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CU Olympic Sports

August 19th

… Citius, Altius, Fortius … 

CSU soccer team uses legal loophole to keep whitewash by CU from the record books

From the Daily Camera … During his turn at the podium at Colorado’s fall sports media day last week, women’s soccer coach Danny Sanchez offered the belief his Buffaloes will feature a more versatile scoring punch than the team that completed its delayed 2020 season less than four months ago.

The Buffs made their coach look somewhat prophetic by netting three goals by three different players within the first 28 minutes of the 2021 opener against Colorado State Thursday afternoon at Prentup Field.

Unfortunately for CU, however, history will say that season-opening offensive explosion never happened.

In a wild and contentious turn of events, the first women’s soccer state rivalry battle between the Buffs and CSU since 2018 was declared a no contest after the Rams, playing their first game under new coach Keeley Hagen, declined to return to the Prentup Field turf to resume the game after a weather/lightning delay that ultimately lasted 2 hours, 9 minutes.

While there were early indications the game would be re-played from scratch on Friday morning, BuffZone learned later Thursday night there will be no do-over on Friday and, per sources at CU, the Rams do not intend to reschedule the match at all.

About halfway through that two hour-plus delay, the teams were on the field and just seconds away from resuming the match early in the 51st minute when another lightning strike occurred within a 10-mile radius, necessitating a further delay.

Per NCAA rules, a soccer game is not considered official until at least 70 minutes are in the books. With no lights available at Prentup, officials were ready to resume play at 7:22 p.m. ahead of the mounting darkness. Sources told BuffZone that CSU wanted a full 30 minutes of warm-up time, but the Rams were told they could return to the field at 7:05, equating to a 17-minute warmup.

Instead, while the Buffs and the game officials were getting prepped to resume the action and get the required 20 minutes played in order to make the match official, the Rams remained on their bus in the Prentup parking lot. Because the contest was officially suspended due to weather, the Rams, citing rule 7.6.3 in the NCAA rule book, found a legal loophole to avoid defeat.

Continue reading story here

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August 16th 

… Citius, Altius, Fortius … 

Sage Hurta second Buff ever to be named Pac-12 Woman of the Year

Press Release from CUBuffs.com … The University of Colorado track and field alum Sage Hurta was named the 2021 Pac-12 Woman of the Year after receiving the conference’s NCAA Woman of the Year nomination Monday morning.

Hurta becomes the Pac-12’s candidate for the NCAA Woman of the Year, presented annually to a graduating student-athlete who has distinguished herself throughout her collegiate careers in the areas of academic achievement, athletic excellence, community service and leadership. Hurta is just the second CU woman to earn the honor, joining Kaitlyn Benner in 2019.

The award, which is in its 31st year, honors the academic achievements, athletic excellence, community service and leadership of outstanding female college athletes. In total, 535 student-athletes were nominated across the three NCAA Divisions and 24 sports with an average GPA of 3.7. The list has been cut down to 153 women across the three NCAA Divisions, including 57 from NCAA Division I.

Hurta left a mark on the Buffs program with an individual national title (2021 Mile), relay national title (2017 DMR) and team NCAA Championships. She joins Dani Jones as the only CU athletes to do so. Hurta was also a seven-time All-American, including becoming only the second women’s four-time cross country All-American at CU.

On top of her achievements on the track and cross country course, Hurta is a three-time Google Cloud CoSIDA Academic All-American, earning a second-team honor in 2019 and a first team honor in 2020 and 2021. She was named the 2019 Pac-12 Cross Country Scholar-Athlete of the Year and only missed earning an A in a class once while earning a degree in Chemical and Biological Engineering. She became the seventh Buff to earn a third Academic All-America honor in school history.

Hurta was also named the 2019 Colorado Sportswoman of the Year in cross country. Outside of athletics, Hurta assisted the community while working with Read with the Buffs, Holiday Angel Tree, Girls on the Run and Elementary Exercise Outreach.

