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Colorado Finishes Championships With Three All-Americans

Nov 19, 2022

STILLWATER, Okla. — The University of Colorado cross country programs closed out the 2022 season here Saturday morning with three All-American finishes as the men finished eighth and the women finished 11th overall.
The highlight of the day came from Pac-12 Champion Bailey Hertenstein who made a massive move in the final 400 meters to go from 16th to fifth with a time of 19:45.1. Hertenstein led the way for CU most of the race, moving from 30th in the first 2000 meters to 16th for the second half. Coming up the final hill into the turn, Hertenstein charged from the late teens, then cresting the hill to the final downhill she passed 11 runners, including numerous All-Americans like Alabama's 5,000 national champion Mercy Chelangat.
"I think she was 12th with 500 to go," said head coach Mark Wetmore on Bailey's finish and future. "She needs to continue to gain confidence. Continue to get fitter. She's back with us next year. So she's going to be a real force in a year. We've only had her since August really. She will sit out indoor season probably because she only has one left. Which means she now has five or six months to do excellent uninterrupted training. She can be an even better runner by May, than she is now and then keep getting better all through next year."
Fellow grad transfer Ella Baran also finished her first season in the black and gold as an All-American, passing 20 athletes in the final 700 meters to finish 30th in 20:09.2. Baran started the race in the middle of the pack around 80th, then moved up to 54th at the 4,000m mark before blasting to an All-American finish.
The Buffs stuck to their game plan and had a number of strong finished. Gabrielle Orie was 169th in the first third of the race, then caught 22 runners or more at every kilometer to finish 78th in 20:29.0. Emily Covert battled through a lower leg injury and finished 105th in 20:39.0, followed by Kaitlyn Barthell placing 129th in 20:47.6.
Also for the Buffaloes, Alisa Meraz-Fishbein finished 228th in 21:44.8 and Whitney Valenti finished 234th in 21:52.0.
The women matched their incoming ranking, scoring 286 points to finished 11th. The Buffaloes were the top finishing Pac-12 school, upsetting Utah, Stanford and Oregon who were all ranked higher than CU in the final poll. NC State defended their title, finishing with 114 points.
"Honestly, the women had a better day maybe than the team score indicates," said Wetmore. "We've been nursing Emily all season through a lower leg problem, it was never bad enough to stop but it was never well enough to train fully and she just wasn't fit enough today. But Bailey was wonderful. Ella Baron was wonderful. Elle Orie had her best race ever. Kaitlyn did fine for who she was as a runner two or three years ago. More good than bad on the women's side. As I said we would have liked have been a little higher, we just needed Emily healthy."
The men were next led by Austin Vancil and Andrew Kent. The team steadily creeped up the standings, passing the 3k mark in 21st before blasting to 13th in the next kilometer. The team rose from 11th halfway through the race to finish eighth overall.
Vancil stuck up front for the majority of the race, sticking in the 40s for a majority of the race. In the final 2,000-meters, Vancil passed 10 runners total to finish 36th overall for an All-American finish in 29:33.3. Kent stayed on Vancil's heels for the race, passing 33 runners after coming through the 3,000 mark in 76th. Kent was just off an All-American finish, placing 43rd overall in 29:37.8.
Making up the most positions was Seth Hirsch. After the first kilometer Hirsch was 205th, then moved up to 126th at the halfway mark before passing nearly 60 runners on his way to 68th overall in 29:53.4. Charlie Sweeney finished right behind Hirsch in 69th overall with a time of 29:53.8. Brendan Fraser closed out the scoring five with a 86th place finish in 30:06.9.
Also for the Buffs, James Overberg finished 111th in 30:20.4 followed closely by Hunter Appleton in 115th running 30:21.2.
"The men did exactly what we hoped," said Wetmore. "Out carefully, moving up steadily throughout the race as a team in team standings. At one point early they were 22nd, and then they were 20, then 17, 13 and kept moving up. I can't fault them. Right now they're saying gee, we maybe we should have been out harder but they did what the coaches asked of them and they all moved up well. Great race for Austin, All-American, very proud of him. Andy just missed and then the next three guys all did their jobs, Seth, Chuck Sweeney had his best race for us, Brendan did well. Even our six and seventh were far better than anybody would guess. So at least a B+ for the day in my opinion."
The seventh ranked Buffs finished one spot lower than their rankings, upsetting No.5 Tulsa in the process. No.2 Northern Arizona and host school No.4 Oklahoma State tied at the top with 83 points, with the title going to NAU with three of the five tiebreakers. This was the third major tie at the top this season after NC State and the New Mexico women finished tied at Nuttycombe, CU earning the tiebreaker at the Pac-12 Championships over the Utah women and finally the men's team title coming down to a tiebreaker.
Women's Team Results: 1. NC State 114; 2. New Mexico 140; 3. Alabama 166; 4. Oklahoma State 201; 5. North Carolina 242; 6. NAU 257; 7. Notre Dame 261; 8. BYU 263; 9. Virginia 268; 10. Georgetown 271; 11. Colorado 286; 12. Utah 307; 13. Stanford 371; 14. Oregon 390; 15. Ohio State 467; 16. Providence 468; 17. Washington 470; 18. Florida State 471; 19. Wisconsin 494; 20. Michigan State 497; 21. Arkansas 507; 22. Michigan 534; 23. Syracuse 544; 24. Oregon State 544; 25. Colorado State 548; 26. Utah Valley 548; 27. West Virginia 562; 28. Toledo 654; 29. CBU 659; 30. Northwestern 714; 31. Texas 983
Women's Individual Results: 1. Katelyn Tuohy (NC State) 19:27.7; 2. Parker Valby (Florida) 19:30.9; 3. Kelsey Chmiel (NC State) 19:37.1; 4. Elise Stearns (NAU) 19:43.9; 5. Bailey Hertenstein (COLO) 19:45.1; 6. Hilda Olemomoi (ALA) 19:45.6; 7. Natalie Cook (Okla. St.) 19:46.3; 8. Olivia Markezich (ND) 19:46.4; 9. Amaris Tyynismaa (ALA) 19:48.2; 10. Addie Engel (OSU) 19:50.4
OTHER CU RESULTS: 30. Ella Baran 20:09.2; 78. Gabrielle Orie 20:29.0; 105. Emily Covert 20:39.0; 129. Kaitlyn Barthell 20:47.6; 228. Alisa Meraz-Fishbein 21:44.8; 234. Whitney Valenti 21:52.0
Men's Team Results: 1. NAU 83; 2. Oklahoma State 83; 3. BYU 132; 4. Stanford 195; 5. Wake Forest 204; 6. Wisconsin 212; 7. Air Force 264; 8. Colorado 281; 9. Tulsa 304; 10. North Carolina 323; 11. NC State 334; 12. Syracuse 340; 13. Gonzaga 400; 14. Washington 422; 15. Notre Dame 450; 16. Oregon 465; 17. Harvard 474; 18. Texas 506; 19. Villanova 513; 20. Tennessee 517; 21. Butler 553; 22. Virginia 557; 23. Arkansas 584; 24. Ole Miss 598; 25. Montana State 599; 26. Utah State 618; 27. Alabama 683; 28. CSU 704; 29. Michigan 708; 30. Princeton 712; 31. Georgetown 752
CU RESULTS: 36. Austin Vancil 29:33.3; 43. Andrew Kent 29:37.8; 68. Seth Hirsch 29:53.4; 69. Charlie Sweeney 29:53.8; 86. Brendan Fraser 30:06.9; 111. James Overberg 30:20.4; 115. Hunter Appleton 30:21.2