Colorado Olympic Sports

October 28th

… Citius, Altius, Fortius … 

CU Cross Country teams both open season in the Top Ten nationally

From … While the 2020 NCAA Cross Country season will be completely different than anyone has ever seen, some things just don’t change as the Colorado men and women cross country programs open the season ranked in the top-10 (women seventh, men ninth) by the United States Track and Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA), the association announced Tuesday.

The women open the season ranked seventh overall with 257 votes, just 30 behind the defending Pac-12 Champions in Stanford at fifth. Defending national champion Arkansas leads the nation with 323 votes including eight of the 11 first place votes, followed by New Mexico and BYU.

On the men’s side, Northern Arizona take the top spot with 10 of the 11 first place votes. Defending national champion BYU is in second followed by Arkansas, Stanford and Oklahoma State. The CU men’s ninth-place start marks the 22nd year in a row since the USTFCCCA began digitally archiving the Coaches’ Poll.

Individually, the Buffs are looking to Eduardo Herrera on the men’s side to lead things in his senior campaign, along with All-American Alec Hornecker and senior Paxton Smith. The team also has a plethora of young talent led by Kashon HarrisonAustin VancilHunter Appleton and Noah Hibbard, the later three having strong indoor seasons before the season was cancelled. The team will also have Mississippi State transfer Stephen Jones who finished 80th last year at NCAAs.

For the women, Rachel McArthurHolly Bent and Madie Boreman are the returning upperclassmen that will all have strong contributions, along with transfers Micaela DeGenero from Michigan and Abby Nichols from Ohio State that placed 97th and 41st at NCAAs, respectfully. They will also have some younger up-and-comers like Annie Hill and Emily Covert.

Colorado’s indoor track and cross country seasons haven’t finished being scheduled yet. The team is eyeing the March 15th NCAA Cross Country Championships that are set at Stillwater, Okla.


September 22nd

… Citius, Altius, Fortius … 

NCAA Releases spring dates for fall sports (cross-country team will have its chance at a national championship)

Press Release from …  The NCAA Board of Directors on Tuesday released dates for competition and championships in the spring for the fall sports that were postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic.   Those affected four University of Colorado programs that annually compete in the fall.

The revised schedules for the 2020-21 academic year are as follows:

Men’s & Women’s Cross Country.  The spring seasons for both may begin on Jan. 23 and will run through March 5; selections for the postseason will be made on March 6, with the NCAA Championships slated for March 15.

Women’s Soccer.  The dates for the spring season were set for Feb. 3 through April 17; championship selections for the championship will be made on Sunday, April 18, with the tournament running from April 24 through May 16.

Women’s Volleyball.  The season may commence on Jan. 22 until April 3, with championship selections on Sunday, April 4.  The tournament will start on April 9 with the Final Four April 23-25.

The start of practices for all three are up to each institution’s discretion.  The Pac-12 does not sponsor league championships in soccer or volleyball, and will determine a cross country title competition date in the near future.

The NCAA announced that team sports brackets would be resident to 75 percent capacity and guaranteeing access to all automatic qualifiers.  For cross country, the field size of 255 was approved per gender at the men’s and women’s cross country championship.  As far as selection criteria is concerned, the Board of Directors indicated maximum flexibility will be provided to allow teams to meet specified minimum contest requirements, counting contests conducted in the fall term for selection purposes and allowing sport committees to consider all available data at the time of selections.


July 24th

… Citius, Altius, Fortius … 

Legendary CU ski coach Richard Rokos (eight national championships) to retire after 2021 season

Press release from CUBuffs.comRichard Rokos, the University of Colorado head ski coach for the last 30 seasons and who has led the Buffaloes to eight NCAA championships, has announced that the 2021 season will be last at the reins of the program.

Hired on July 3, 1990 after three years as an assistant coach, his first CU team won the 1991 national title, the school’s first since the sport went coed in 1983.  During this span, the Buffaloes have also won 14 Rocky Mountain Intercollegiate Ski Association titles, while his athletes have won 43 NCAA individual titles while being afforded 239 All-American honors, including 146 earning first-team accolades.

His teams have qualified for the NCAA championships all 30 seasons, second-most in school history to current head cross country coach Mark Wetmore, who has seen his men’s and women’s cross country teams earn a combined 48 appearances in his 25 years.  This year’s championship was canceled at the midway point when the NCAA suspended all championship events on March 11 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Rokos, who turned 70 this past May, said this is the right time.

Not one to want the spotlight, the always humble Rokos said, “It’s hard to say when is the right time, but I thought it would be unnoticed right now because everything is so cray and turbulent out there.  But I am glad that I can keep doing this for one more season, to be around the team one more time, and I can help in any way I am asked to with the transition to a new head coach.”

How humble is the man who has coached CU skiers longer than any other person in the program’s 74-year history?  Though he has been named the United States Collegiate Ski Coaches Association National Coach of the Year on five occasions and notified on nine occasions that he was the selection for the RMISA honor, he has always declined the honor for personal reasons, mainly that he doesn’t believe in the philosophy and that the student-athletes deserve the credit.

When asked what he enjoyed the most over the course of his three-plus decades at CU, he didn’t need to pause to give it a second thought.

“Every single day of doing this,” he said.  “I do not regret for one minute what I have been doing.  It was an exceptional privilege to have had this opportunity.   I was fortunate that it came along for me, and because of it I’ve met the most amazing people in my life.  I love my kids dearly.  I’m not on Facebook, but I have a couple of hundred phone numbers and we call each other, we visit each other.  Once a year, we take a trip around the country and visit some here and there, and when I am in Europe recruiting, I do the same.  These have been long-lasting relationships, and we really are a family.  This is what has made this job so exceptionally unique.”

Family might be an understatement.  There have been 37 marriages between members of his ski teams; an ordained minister (he took the appropriate courses), Rokos himself has performed many of those ceremonies, along with other members who “married outside of the team.”