The Woman of the Year Selection Committee, made up of representatives from the NCAA membership, will now choose the Top 30 honorees — 10 from each division — from the conference-level nominees. The Top 30 honorees will be announced in September. The selection committee will determine the top three honorees in each division from the Top 30, and the nine finalists will be announced this fall. From those nine finalists, the NCAA Committee on Women’s Athletics then will choose the 2021 NCAA Woman of the Year.

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August 9th

… Citius, Altius, Fortius … 

Pac-12 athletes brings home 60 Olympic medals (would have been the fifth-best “country”)

From the Pac-12 … Pac-12-affiliated athletes took home 108 individual medals at the recently-concluded 2020 Tokyo Olympics, the most among all conferences.

Ninety-one past, present and future students and current coaches combined to earn those 108 medals, which included 35 golds. Pac-12 medals came in 18 different sports and the Conference’s podium finishers represented 12 different National Olympic Committees – Australia, Bermuda, Canada, Chinese Taipei, Denmark, Great Britain, Greece, Hungary, Italy, Slovakia, Spain and the United States.

Counting medals won as part of the same relay, boat or team as one collective medal, athletes with Pac-12 ties helped their National Olympic Committees earn 60 medals at the 2020 Games. If the Conference was a country, it would have finished fifth in the overall medal count behind the United States (113), China (88), Russian Olympic Committee (71) and Great Britain (65). Of those 60 collective medals, 17 were gold, which would have tied Australia for sixth among all National Olympic Committees.

The Pac-12 sent 325 total Olympic athletes to Tokyo, which included competitors from every Pac-12 institution. The Conference had an Olympian on 57 of the 206 National Olympic Committees that had athletes entered in the Games (27.7 percent). When including alternate athletes and coaching staffs, the size of the Pac-12 delegation grew to 372.

Pac-12-affiliated athletes on Team USA contributed to 36 of the United States’ 113 medals in Tokyo (31.9 percent), either as individual medalists or members of medal-winning teams or relays. One quarter of U.S. medalists at the Games were from the Pac-12 (65 of 257).

Of the 626 total athletes on the U.S. Olympic Team at the Games, 131 were past, present or future students or current coaches at Pac-12 institutions (20.9 percent). The Conference’s representation on Team USA led all leagues.

Pac-12 Olympic medalists came from each of the league’s 12 schools. STANFORD led the way among all U.S. universities with 26 total individual medals, including 10 gold, seven silver and nine bronze. USC was second in the overall medal count with 21 medals, and topped all U.S. universities with 11 golds. CALIFORNIA athletes took home 16 total individuals medals, UCLA 14, WASHINGTON eight and OREGON five. ARIZONA STATE, ARIZONA and UTAH each had four, WASHINGTON STATE three, COLORADO two and OREGON STATE one.

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August 4th

… Citius, Altius, Fortius … 

Emma Coburn falls in steeplechase final; Val Constien finishes 12th 

From CUBuffs.com … On a warm, muggy night in Tokyo, Colorado track and field alumni Val Constien and Emma Coburn finished the 2020 Olympic women’s steeplechase final, finishing 12th and 14th respectfully.

Both former Buffs held tight to the lead in the first half of the race before things got stretched out. Coburn held onto the back of the chase pack at the bell lap but suffered a fall over a barrier and dropped down to 14th by the end of things in 9:41.50. Constien finished just ahead of her in 12th in 9:31.61 while their Team USA teammate Courtney Frerichs took home the silver medal in 9:04.79.

Constien went straight to third at the start of the race while Coburn came up on her outside as the US women took up half of the top six spots. Into the first water jump, the three US women went Frerichs, Coburn, Constien in third through sixth.

Frerichs took the lead with four laps to go as Coburn sat in sixth and Constien in 10th. Frerichs stretched it out with three laps to go as she and Uganda’s Peruth Chemutai had a 10 meter lead with 800 meters remaining. Coburn sat in sixth 20-meters behind the two leaders. Frerichs took the bell lap with a 10 meter lead but quickly lost it as Chemutai passed on the back stretch as Coburn took a fall over a barrier in the final lap to lose many positions.

