Transfers Look To Continue A New Legacy
BOULDER – With the offseason additions of Bailey Hertenstein and Ella Baran, the University of Colorado cross country program hopes to continue its trend of having successful transfers come in and elevate the program.
Last year, CU saw amazing production from Ohio State transfer, Abby Nichols and Michigan transfer, Micaela DeGenero. Nichols became a three-time Pac-12 champion after placing first in the 5,000 meters, 6,000 meters (XC), and 10,000 meters while DeGenero became the NCAA champion in the mile. Additionally, Hertenstein and Baran's teammate India Johnson, a Notre Dame transfer, was an All-American doubling in the 5,000 and 10,000.
Colorado's newest additions, Hertenstein and Baran, are excited to see if they can match the transfer success of late.
After last season concluded, Hertenstein made the decision to leave Indiana and spend her final year of eligibility with Colorado.
"When I was looking for my next home, I really wanted to focus on team culture," Hertenstein said. "I just didn't really feel like I fit in where I was, so I wanted to make sure that the next home I chose was going to actually be like my closest family."
"In our first home meet, even though it was like a time trial, I was just really proud to be wearing that uniform because I was surrounded by girls that I really love and girls that really love me," she added.
Hertenstein, a Florida native, has also expressed her excitement to be able to work with another Florida native and CU legend, Jenny Simpson.
"It's inspiring, honestly. It gives you something to look up to and something to keep you going and be motivated."
She has only been in Boulder for a few months, but Hertenstein has already made her presence felt by finishing the 5.4k in 18:59.8 which ranked first at the Colorado Open.
Baran had a similar agenda to her new teammate when she decided to take her talents to Colorado after departing from Johns Hopkins.
Regarding why she chose CU, Baran said, "definitely the team environment and having a really ambitious group of women to work with side-by-side every day and just really focus on our own personal development growth."
"There have been challenges. I got covid two weeks after I moved here so while I was adjusting to being at 5,000 feet I also had that to deal with, but I feel like with any circumstance, there's always going to be an adjustment period. So overall I'm just really excited and happy to be here," she said.
Baran has dealt with adversity since joining Colorado, but with the help of her teammates and coaches she has settled into her new schedule.
"Lifting for two hours a week and running a sub-seven minute pace at elevation has been a huge shock to the system, but it has gotten a lot easier as I've adjusted to that sort of expectation and also really working with the people around me."
Despite facing a challenging transition from DIII to DI competition, Baran also impressed in the Colorado Open after placing fourth with a time of 19:11.2.
As the cross country season kicks off, the Buffs' newest additions will be a key part to continuing the cross country team's historic success.