“I’m not considering it that I am retiring, I’m going into retirement.  Two different terms,” Rokos joked.  “I’ll have a new boss (my wife Helena), and she’ll give me the money I need.  I just won’t get it from the athletic department anymore.”

Continue reading story here


June 9th

… Citius, Altius, Fortius … 

30 Years Later: Buff great Hale Irwin relives dramatic finish of his third U.S. Open victory 

From … Thirty years later, it is still considered to be one of the iconic moments in golf history: Hale Irwin, seconds after sinking a 45-foot putt on the 18th hole of the final day of the 1990 U.S. Open at Medinah Country Club, racing along the gallery ropes, delivering high fives to a throng of appreciative fans.

It is etched in the memory of longtime golf followers, a moment of spontaneity that perhaps strayed from the normal staid decorum of the game, but one that deserved every bit of the exuberance displayed given the circumstances.

Three decades later, the former University of Colorado star golfer and football player still retains vivid memories of the moment.

“As  important as that putt was, you can’t stand back there at 45 feet and say, ‘I’m gonna make this,'” he said recently with a chuckle. “You’re an idiot if that’s true. You might think you have a chance to make it, but you have to be surprised if you actually do. Even if you’re the best putter in the entire world — 45 feet — there’s just too many things that can go ‘iffy.'”

But on that day, Irwin had been on a hot streak seldom seen in a major, particularly down the stretch. After starting the day four strokes behind the leaders, he had birdied the 11th, 12th, 13th and 14th holes to put himself in contention. But he needed one more birdie on the 18th to take the lead and put pressure on the groups playing behind him.

“I read the putt and when I stroked it, the first thing I remember is it’s a solid hit. OK, good,” he said. “I got it started initially on the line I wanted. There was a spot perhaps six or seven feet from the hole, just a little bit of a rise before it just slightly went down to the hole. I thought if I can get it over that spot, then I might have a chance. And it rolled right over that spot. So that’s when it got exciting.”

Irwin’s read and execution proved to be perfect. When the ball dropped into the hole, the gallery erupted and Irwin simply reacted to the moment.

“When it went in, the roar of the crowd in that little stand where all the trees were was deafening,” Irwin said. “My exuberance, if you wish, overcame perhaps my good manners but I just felt so uplifted by the noise. The reaction of the crowd — not only my own reaction but the crowd’s reaction — and the high fiving just came as a thank you. I just felt the need to go over there and say, ‘Thanks.'”

Continue reading story here


May 24th

… Citius, Altius, Fortius … 

20th Annual CUSPY’s presented virtually – McKinley Wright; Evan Battey; and Davion Taylor among recipients

Press Release from … Several major awards were presented online Wednesday as the University of Colorado honored its best in athletics in a virtual ceremony of the 20th annual CU Sports Performers of the Year (CUSPY) Awards.

Usually over 300 student-athletes, coaches, staff and C-Club board members attend the annual year-end banquet, but with the COVID-19 pandemic, it could not be business as usual.  Thus the idea to present the awards online in a “Virtual CUSPY’s” was born, organized by CU’s Student Athlete Advisory Committee (SAAC) along with BuffVision to honor athletic accomplishments for the 2019-20 athletic year.

A replay of the virtual CUSPY festivities are available to view at and on

The Male and Female Athlete of the Year honors were both shared in the same year for just the third time since their inception back in 1984-85.

Seniors Taylor Kornieck (soccer) and Mikaela Tommy (alpine skiing) were selected as co-recipients of the Female Athlete of the Year honor.

Kornieck started all 82 games in her career and became the first player in CU history to surpass 100 career points.  She wrapped up her Colorado career as the team’s all-time leader in points (102) and tied the school record for career assists with 24.  Last fall, she earned her second consecutive All-American honor (third team), totaling career-highs in points (30) and goals (12).   She ranked seventh in the NCAA with 5.0 shots per game and was tied for the nation’s lead with a perfect 4-for-4 showing in penalty kicks.  Kornieck helped the Buffs back to the NCAA Tournament, her third trip in four years, with four game-winning goals and five multi-point matches. She concluded the season with 1.36 points per game, ranking fourth in CU history.

Tommy finished 10 races with nine podium appearances and five wins, all in the giant slalom.  Her five GS wins were the most for a season and career in CU women’s alpine history.  She was named the National Skier of the Year by the Ski Coaches Association, the MVP and Skier of the Year by the RMISA and first-team All-RMISA.  She also won eight runs (each alpine race consists of two runs), matching the CU record of Lucie Zikova and became the second skier in CU history behind Zikova to win multiple runs in both disciplines in the same season.

Dani Jones (indoor track), was the other finalist; her senior year competition was cut short, as she only raced in a handful of school events, with her eligibility complete in cross country, the indoor NCAA’s along with the entire outdoor season cancelled.

The Male Athlete of the Year honor was shared between Joe Klecker (cross country) and McKinley Wright IV (basketball).

Klecker became CU’s first Pac-12 Men’s Cross Country Champion as he led the Buffs to their seventh Pac-12 team title.  His second place finish at NCAA’s was the best CU finish on the men’s side since Dathan Ritzenhein won in 2003.  The Buffs finished third as a team, just one point behind Northern Arizona.  He earned a pair of indoor All-America honors in the 3,000 and 5,000-meter runs (awarded for qualifying since there was no actual NCAA meet, but he likely would have been a top finisher).  He broke the state of Colorado soil mile record (4:01.00) at the CU invitational and recorded the second-fastest 3k time by at Buff at the prestigious Millrose Games before breaking his own school record in the 5,000 at the Husky Classic.

Wright was named first team All-Pac-12 for the second straight season and was named to the league’s All-Defensive team, and was also selected to the NABC and USBWA All-District teams.  Wright led the Buffaloes with 14.4 points and 5.0 assists per game, and was second on the team in steals (36), blocked shots (11) and free throws made (95) along with being third in rebounding (5.7 per game) and 3-point field goals made (39).  He led the Pac-12 in assists during conference games (5.7 per), and had six double-doubles, the most by any Pac-12 point guard.