Chemutai of Uganda took the gold in a national record of 9:01.45, followed by Frerichs and Hyvin Kiyeng of Kenya for bronze. This is the first time in the history of the women’s Olympic steeplechase that a Buff hasn’t finished as the top USA woman representative. The Buffs have had six Olympic appearances in the event, making up nearly half of the USA women to ever run the event with four of the nine women to represent USA.

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August 2nd

… Citius, Altius, Fortius … 

Four of the nine women who have represented the US in steeplechase have come from CU

From the Pac-12 Sunday morning at Olympic Stadium, the most famous female steeplechase runner in America, Emma Coburn, qualified for her third Olympic final. So did her fellow Buff, Val Constien. Two of the three women comprising the U.S. squad in Tokyo are COLORADO alumnae.

“We’ve never stopped having good ones,” said Mark Wetmore, Colorado’s head track coach since 1995. Before Emma, there was Jenny Simpson (2008 Beijing). And before Val, there was Shalaya Kipp (2012 London).

How is it possible that four of the nine women who have represented the U.S. in Olympic steeplechase have been Colorado grads?

“Oh, I don’t know. Maybe they learn from each other,” Wetmore said.

In truth, the Colorado team barely trains for the event.  “Maybe once a week, in the spring months,” Wetmore said.

The world-record holder trains it even less.

Beatrice Chepkoech, 30, set the mark three years ago in Monaco (running 8:44.32) and has considered herself to be a steeplechaser half her life yet the Kenyan told the Pac-12 on Sunday, “I don’t train the jumps. Only when I come to competition.”

Clearly, the steeplechase is quirky, but it is also tremendously difficult. It is a 3000-meter (1.86-mile) running race with 35 interruptions – 28 to get over heavy, 30-inch barriers, and seven to clear the water jumps whose landing pits are 12 feet long and more than two-feet deep at most.

During the rare steeplechase practice at Colorado, Wetmore said athletes might be working on the dry barriers or the water jump.

“The dry barriers are hundreds of pounds and not easily moved,” he said, “and the water jump is firmly fixed into the ground and not at all movable. So the first thing you want is: not to hit it.”

The clearance method isn’t standard and it isn’t always stylish.

“You’re right,” Wetmore said. “People have all different techniques and some are less elegant than others. My advice is: trust what you’re comfortable with and stay with it” – at least for the dry jump.

The water jump, he said, “is complicated – particularly for women because they’re generally shorter have a little bit less ballistic power than men. Everyone lands in the water, it’s just a matter of whether you land in four inches of it or whether you land in a foot-and-a-half. If you land in four inches, then you’re out in a half a step. If you land deep, you’re sloshing and losing time.”

Despite the event’s anything-goes quality, sometimes the coach just has to shake his head. “Every once in a while, we’ll have a one-hour steeple try-out clinic among people on the team and there’ll be somebody who’s disqualified in 30 seconds, for sure,” Wetmore said. “They’re so bad at it that they threaten the health of the people surrounding them and we have to say, ‘Okay, thanks. See ya tomorrow.’”

Truthfully, Wetmore said, “Technical violations in the steeplechase are nearly impossible,” other than missing the water jump. Runners skip the water jump on the first lap, but have to clear it on every subsequent lap. Wetmore has seen people forget it the second time.

“Steeplechasers come in all shapes, sizes, and talent packages,” Wetmore added. None of his Olympic steeplechasers were specialists.

“Emma Coburn was an indoor mile champion,” he said. “Jenny [Simpson] set the collegiate record – which still stands – in the 1,500. None of them trained for steeplechase exclusively.”

A good steeplechaser takes “athleticism, fitness, and a little bit of fearlessness,” Coburn said in New York in 2013, before becoming the 2016 Olympic bronze medalist, 2017 world champion, and 2019 world silver medalist.

“I’ve had to change trajectory in the air because women in front of me have fallen,” she said. “It can’t faze you.”

Wetmore agrees. “The steeplechase is an eventful event,” he said, and because Coburn has made it her professional specialty now, “she’s encountered everything that could happen in the steeplechase, so she’s not surprised, is efficient, and gets the job done.”

