Colorado Ranked Top-Five Ahead Of Home Return
BOULDER — The University of Colorado cross country men and women's programs both are ranked in the top-five in the NCAA, the USTFCCCA announced Wednesday afternoon with the men's team ranked fifth and the women's third.
This is the 19th time for both programs to be ranked inside the top-five at the start of the season.
The rankings come just days before the Buffaloes return to Boulder after a six-year hiatus from hosting a meet. The squads will compete against Colorado Christian University Friday morning at the Buffalo Ranch Cross Country Course at the CU South Campus.
The women's race will start at the CU South Campus at 7:15 a.m. followed by the men's race at 7:45 a.m. The women will run three laps on the 1,800-meter course (5,400m total), while the men will race four laps (7,200m total).
CU is returning a women's squad that finished on the podium last year in fourth and a men's squad that finished eighth at the NCAAs. For the women, All-American Emily Covert is the only returner from the NCAA scoring team and is joined only by Hannah Miniutti from the seven competitors. The men return Andrew Kent, Austin Vancil, Brendan Fraser and Charlie Sweeney from their NCAA team.
The women added a pair of transfers in Ella Baran from Johns Hopkins and Bailey Hertenstein from Indiana that should be in the front mix, while the men's squad added Wisconsin transfer Seth Hirsch.
Both teams also have a plethora of redshirt freshmen that will be fighting for a position in the top seven. There are 10 men entering their second season in the Wetmore program, all of which will be wearing their first CU jersey this weekend.
Everyone that can run will run for the Buffaloes this Friday, with most using this as a strong pacing opportunity and rust-buster. With such a new team, this meet will serve as a time trial with the top runners pacing the team in search of who will be the seventh through 12th runners in upcoming meets.
Both defending national champions lead the ranking with NAU leading the men and N.C. State on the women's side. New Mexico is second on the women's side, while Oklahoma State, Stanford and BYU are ranked 2-4.