The other finalists were Nate Landman (football) and Daniel O’Loughlin (golf).

Jones was the unanimous selection for the Female Career Athletic Achievement Award.  Her school record-tying four NCAA individual titles topped her many accomplishments, which also included being selected three times as CU’s Female Athlete of the Year.  Still, the first to be recognized four different times, her other honors included the 2017 and 2018 Pac-12 Cross Country Athlete of the Year, USTFCCCA Athlete of the Year for cross country (2018) and indoor track (2020) and the 2018-19 Honda Sports Award winner for cross country.

Jones did have some solid competition for the honor, as she topped a talented pool that produced four other finalists, Kornieck, Tommy, Kirsty Hodgkins (golf) and Julia Lisella (lacrosse).  Hodgkins and Lisella have both since decided to take advantage of the NCAA ruling for spring sport athletes to gain an extra year of eligibility due to the pandemic and will return this fall.

Klecker and Steven Montez (football) shared the Male Career Athletic Achievement Award.   Klecker is a three-time All-American in cross country, which includes a second-place finish at the 2019 NCAA championship.  He won the 2019 Pac-12 individual title and helped CU bring the team title back to Boulder for the seventh time in nine seasons after a two-year hiatus. Klecker was named first-team All-Pac-12 three times, the All-Region team four teams and won the regional meet twice.  On the track, he added another six All-America honors, three each in the 3k and 5k.  He owns the Colorado soil mile and 3,000 record and is the CU indoor 5k record holder.  His performance of scoring 14 points at the 2019 NCAA Indoor Championships were the most by a CU male in any NCAA track championship.

Montez set 51 records during his CU career, 37 outright and 14 others that he tied; the most significant included finishing first in passing yards (9,649) and touchdown passes (63), second in pass attempts (1,312) and completions (820), 56th in rushing yards (960), but sixth in true rushing yards by a quarterback (1,556) and first in total offense (10,609; just the second to eclipse the 10,000-yard mark).  He started the second most games at quarterback in school annals with 39 (compiled a 17-22 record), the 17 wins tying for the fifth-most.  He started the last 36 games of his career, snapping the old mark of 31 at the position.  The first player at Colorado to complete over 60 percent of his passes in four straight seasons, he also had four streaks of 80 or more passes without an interception, including the record of 172.

There were two other finalists, O’Loughlin and Sondre Bollum (Nordic skiing); O’Loughlin has also opted to return for the 2020-21 season for another shot at closing out his collegiate career with the NCAA ruling.

Magnus Boee of the Nordic ski team won the Male Freshman of the Year honor.  He became the second men’s Nordic freshman to win three or more races in program history, a feat Rune Oedegaard accomplished in 2012.  He immediately established himself as one of the nation’s top skiers, finishing as an All-American and first-team All-RMISA performer.  He finished second in the RMISA MVP race and was the No. 2 qualifier for the NCAA Championships out of the RMISA, and the league’s top seeded skier in the classic discipline.  He competed in all 11 races, finishing outside the top 10 just once with seven top five finishes, five podium appearances and three race wins.

Other finalists were Kashon Harrison (cross country), Adam Matteson (golf) and K.J. Trujillo (football).

Jaylyn Sherrod of the basketball team claimed the Female Freshman Athlete of the Year Award.  She was a spark for the Buffs in her first season on the hardwood, as the freshman from Birmingham, Ala., led Colorado with 152 assists and was second in scoring, averaging 9.9 points per game.  Sherrod posted 11 assists in her CU debut, marking the most assists by a player in her Colorado debut since Ann Troyan (11 in her debut against Colorado State in 1979).  Sherrod became the second-fastest Buff to reach 100 assists in program history, doing so in just 18 games, with her 152 assists the ninth-most in a single season at CU.

The four other finalists were Tessa Barton (soccer), Sophia Derivan (tennis), Anna-Maria Dietze (Nordic skiing) and Sterling Parker (volleyball).

SAAC members selected several award winners, including the staff member of the year, of which athletic director Rick George was selected for the third time in his seven years heading the department, and the Student Athlete Support Award, which was presented to the Facilities and Custodial Crew, also for the third time.  Both were cited especially for their leadership during the COVID-19 pandemic this spring.

Other nominees were MT Eisner and Adam Ringler (strength and conditioning), Jedediah Herb (academics), Marissa Holliday (trainer) and Chef Carl Solomon (performance nutrition).  The other two support award finalists were Psychological Health & Performance and Sports Medicine (trainers and doctors).

In addition, SAAC members nominate and then select by vote on the CU’s Sports’ “Moment of the Year.”  From a list of solid choices, they selected they reverted back to last June but after the 2018-19 CUSPY’s to select Dani Jones winning the 5,000-meter run at the NCAA Outdoor Championships.  In the process, she became the first female CU athlete to win an NCAA title in c cross country, indoor track and outdoor track (and the second ever overall, joining Adam Goucher).  She also tied Jenny Barringer Simpson as one of two CU females to win four NCAA individual titles (and one of six overall to accomplish the quartet of wins).

Other nominees for the moment of the year included Joe Klecker running the fastest mile in the state of Colorado (4:01.0) on January 31 in the CU Indoor Invitational; the men’s cross country team winning the 2019 Pac-12 title; the CU ski team’s accomplishments in the 30th season under head coach Richard Rokos; and CU rallying from down 17-0 to defeat Nebraska in overtime, 34-31, last September 7, a game that featured the longest play from scrimmage in CU history (a 96-yard pass from Steven Montez to K.D. Nixon).

The SAAC Distinguished Service Award, presented to senior members who contributed significantly to the Student-Athlete Advisory Committee during their CU careers, was awarded to five student-athletes: Quinessa Caylao-Do (women’s basketball), Megan McGrew (alpine skiing), Andrew Potyk (Nordic skiing), Paxton Smith (cross country and track) and Rachel Whipple (volleyball).