As for Constien, 25, who still works out at Colorado, Wetmore said, “She was a good runner for us but not a national titlist. The last two years have been very methodical for her. She works a full-time job and just ran 9:18 [in Eugene, Oregon, on June 24], the sixth fastest American woman ever. It’s a testimony to her work ethic.”

And maybe one more thing.

After fulfilling her goal on Sunday by making the 15-woman final scheduled for Wednesday, Constien said, “Coach Wetmore always says, ‘stay calm, stay calm, stay calm,’ and even though he’s not here, I hear that in the back of my head.”

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July 31st

… Citius, Altius, Fortius … 

Former Buff Morgan Pearson wins silver medal in first-ever mixed triathlon

Update … On Saturday night, both Emma Coburn and Valerie Constein qualified for the finals in the steeplechase. The finals are set for Wednesday … 

From CUBuffs.com … Colorado track and field alum Morgan Pearson anchored Team USA to an Olympic Silver Medal Friday afternoon here in the first-ever mixed triathlon relay.

The team of Katie Zaferes, Kevin McDowell, Taylor Knibb and Pearson crossed the line second behind the quartet of Great Britain in 1:23:55, 14 seconds back and nine seconds ahead of the previous World Champion team in France. Pearson anchored the team to second after passing France in the final run leg. The sprint relay consisted of a 300-meter swim, 6.8 kilometer draft-legal bike ride and a 2-kilometer run for each individual.

Zaferes started things off for USA and got the team into the original lead pack of four. McDowell had moments of leading but was 20 seconds behind Britain when he ‘handed off’ to Taylor Knibb where the race really started to heat up.

Knibb chased individual silver medalist Georgia Taylor-Brown who would be handing off to men’s silver medalist Alex Yee. Despite her best efforts, Knibb handed off with the same 21 second gap that she started with.

Pearson went to the water where he was caught by Vincent Luis in the transition. Still the duo was able to cut four second off the G.B. lead. Pearson tucked in behind and began to draft off Luis. Luis took the lead on the bike after the first of two laps as Pearson kept cutting down the gap between third and the front two, just four seconds back at the halfway mark.

Pearson shortened the gap in the bike alone without the ability to draft. He came out of transition nine seconds back when Yee leading Luis by three seconds. The 2k run lent to Pearson’s talent as he caught France quickly. It was too little, too late though as Pearson cut the gap to 11 seconds after the first lap of the run and finished 14 seconds back for his first Olympic medal.

Pearson’s medal is the 20th for a CU alum since the 1948 summer Olympics, joining Flora Duffy who won the women’s triathlon gold medal during these games as she represented Bermuda.

 

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July 27th 

… Citius, Altius, Fortius … 

CU grad Flora Duffy wins the women’s triathlon (for Bermuda) 

From the Daily Camera … Bermuda has been sending athletes to the Olympics since 1936. Until Tuesday, the Atlantic island’s highest honor was a bronze medal won 45 years ago.

Flora Duffy, who graduated from the University of Colorado Boulder, changed that in just under two hours, swimming, cycling and running through the wind and rain around Tokyo Bay to win the Olympic women’s triathlon for Bermuda’s first gold medal.

A self-governing British overseas territory with a population under 65,000, Bermuda has only two athletes competing in Tokyo: Duffy and men’s rower Dara Alizadeh. It is the smallest contingent Bermuda has ever sent to the Summer Games.

Bermuda hadn’t medaled at the Olympics since Clarence Hill’s bronze in heavyweight boxing in Montreal in 1976.

“I think (the medal) is bigger than me. It’s going to inspire the youth of Bermuda and everyone back home that competing on the world stage from a small island is really possible,” said Duffy, a Bermuda native who grew up there.

Duffy, 33, had never finished higher than eighth in her previous three Olympic tries. But the two-time former world triathlon series champion was one of the favorites for gold and was among the leaders Tuesday for the entire race. She closed out the victory with a dominant final leg to finish in 1 hour, 55:36 minutes.

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July 25th

… Citius, Altius, Fortius … 

Morgan Pearson finishes 42nd in Olympic triathlon

From CUBuffs.com Colorado track and field alum Morgan Pearson competed in his first Olympic triathlon Sunday afternoon, finishing 42nd overall for Team USA.

