen this show before and it can be quite intimidating. Everybody here is good. There are no soft teams. There are no soft athletes. Warming up in the paddock and moving into the holding pens and stepping onto the track, it can be they can be innervating so they had a great year. Congratulations on making it. Most of them are back."
On Avery And Saturday
"Well, let's hope Avery has a good opening day tomorrow looks like a little bit of inclement weather which maybe we're better at than some other teams and then the big final day and let's get some points on the board."

Day Time (MT) Time (PT) Event Round Athlete Heat Place Result
8-Jun 8:48 PM 7:48 PM Men's 4x400-Relay Semifinals Gilmore, McCoy, Williams, Nelson 3 20th 3:06.12
9-Jun 6:46 PM 5:46 PM Women's 1,500 Semifinals DeGenero 1 15th Q 4:21.61
6:46 PM 5:46 PM Women's 1,500 Semifinals McArthur 2 17th 4:21.15
7:02 PM 6:02 PM Women's Steeplechase Semifinals Boreman 2 6th Q 9:41.95
7:02 PM 6:02 PM Women's Steeplechase Semifinals Orie 2 18th 10:04.28
8:30 PM 7:30 PM Women's 400H Semifinals Glynn 1 11th 57.18
9:08 PM 8:08 PM Women's 10,000 Finals Covert 1 4th 33:14.64
9:08 PM 8:08 PM Women's 10,000 Finals Johnson 1 10th 33:34.93
9:48 PM 8:48 PM Women's 4x400-Relay Semifinals Jenkins, Drame, Pollak, Glynn 1 23rd 3:40.44
10-Jun 2:00 PM 1:00 PM Heptathlon 100H Heptathlon McMullen TBD
3:00 PM 2:00 PM Heptathlon High Jump Heptathlon McMullen TBD
5:00 PM 4:00 PM Heptathlon Shot Put Heptathlon McMullen TBD
8:43 PM 7:43 PM Heptathlon 200 Heptathlon McMullen TBD
11-Jun 11:30 AM 10:30 AM Heptathlon Long Jump Heptathlon McMullen TBD
12:45 PM 11:45 AM Heptathlon Javelin Heptathlon McMullen TBD
3:41 PM 2:41 PM Women's 1,500 Finals DeGenero TBD
3:54 PM 2:54 PM Women's Steeplechase Finals Boreman TBD
5:13 PM 4:13 PM Heptathlon 800 Heptathlon McMullen TBD
5:25 PM 4:25 PM Women's 5,000 Finals Nichols 1
5:25 PM 4:25 PM Women's 5,000 Finals Covert 1
5:25 PM 4:25 PM Women's 5,000 Finals Johnson 1