The Spencer Nelson Buffalo Spirit Award, formerly the Athlete’s Choice Award and renamed for the CU skier who died in a tragic hiking accident in August 2010, was presented to all spring sport athletes who had their seasons cut short due to the pandemic; those number well over 100 between men’s and women’s golf, lacrosse, tennis and men’s and women’s outdoor track, and in reality, football which never had a single spring practice under new head coach Karl Dorrell (soccer and volleyball spring practices and exhibitions were cancelled as well).

The other nominees were Smith and sophomore Devon Bayer (lacrosse).  Smith remained positive and showed good leadership even after losing his spring season due to the pandemic, while Bayer endured a season-ending injury shortly into the 2019 campaign; despite this challenge and her long road to recovery, she displayed an extreme amount of positivity.  She continued to put the team first and was determined to get back on the field, and did so this past winter; she scored her first goal back exactly a year later from the injury.

The Ceal Barry Leadership Awards are given to those student-athletes who most effectively inspire their team, the CU campus and the community in general through their exemplary commitment, their composure in the way they represent themselves and in the integrity of their actions.   The recipients were Smith, Evan Battey (men’s basketball), Jaylon Jackson and Davion Taylor (football), Aubrey Knight (women’s basketball) and Valerie Welch (track and field).

The Sports Performance Awards for strength and conditioning accomplishments were presented to sophomores Teddy Takki (alpine skiing) and Kai Volcy (women’s basketball).

Originally created in 2001, the annual event remains one of the most popular among the athletes, as they have tailored the function to be the final social gathering solely amongst themselves for the last time before finals and summer vacation, if not for a longer period of time for those graduating.  It is believed to be one of the only events in the country almost entirely organized by the student-athletes, and certainly was among, if not, the first.


May 8th

… Citius, Altius, Fortius … 

With cancellation of NCAA championships, three CU track stars (including Dani Jones) are going pro

From …  Colorado track stars and redshirt seniors Dani JonesJoe Klecker and Makena Morley are all heading pro after the cancelation of the NCAA Indoor Championships and outdoor season, the individuals announced this week.

“Dani, Joe and Makena have been important contributors to the CU program, and to our lasting legacy,” said head coach Mark Wetmore. “It will be impossible to replace them. The problem with saying ‘Go Buffs’ is that, eventually, they have to go. They are now heading off in varying directions, but we will proudly watch them excel in their coming adventures.”

The three combined for 19 First Team All-American finishes, including a top-eight finish at the NCAA Cross Country Championships for each and a school record by each.

Jones concludes her career at Colorado as just the third Buffalo runner to capture four national titles, joining Jenny Simpson and Adam Goucher. She was a two-time National Athlete of the Year, earning her final one this winter with two NCAA top-10 times and a school record in the indoor 800.

“I’m thrilled to be on a team with such driven, successful women,” said Jones on turning pro. “That’s what I had at CU and what made me successful there. At Colorado I was surrounded by people with high goals and expectations, and who worked extremely hard to reach them. I know Colorado made me the athlete I am today and is the reason I have a great opportunity to continue my running career.”

Klecker concludes his career as an 11-time NCAA qualifier and seven-time First Team All-American. He put together three top-three finishes at NCAA Championships, including scoring 14 points at the 2019 Indoor Championships, the most by a CU male runner at either indoors or outdoors. He is the school record holder in the indoor 5,000 and the 2019 NCAA Cross Runner-Up.

“Although I feel there is a chapter left unfinished at CU I am very excited for my next step in the sport and finishing my degree,” said Klecker. “I’m forever grateful for the coaches that turned me into the best runner I could be.”

Morley was a huge part of capturing the 2018 women’s NCAA Cross Country Championships with an eighth-place finish. She also holds the school record in the 10,000 and a pair of top-three times in school history in the indoor 3,000 and 5,000. In just four championships on the track, Morley was a three-time First Team All-American.

“Thank you to my teammates, coaches and fellow Buffs for pushing me to be my best and for showing me the power of teamwork and teammates,” said Morley. “Go Buffs forever!”


April 21st

… Citius, Altius, Fortius … 

Jenny Simpson up for U.S. women’s distance running G.O.A.T. (your vote required!)

The vote is about 50/50 … so we need your vote! … vote here

From … With track seasons and events cancelled and postponed around the world, Colorado track and field alum Jenny Simpson is in a race to be named the G.O.A.T (Greatest of All Time) of US women’s distance running by

Simpson is a finalist against American running legend and No.1-seeded Deena Kastor as both have advanced through the 64-woman bracket to the title round. One has controlled the track for a dozen year stretch while the other is the American queen of the marathon.

The CU Hall of Famer Jenny Simpson burst onto the international scene in 2007 when she made her first worlds team in the steeplechase. In her final three years as a Buff she competed in the 2008 Olympics, finishing eighth in the steeplechase. She captured four NCAA Championships and was the inaugural winner of the Bowerman and still the only women’s distance runner to earn the honor.

After college, Simpson exploded when she won the World Championship in the 1,500 in 2011. It would be her first of four global outdoor medals, the most of any female American distance runner. She was a former American Record holder in the steeplechase and collegiate record holder in the steeplechase, mile, 1,500 and 5,000.

Consistency has been key as Simpson has made every world and Olympic team since 2007. She also has managed to stay under the 4-minute barrier in the 1,500 for 11 years. She had seven USA Outdoor titles in three different events to go along with four indoor titles in three different events. Simpson has twice been the world runner-up in the 1,500 and finished with the bronze medal in the event at the 2016 Olympics.

Kastor is best known for her marathon work. Twice she was the runner-up at the world cross country championships, followed by a third-place finish in the 2004 Olympic marathon. She has five USA Outdoor titles in the 10,000 and won both the 2005 Chicago marathon and the 2006 London marathon.