Pearson and the rest of the field has a bizarre start after there was a boat in the starting area and a false start caused half the field to enter the water. Once everyone was brought back, the race finally began. Two laps around the Marine Park, Pearson went through the first lap in 30th and made it up to 25th finishing the 1.5 kilometer swim in 18 minutes and two seconds.

Trouble struck Pearson in the first transition when he failed to get his swim goggles into the box, resulting in a 15-second penalty that would be assessed in the second transition. From the swim onto the bike, Pearson left the transition area in 20th place.

Through the first of eight laps on the bike, Pearson was in the chase pack in 24th, but fell to the back of that pack in the first 10 kilometers at 33rd. He lost contact with the pack throughout the race, dropping to 37th through 15 kilometers, 29 seconds off the lead. Halfway through the 40-kilometer bike race, Pearson was in 42nd overall, 46 minutes and 52 seconds into the race. He finished the bike race in 46th in one hour, 17 minutes and 33 seconds. The leader came through in one hour, 14 minutes and 45 seconds.

Heading into the run, fellow American Kevin McDowell gave the US men hope as they had never medaled at the Olympics in the event. He sat in second through the first half of the 10k run crossing in 1:30:05. Pearson crossed the first 5K in 44th at 1:33:37.

Kristian Blummenfelt of Norway took the win over Alex Yee of Great Britain in 1:45:04. Pearson finished 42nd in 1:52:05 while fellow American McDowell finished sixth in 1:45:54. Both US men will compete in the mixed triathlon Friday at 4:30 p.m. MT.

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July 23rd

… Citius, Altius, Fortius … 

A viewer’s guide to watch former Buffs at the Olympics 

From CUBuffs.com … At 7 a.m. on Friday, July 23, in Colorado, those up and awake watched the long awaited Opening Ceremonies of the 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo where six University of Colorado alums will be representing Team USA during the next two weeks.

Some 364 days after the originally planned date of the Ceremonies and 486 days since the International Olympic Committee announced the postponement of the 2020 Olympics, Joe KleckerEmma CoburnVal ConstienMorgan PearsonErin Huck and Jake Riley will all meet at the final destination of their Olympic journey. For everyone except Coburn, this will be their first time participating in the Olympics, adding to the rich history of Buffs in the Games.  Coburn is an Olympic “veteran,” as it is her third time participating in the games.

Most of the Olympic events are televised on NBC and can be watched on the NBCSports App or the NBC Olympics channel. Click here for the full NBC schedule.

Four of the Olympians are alumni of the CU track and field program. Klecker will run the men’s 10,000-meters while Coburn and Constien will continue the constant CU representation at the Olympics in the 3,000-meter steeplechase as the Buffs have half of the USA women’s steeplechase participants in the event’s history. Pearson will compete in a 10k of his own after he finishes a swim and bike ride in the men’s triathlon. He will also compete in the mixed triathlon for Team USA.

Running remains the theme for Riley, a Stanford grad and a CU Master’s student, who will race in the marathon, while Huck will compete in the women’s mountain biking competition.

Despite Coburn’s experience, no one on Team USA has experience in the upcoming situation. In the midst of a pandemic, there will be no fans, very limited time around anyone, and near record heat and humidity. Only Pearson has been to Japan since the pandemic began, having finished third at a World Triathlon competition there to seal his spot on Team USA. With nearly 11,000 athletes, including 600 from the U.S., COVID concerns, preparations and testing will be just a factor of what the athletes deal with.

Action begins for the Buffs with Pearson in the men’s triathlon at 3:30 p.m. MT on Sunday, July 25 (6:30 a.m. July 26 in Tokyo). The CU cross country/track graduate has had a major change in training since he last wore the black and gold, picking back up his swimming experience in college and learning to navigate giant packs of cyclists to become one of the best young triathletes in the world. In just four years since he was selected to train with USA Triathlon’s newcomer program, Pearson has risen to become the only USA male to medal at not one, but two World Triathlon Championships Series events. Following making Team USA in Japan, Pearson rode his success into a second-place finish in Britain. Still getting used to the bike, Pearson has continued to get better with every event and should be considered a dark horse to medal at the Olympics.

Women’s mountain biking is next on the schedule for midnight in Colorado on Tuesday, July 27.  Huck, who was a late addition after an athlete dropped out, is a 40-year-old Colorado-native that graduated from Estes Park High School and then got a mechanical engineering degree from CU in 2004. Huck will join former World Champion Kate Courtney and Haley Batten on Team USA after former Olympian Chloe Woodruff withdrew. Coincidentally, Huck beat Woodruff at the first two World Cup stops this season by a combined 63 positions. Huck, the 2016 women’s mountain biking national champion, will make her first appearance as the women battle for a team medal.

After those first two events, CU alums turn to the track where Klecker opens in the men’s 10,000-meter run with his race scheduled for Friday, July 30, at 5:30 a.m. MT (8:30 p.m. Tokyo). Klecker, who is coached by former CU Olympian Dathan Ritzenhein, will be joined by Colorado-native Woody Kincaid and Stanford alum Grant Fisher. Both of the other runners qualified in the men’s 5,000 as well, a race Klecker scratched from to focus his efforts on the 10,000.

Friday, July 30, is the busiest day for CU fans as Pearson competes in the mixed triathlon at 4:30 p.m. MT (Saturday at 7:30 a.m.). He is guaranteed a spot as one of two males for Team USA while the two women positions are yet to be determined.

Next on the track will be Coburn and Constien, both of which are coached by CU alums. Coburn is coached by her husband Joe Bosshard, while Constien is coached by CU coaches Mark Wetmore and Heather Burroughs. The two will compete in the steeplechase prelims at 6:40 p.m. Saturday (9:40 a.m. Tokyo Sunday) with eyes on the finals. Coburn is coming off a very fast Diamond League race in Monaco where she was on pace to break the American Record and possibly the 9-minute mark when she came up short on the water barrier with only a toe instead of the ball of her foot on the barrier causing her to fall. She is one of the favorites to not only repeat as a medalist, but possibly become the first US woman to take home gold in the event.  The final is scheduled for Wednesday, August 4, at 5 a.m. MT (8 p.m. Tokyo time), the final track event for CU Olympians.

Riley will close out the events for CU Olympians with the men’s marathon scheduled for Saturday, August 8, at 4 p.m. MT (Sunday at 7 a.m.).

2020(21) Tokyo Olympics

Local schedule (All times MT)

CU Buffs alumsMen’s triathlon (Morgan Pearson) — Sunday, 3:30 p.m.; Women’s cross country mountain bike (Erin Huck) — Tuesday, 12:01 a.m. Men’s 10,000 meters (Joe Klecker) — July 30, 5:30 a.m.; Women’s 3,000 steeplechase (Emma Coburn, Valerie Constien) — First round July 31, 6:40 p.m.; Final Aug. 4, 5 a.m. Men’s marathon (Jake Riley) — Aug. 8, 4 p.m.

Other local athletes: Women’s discus (Valarie Allman) — First round July 30, 6:30 p.m.; Final Aug. 2, 5 a.m.; Women’s 5,000 meters (Elise Cranny) — First round July 30, 4 a.m.; Final Aug. 2, 6:40 a.m.; Women’s track cycling (Maddie Godby) — Keirin, Aug. 4-5; Match sprints, Aug. 6-8.; Sports climbing (Brooke Raboutou)  — Qualifying, Aug. 4; Finals, Aug. 6.

Read full story here

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July 19th

… Citius, Altius, Fortius … 

10,000-meter Olympian Joe Klecker credits another former Buff for recent success

From the Daily Camera … There is an obvious shared background between Joe Klecker and Dathan Ritzenhein as two of the elite distance runners among the dozens that have passed through the Colorado track and cross country programs.

Beyond that, however, an entire generation spans the distance between their collegiate careers. And until last summer, Klecker and Ritzenhein were only casual acquaintances. Little did they know the heights they would reach together just one year later.