To vote, click here. It is a close race with Kastor winning with 52 percent of votes Tuesday afternoon. On the men’s side, Frank Shorter is up against Jim Ryun. Voting ends Wednesday night at midnight (ET).


April 6th

… Citius, Altius, Fortius … 

Mikaela Tommy named National Women’s Alpine Skier of the Year 

From CUBuffs.comMikaela Tommy was named the National Women’s Alpine Skier of the Year by the United States Collegiate Ski Coaches Association, the organization announced Monday.

Tommy, a senior from Wakefield, Quebec, dominated this season, especially in GS action.  She finished six of seven GS races on the season with five wins and one second place.  Her first career DNF (did not finish) in GS action was at the NCAA Championships, a race she was favored to do very well in if not win.  In all, she had nine podium appearances in 10 finished races on the season.

Her five wins this season in GS would be enough to be CU’s career leader in GS wins.  She also won three GS races in 2019, giving her eight in her career, double more than any other women’s alpine skier in program history.  She won four consecutive GS races as in 2020 and three in 2019, the two best marks in CU history.

She was named the Women’s Alpine Skier of the Year and won the Women’s Alpine MVP based on the regular season NCAA Qualification point totals, and was the RMISA Individual Champion in the GS.  She was the top GS qualifier out of the RMISA for the NCAA Championships and No. 5 on the slalom list and the No. 2 overall seed.  She was also the start list points leader for GS and fifth for slalom in the 2020 season.

She matched the CU record set by Lucie Zikova by winning eight runs during the season, as she took six GS runs and two slalom runs during the season.  Along with teammate Stef Fleckenstein, the two became the third and fourth skiers and the fourth and fifth instance of women’s alpine skiers winning multiple runs in both disciplines in a season.

Tommy is CU’s second National Athlete of the Year for this season, joining Dani Jones, who was named the Track & Field National Athlete of the Year by the USTFCCCA last month.

Other skiers honored by the Ski Coaches Association were Joachim Lein (Utah, men’s alpine), Guro Jordheim (Utah, women’s Nordic) and Ben Ogden (Vermont, men’s Nordic).  Middlebury’s Stever Bartlett was named the National Alpine Coach of the Year and Vermont’s Patrick Weaver the National Nordic Coach of the Year.


April 2nd

… Citius, Altius, Fortius … 

Rick George on which spring sport seniors will return: “We want to move expeditiously on this”

From the Daily Camera … During his conference call on Wednesday updating reporters on that state of CU Buffs athletics, athletic director Rick George said discussions have begun as to how the spring sports ruling will impact CU. The decision allows an extra year of eligibility for all spring sport student-athletes, but 2020 seniors could be subject to reduced scholarship and aid packages.

“There will be a lot of discussions I’m sure among coaches and student-athletes,” George said. “As you look forward, just as a point of clarification, in its first year in ’20-21, if seniors decide to come back and coaches are all in agreement on what’s going to happen moving forward, that aid will not be counted in their financial aid limitations. We can provide scholarships or financial aid to the student-athletes above the financial aid limits currently. That’s for one year.

“Starting in ‘21-22, the coaches will have to manage their financial aid limitations and squad-size limitations. So we’re really talking one year. It’s about the seniors and those that come back. It just came down Monday evening, so I’m sure our coaches and student-athletes are having conversations.”

George noted that one silver lining of the spring hiatus is that the Buffs’ lineup of spring sports — men’s and women’s track, women’s tennis, women’s lacrosse, and men’s and women’s golf — is not a revenue-generator. Additionally, it is unlikely every 2020 senior in those sports will take advantage of the extra year, but George hopes to get those roster situations settled in the near future.

“We want to move expeditiously on this,” George said. “As challenging as that may be, we know that seniors have to make plans. That’s why it’s important for us, especially for the seniors. We wanted to make sure that there was some clarity for them that they could make decisions on their futures having everything on the table. We’ll move fairly quickly in that regard. I don’t want to put a timetable on it, but we need to move quickly because we owe it to our seniors that are making plans for the future.”

Read full story here


March 25th

… Citius, Altius, Fortius … 

Dani Jones named USTFCCCA National Women’s Track Athlete of the Year

From … In four races separated by just 15 days, Colorado track and field star Dani Jones sent shockwaves throughout the nation that resulted in her being named the United States Track and Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA) National Women’s Track Athlete of the Year, the association announced Wednesday morning.

“I’m really excited to earn this award,” said Jones. “Obviously this season isn’t what anyone anticipated. I’m honored because I know that a lot of people put in a lot of hard work into the seasons they anticipated in having and I’m glad my hard work isn’t going unnoticed. I cherish the season that we had and had a great time running in the uniform with my teammates and I’m glad that’s being recognized. The competition was very fierce and the women I was up against were amazing athletes so I’m especially grateful to receive this honor.”

Jones becomes just the eighth woman in the awards history to earn a National Women’s Athlete of the Year honor in both cross country and track, joining the exclusive group of Karissa Schweizer (Missouri | 2016, ’18), Molly Seidel (Notre Dame | 2015,  ’16), Abbey D’Agostino (Dartmouth | 2013, ’13, ’14), Sheila Reid (Villanova | 2010, ’11, ’11), Sally Kipyego (Texas Tech | 2006, ’07, ’08, ’08, ’08), Johanna Nilsson (Northern Arizona | 2005. ’06) and Kim Smith (Providence | 2004, ’04).

“It has been our pleasure to coach Dani,” said Colorado head coach Mark Wetmore. “Her work ethic, racing courage and loyalty have led her into the pantheon of the greatest Colorado runners. It will be hard to see her go, but we know she will continue to excel.”

The redshirt senior also joins Jenny (Barringer) Simpson as the only CU track and cross country athlete to earn two such honors. Simpson remains one of three female athletes to be named to National Women’s Track Athlete of the Year for both indoors and outdoors along with Kipyego and Holli Hyche (Indiana State | 1994, ’94) after she won both titles in 2009.