Not long after Ritzenhein, the former CU All-American, bid farewell to his professional racing career, he accepted a coaching position with On Athletics Club. One of his first priorities was to sign Klecker, who will make his Olympics debut in Tokyo in the 10,000 meter run on July 30 after posting a third-place finish last month at the Olympic Trials.

“I think the one thing that has really worked well with Dathan and I, since he ran under Mark (Wetmore) at CU he just knew exactly where I was coming from. He just kind of knew right where to pick up when he started coaching me,” Klecker said. “Obviously it takes a little bit for a coach to get to know you as an athlete, but with the lack of racing the first six months that he was coaching me, we kind of had a good buffer zone to try new things, kind of experiment with training.

“On paper, with all the PRs it looked like it clicked right away. And it did click pretty fast. But those first six months was just kind of learning the new system. If I had been racing those first two or three months, I don’t know how it would’ve worked out. Dathan really gets to know you as a runner and what you do well.”

Continue reading story here

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July 18th

… Citius, Altius, Fortius … 

Track and field star Sage Hurta nominated for NCAA Woman of the Year

From CUBuffs.com … Colorado track and field alum Sage Hurta has been named the 2021 NCAA Woman of the Year nominee for the University of Colorado.

The award, which is in its 31st year, honors the academic achievements, athletic excellence, community service and leadership of outstanding female college athletes. In total, 535 student-athletes were nominated across the three NCAA Divisions and 24 sports with an average GPA of 3.7.

Hurta left a mark on the Buffs program with an individual national title (2021 Mile), relay national title (2017 DMR) and team NCAA Championships. She joins Dani Jones as the only CU athletes to do so. Hurta was also a seven-time All-American, including becoming only the second women’s four-time cross country All-American at CU.

On top of her achievements on the track and cross country course, Hurta is a two-time Google Cloud CoSIDA Academic All-American, earning a second-team honor in 2019 and a first team honor in 2020. She was named the 2019 Pac-12 Cross Country Scholar-Athlete of the Year and only missed earning an A in a class once while earning a degree in Chemical and Biological Engineering. She was named to the CoSIDA Academic All-District First Team this week and is in the running to become the seventh Buff to earn a third Academic All-America honor.

Hurta was also named the 2019 Colorado Sportswoman of the Year in cross country. Outside of athletics, Hurta assisted the community while working with Read with the Buffs, Holiday Angel Tree, Girls on the Run and Elementary Exercise Outreach.

Conference offices will select up to two nominees each from their pool of member school nominees. All nominees who compete in a sport not sponsored by their school’s primary conference, as well as associate conference nominees and independent nominees, will be considered by a selection committee. Then, the Woman of the Year selection committee, made up of representatives from the NCAA membership, will choose the Top 30 honorees — 10 from each division.

From the Top 30, the Woman of the Year selection committee will determine the top three honorees in each division and announce nine finalists. The NCAA Committee on Women’s Athletics then will choose the 2021 NCAA Woman of the Year, who will be named this fall.

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July 17th

… Citius, Altius, Fortius … 

An Easy Pick: Ski coach Richard Rokos to the CU Athletics Hall of Fame

From the Daily Camera … When you’re a coach anywhere for an extended time, let alone more than three decades, it’s easy to take for granted some of the little details that often are handled for you.

Richard Rokos can attest to this.

The legendary Colorado ski coach is just a few months into his retirement after leading the Buffs’ nationally-renowned program for 31 years. Certainly there will be more adjustments necessary going forward on Rokos’ part — like when he watches one of his former skiers, new coach Andy Leroy, leading the Buffs for the first time — but Rokos got the first shock of his post-coaching life when his first cell phone bill arrived in the mail.

Since he first joined cell phone nation, that bill was always the university’s problem. Now Rokos is on his own.

“It’s a time of adjustment. And I’m not fully adjusted,” Rokos said. “I wake up in the morning and think about what to do that day, then I realize I don’t have to do anything today.”

It was a classic no-brainer in May when Rokos, just months removed from his final NCAA Championships as the Buffs’ leader, was named to the 2021 Colorado Athletics Hall of Fame class.