“The women I join are people that went on to do really great things and are probably better known for their careers after college,” said Jones when asked about joining the elite club of athletes. “That makes me really excited and hopeful for the future, which is especially nice during this time. To fall under that category is really meaningful but it shows how much work I have left to do and hopefully how much running I have left.”

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March 23rd

… Citius, Altius, Fortius … 

Report: 2020 Tokyo Olympics postponed

From USA Today … Veteran International Olympic Committee member Dick Pound told USA TODAY Sports on Monday afternoon that the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games are going to be postponed amid the coronavirus pandemic.

“On the basis of the information the IOC has, postponement has been decided,” Pound said in a phone interview. “The parameters going forward have not been determined, but the games are not going to start on July 24, that much I know.”

Pound, a Canadian who has been one of the most influential members of the IOC for decades, said the games will likely be moved to 2021, with the details to be worked out in the next four weeks. He said he expects the IOC to announce its next steps soon.

“It will come in stages,” said Pound, 78, the longest-serving IOC member. “We will postpone this and begin to deal with all the ramifications of moving this, which are immense.”

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CU Olympians Emma Coburn and Jenny Simpson react … 

From the Daily Camera … Emma Coburn — a two-time national champion at CU in the steeplechase, seven time world champion, and the 2016 Olympic bronze medalist — serves as the vice president of The Athletics Association, an advocacy group for professional track and field athletes. On Monday, the group released a survey saying 78 percent of 4,000-plus respondents backed the postponing of the Tokyo Games.

“I think it’s very important for all of us to listen to the collective voice of athletes. And if this is what athletes are feeling globally, the Olympics are about athletes,” Coburn said. “And if the athletes aren’t feeling comfortable training or competing, we need to respect that.

“There’s so much unknown right now. Everyone in the world has different restrictions right now, either by their government or by their own personal ways of dealing with this. I just think globally it’s so hard to set a standard that by July 24th you have to be in the best shape of your life to compete in the Olympics. I just think it’s too risky and it’s not a responsible measure at this point.”

… Jenny Simpson … “I believe USATF has made a sincere effort to gauge the collective feelings of athletes and their ability to train at an Olympic level through this global crisis,” Simpson told BuffZone via text message. “It looks like they have come to the conclusion that a postponement of the Games would be the most appropriate move in the interest of people’s wellness and fair play. I trust their leadership in this as they have far more information than I do on the current situations of USA athletes across the country.

“I see my job and goals of 2020 as being currently unchanged: I want to make that USA Olympic team whenever and however the USA Olympic Trial takes place.”

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March 10th

… Citius, Altius, Fortius … 

CU Ski team opens quest for 21st national championship Wednesday

From … The Colorado Ski Team will look to return to the top of the collegiate skiing world for the first time in five years as teams from across the country gather here this week to take part in the 67th Annual NCAA Ski Championships, hosted by Montana State at Bridger Bowl (alpine) and Crosscut Mountain (Nordic).

The Buffs are one of just three teams to field a full 12-skier squad this week, along with RMISA rivals Denver and Utah, but the emergence of Middlebury as a legitimate threat out of the east means as many as six to eight teams have a legitimate shot of leaving Bozeman with a championship by the end of the weekend.  Middlebury, Dartmouth and Vermont will all be represented by 11 skier teams in Bozeman.

Action will get underway Wednesday with giant slalom races on the alpine side.  The women’s race will start at 9 a.m. followed by the men’s first run at 10:15 a.m.  Second runs are tentatively set for 12:45 p.m. for the women and 2 p.m. for the men.  Nordic participants will take center stage on Thursday with the 5K women’s and 10K men’s freestyle races at Crosscut Mountain.  The women’s interval-start race will begin at 10 a.m., followed by the men at Noon.  Friday’s slalom races will close out the alpine action at Bridger Bowl.  The women will again get things started at 9 a.m. followed by the men at 10:15 a.m.   Saturday’s 15K women’s and 20K men’s classic mass start races will close out the championship.  The men’s race will start at 10 a.m. and the women’s race will close out the championship at Noon.

NOTES … The 67th NCAA Ski Championships are set for March 11-14 in Bozeman, Mont., the eighth time the state of Montana is hosting the event and eighth that Montana State has served as the host institution … Previous championships held in Bozeman were in 1960, 1983, 1985, 1996, 1998, 2008 and 2012 … Colorado emerged as National Champions twice from Bozeman, in 1960 (the school’s second title) and 1998 (the school’s 15th title) …

The Buffaloes have won 20 national championships in skiing: 11 men’s (1959-60-72-73-74-75-76-77-78-79-82), one women’s (1982 AIAW) and eight coed (1991-95-98-99-2006-11-13-15) … Since 2006, CU has finished first (2006-11-13-15) or second (2008-09-10-17-18) in 10 of the 14 championships (third in ‘07, ‘12 and ‘19; fourth in ‘14) … CU is the only school nationally to finish in the top four in each of the last 14 championships …

The skiers are gunning for CU’s 30th overall National Championship, CU has won five in men’s cross country (2002, ‘04, ‘06, ‘13, ‘14) three in women’s cross country (2000, ‘04, ‘18) and one in football (1990) … CU has finished in the top three in 82 of its last 87 ski meets and the Buffs have finished first or second in 58 of their last 73 times out (30 wins) … Of CU’s 20 ski titles, 10 have been won in the west and 10 in the east … Middlebury will host the 2021 Championships and Utah will host in 2022 … The Buffs have submitted a bit for the next hosting cycle between 2024-26 …

The 2020 Tournament Hub can be found at: … A live stream and live-timing will also be available.



March 3rd

… Citius, Altius, Fortius … 

CU one of only three schools to qualify a full squad for NCAA ski championships

From … The Colorado Ski Team was just one of three teams nationally that qualified a full allotment of 12 skiers for the NCAA Championships, the association announced Tuesday.

The Buffs team will consist of seniors Ryan JacksonAnne Siri Lervik and Mikaela Tommy; juniors Hedda BaangmanSondre Bollum and Joey Young; sophomores Stef FleckensteinFilip Forejtek and Teddy Takki and freshmen Magnus BoeeAnna-Maria Dietze and Emma Hammergaard.

“Congratulations to everybody on a great season,” CU coach Richard Rokos said.  “The process of the season was phenomenal, we have a good group of people working together.  Despite all the injuries and difficulties, right now everybody is mentally prepared and ready to go.  It was easy to select the team on the upper end, but it was difficult on the lower end, picking the third skier for each discipline. We have won in Montana before, everybody has a good feeling and I think the team is ready to go and attack.”

Included in the Buffs contingent are five newcomers to the NCAA Championships – Boee, Dietze, Hammergaard, Jackson and Takki – and seven who have been there before.  Bollum and Lervik will be making their third appearance while Baangman, Fleckenstein, Forejtek, Tommy and Young are making their second appearance.

The Buffs were joined by Denver and Utah qualifying a full allotment of 12 skiers.  Dartmouth, Middlebury, Montana State and Vermont all qualified 11 skiers while Alaska Anchorage and New Hampshire will ski with 10.  Michigan Tech and Northern Michigan, who only compete in Nordic, and Westminster College, which only competes in alpine, will have their full allotment of six skiers each.

For women’s alpine, Tommy is the No. 2 overall selection from the RMISA and top GS seed and No. 5 slalom seed.  Fleckenstein is No. 4 overall and No. 3 for both slalom and GS.  Hammergaard is the No. 15 overall seed and No. 14 for GS and No. 16 for slalom.

In men’s alpine action, Forejtek is the No. 3 overall seed, No. 2 in slalom and No. 5 in GS.  Young is No. 4 overall, No. 2 in GS and No. 3 in slalom, and Takki is No. 15 overall, No. 15 in GS and No. 20 in slalom.

For men’s Nordic, Boee is the No. 2 overall seed, No. 1 in classic and No. 7 in freestyle, Bollum is the No. 10 overall seed, No. 15 in classic  and No. 7 in freestyle and Jackson No. 12, No. 5 in classic and No. 13 in classic.

For women’s Nordic, Lervik is the No. 5 overall seed, No. 4 in classic and No. 5 in freestyle, Dietze is the No. 6 overall seed, No. 6 in classic and No. 5 in freestyle, and Baangman is the No. 7 overall seed, No. 7 in classic and No. 8 in freestyle.

Five of the seven who have skied at NCAA Championships have earned a combined seven All-America honors in past seasons.  This season, four of these Buffs have won 10 races and 10 have hit the podium 31 podiums times with 48 top five finishes and 71 top 10 performances.  Tommy has five wins and has won five of the six giant slalom races this season. She also leads the way with nine podium appearances.  Boee has three race wins, two in classic and one in freestyle, and he’s finished in the top five a total of six times.   Fleckenstein has one race win, five podiums and 10 total top five finishes on the season.  Young has the Buffs other win, a slalom race.

CU qualifies seven for NCAA Track and Field Indoor National Championship

From … The University of Colorado track and field program has declared three individuals and a distance medley relay for the 2020 NCAA Indoor National Championships March 13-14 in Albuquerque, N.M., the NCAA announced this afternoon.

Colorado will have seven individuals in seven different events. Redshirt seniors Dani JonesMakena Morley and Joe Klecker all will double in individual events while CU will run a women’s distance medley relay as well. Jones will attempt the rare double of the 800 and mile, while Klecker and Morley will both double in the 3,000 and 5,000-meter runs.

Jones is the heavy favorite in the women’s mile with the top time of 4:27.88 at the Millrose games. The next two fastest times in the NCAA have both scratched from the event, leaving Danae Rivers of Penn State with the second-best time of 4:32.95. Stanford’s Ella Donaghu has scratched as well as a woman from Oregon, leaving the eighth-best time entering the championships at 4:35.33.

The schedule will be a difficult one with Jones running prelims in the mile at 5:35 p.m. on Friday, March 13, then the 800 prelims at 7:10 p.m. She only needs to get in the top-12 in prelims in the mile and top-eight in the 800, though she will aim for an automatic qualifying mark and not leave things to chance. Saturday the first final is at 4:20 p.m. in the mile, followed by the 800 just 80 minutes later.

In the women’s 800, Nia Akins of Penn has the top time at 2:00.71. Jones is ranked fifth in the event at 2:03.58, a converted mark from her time run in Boulder this season when she broke the school record at altitude.

For the men, Klecker will forgo his top time in the nation in the mile to go after the 3,000/5,000 double that he did last year where he scored 14 points by himself, the most by a CU male athlete at the NCAA Championship. He is ranked sixth in the 3,000 at 7:47.57 and will be chasing a trio of Northern Arizona athletes that own the top-three times with the top time four seconds faster than his 7:47. In the 5,000, Tyler Day of NAU has the top time at 13:16.95 while Klecker is ranked sixth at 13:34.10.

Morley will attempt the same double that she did last season, this time entering the championships 10th in the 3,000 and fifth in the 5,000. BYU’s Whittni Orton has the top time in the 3,000 and has scratched the mile and 5,000, while Katie Izzo of Arkansas has the top time in the 5,000 and will battle Weini Kelati, both under 15:15.

The final event has not completely been set in stone. Colorado will run a women’s distance medley relay with Rachel McArthurValerie Welch and Karina Mann, but a fourth teammate that will replace Jones from the qualifying time has not been named.


January 31st

… Citius, Altius, Fortius … 

CU women’s lacrosse team picked to finish second in Pac-12 Preseason Coaches Poll

From … The University of Colorado lacrosse team has been picked second in the 2020 Pac-12 Preseason Coaches Poll, as announced Friday by the league’s office.

The Buffaloes recorded two first-place votes and 26 points to finish just one point behind Southern California (27). The Trojans were tabbed first in the poll with three first-place votes. Stanford recorded the final first-place vote and 25 points. Arizona State comes in fourth (16 points) and is followed by California (15) and Oregon (11), respectively.

USC won the regular season title (9-1) as well as the tournament championship while CU was second in the regular season (8-2) after playing second in the tournament.

The 2020 campaign officially gets underway for the Buffs Saturday, February 8, against Florida in Gainesville, Fla. The conference opener is set for March 6 with CU hosting Oregon.


January 27th

… Citius, Altius, Fortius … 

CU women’s Lacrosse ranked 18th in preseason poll

From …  For the third consecutive season, the University of Colorado lacrosse team is ranked in the Intercollegiate Women’s Lacrosse Coaches Association Preseason Poll, which was released Monday afternoon.

The Buffs were picked 18th after finishing the 2019 season with an 11-8 record, which included an 8-2 mark to finish second in the Pac-12 Conference. CU also advanced to the second round of the NCAA Tournament for the second straight year.

Colorado opens up the 2020 campaign Saturday, February 8 at No. 14 Florida in Gainesville. The Buffs will have a little break before their home opener against Harvard Friday, February 21.

The Buffs return nine starters and 28 letterwinners from last season, including a pair of all-conference honorees: Sadie Grozier and Julia Lisella. Grozier, a junior attacker, is the team’s leading returning scorer as she tallied 36 goals and 10 assists last spring. Lisella, a senior goalkeeper, recorded a .470 save percentage last season while facing 480 shots. She allowed 10.19 goals per game.

IWLCA Division I Coaches Poll

RankInstitutionPointsFPV2019 Record
2North Carolina6051017-4
5Boston College539022-2
7Notre Dame429014-5
13Stony Brook329016-5
15Navy (USNA)256016-5
16Southern California253016-4
17James Madison238016-4
23Virginia Tech9308-10
24Johns Hopkins91010-8
25High Point55015-5

This first weekly IWLCA Division I Coaches Poll of the 2020 season will be published February 17, 2020.

CU women’s basketball earns Bay Area split with win over Cal

From … Sophomore Emma Clarke scored 14 points and helped fuel a strong third quarter in Colorado’s 62-50 come from behind win over California on Sunday. The win snapped a three-game skid.

Colorado (14-5, 3-5 Pac-12) trailed by four after the first quarter and worked its way back to a tie at halftime. The Buffs scored 32 points in the second half on the way to the 12-point win.

Clarke led all scorers on the day and added five rebounds. Freshman Jaylyn Sherrod posted nine points to go with her seven rebounds and five assists. CU’s bench put up 25 points, getting nine apiece from Aubrey Knight and Charlotte Whittaker.

Jaelyn Brown led Cal with 12 points.

Colorado got out to a 5-0 lead, getting contributions from Sherrod and Tuitele on the Buffs’ first two possessions. CU couldn’t keep up the pace, going through an 0-for-4 slump. Baskets from Hollingshed and Whittaker got the Buffs back on track. A 3-pointer from Finau put the Buffs up 14-10, but CU’s lead disappeared down the stretch. Cal closed with the final five points to end the period with a 20-16 advantage.

Both teams played a pretty even second quarter. Each side hit five field goals in the frame. Cal’s lead hovered between four and six points through the first five minutes of the quarter. Five consecutive points from Whittaker helped cut the Bear lead to 26-25. Clarke hit a key 3 inside of two minutes even the score at 28-28. Colorado closed the final 1:55 with a 5-2 run to outscore Cal 14-10 in the quarter.

Clarke scored the first eight points for CU to start the half. She hit back-to-back 3’s and followed with a fast-break layup to put the Buffs up 38-32. Colorado scored 13 straight points build a 43-32 advantage at the five-minute mark.

The Golden Bears pushed back with a 9-2 run to cut CU’s lead down to four, 47-43, to start the fourth quarter.

Both sides struggle for offense to start the final quarter. CU started 0-for-5, while Cal went 0-for-3 in the first three minutes. Knight scored all nine of her points in the final quarter. She put the Buffs up six with a pair of free throws and hit Colorado’s first field goal with 6:10 to go, helping CU get a 51-45 lead. She went 5-for-5 from the line and Colorado went 7-for-9 as a team to closeout the Bears.

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14 Replies to “CU Olympic Sports”

  1. I remember well that Sunday and Monday when Hale won that 3rd Open Championship. My all time favorite golfer, his 45 PGA Senior Tour wins is still the benchmark for that circuit. Bernhard Langer and his 41 Senior Tour wins is still playing great golf and is in shouting distance as he gets set to turn 63 in August.

  2. Jenny Simpson is also the eight-time winner of the 5th Avenue Mile in New York City, winning for the first time in 2011. She has won the last seven in a row. Given the state of the world, and given that it is a summer event, I don’t know whether the race shall be run in 2020.

  3. CU is building quite a legacy for women distance runners. Hopefully there will be many more after Dani. As a citizen runner who struggled to break 40 minutes in the 10K I think I have a slight perspective as to the dedication, effort and will power it takes to run at that level let alone be one of the best… other words, I am amazed.

  4. 2019 Womens Volleyball National Championship
    Down goes STANFORD………..
    Down goes USC…………….
    Onward go the Mighty Buffs.

    Up them Buffaloes………………….

    Time for the biggest upset on CU LAX history.

    Bash them Beantowners

  5. Best use of athletic imagery—The Olympic motto, also coined by Rings designer Coubertin, is Citius, Altius, Fortius, which means “Faster, Higher, Stronger.

  6. University of Colorado Boulder

    Go Buffs to Arielle Gold! Arielle, a psychology major, just earned a bronze medal at the Olympics for Team USA in the halfpipe.

    U.S. Ski & Snowboard Team
    11 mins ·
    And it’s bronze for Arielle Gold!! ????

  7. Go Buffs.

    Great coaching staff.

    16-4 last year

    not gonna see a 8 and 12 from this coaching staff.


    Note: Take a memo up in the Champions Center

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