Rokos, who spent 34 years total at CU after starting his time in Boulder with a three-year stint as an assistant, is the third longest-tenured head coach in Buffs history, trailing former gymnastics coach Charles Vavra (32 seasons) and former track and cross country coach Frank Potts (41 seasons). Rokos led the Buffs to eight NCAA team championships and six runner-up finishes at the NCAA Championships. His skiers won 46 individual NCAA titles, including three in his final championship this past March, and they collected a whopping 247 All-American honors. Rokos was named the national coach of the year five times.

Continue reading story here

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July 13th 

… Citius, Altius, Fortius … 

CU Olympic Legacy (CU’s 90 Olympians ranks 10th among colleges and universities)

From The Coloradan … Boulder has long been a mecca for outdoor adventure, and CU’s strong historic presence at the Olympic Games proves it. Since 1948, the university has produced over 90 Olympic athletes who have competed in events across the globe. In honor of the upcoming Tokyo Games, here’s a look at CU’s storied history of Olympians.

— Over 90 CU Boulder Forever Buffs have attended the Olympics. Among universities and colleges with the most Olympians, CU ranks 10th …

— CU had the most Summer Olympians in its history in 2008 (8), and the most Winter Olympians in 1972 (13) …

— CU Boulder’s first Olympian: Track and field star David Bolen (1948) …

— CU has more affiliated Olympic cyclists (13) and alpine skiers (29) than any other university and ranks second in shooting sports (7) and third in judo (6) …

Buffs have won 20 Olympic medals in total (9 Gold, 4 Silver, 7 Bronze)

— Six Olympic coaches have been affiliated with CU, including women’s basketball coach Ceal Barry, who won a gold medal as an assistant coach for the USA women’s basketball team in Atlanta in 1996 …

Read full story here

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June 25th

… Citius, Altius, Fortius … 

Emma Coburn, Val Constein qualify for the Olympics in the steeplechase

From the Daily Camera … Emma Coburn is headed back to the Olympics. This time, she’s taking another former Buffaloes standout with her.

Coburn, the reigning Olympic bronze medalist in the 3,000 meter steeplechase, once again earned a Team USA spot in her signature event on Thursday night, winning the US Olympic Trials at Hayward Field in Eugene, Ore. Coburn became the third former Buffs athlete to land a spot on Team USA for next month’s Games in Tokyo, but it only took a few seconds later for a fourth former Buff to join that club, as Val Constien finished third in the steeplechase to earn her first Olympic bid.

It will be the third Olympic Games for Coburn, who finished in 9 minutes, 9.41 seconds, establishing a new Trials record. It is the second time CU will be represented by two athletes in the Olympic steeplechase, as Coburn and Shalaya Kipp took their status as Buffs teammates to the world stage at the 2012 Games in London.

The victory also gave Coburn her seventh consecutive US championship.

Constien, the 2019 Pac-12 steeplechase champion, finished in 9:18.34, topping her previous personal-best (9:25.43) by more than 7 seconds.

It was an impressive night overall for the CU contingent in Oregon, as Sage Hurta and Eduardo Herrera also advanced out of the first round of their respective events.

Continue reading story here

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June 18th

… Citius, Altius, Fortius … 

Joe Klecker becomes the second Buff to qualify for the Olympics 

From CUBuffs.com … It didn’t take long for a Colorado track and field alum to make their way onto the Team USA 2020 Olympic Track and Field team after Joe Klecker finished third in the men’s 10,000-meter run finals here Friday evening at the first day of the USATF Olympic Trials.

Klecker had to drop a 54.54 second final quarter-mile in the 6.2 mile long race to earn his spot on the team. After the 4,000-meter mark, Klecker never left the top-10 and was in second to start the final 2,000-meters of the race. He dropped to third with 1,200-meters remaining but covered the final 800-meters in 1:58.36 to secure his spot on his first Olympic team.

Nike’s Woody Kincaid, a native of Colorado, won the race in 27:53.62, while Grant Fisher finished second in 27:54.29. Klecker finished right on Fisher’s heels, a place he stayed at for most of the race, finishing in 27:54.90.

Klecker becomes the first male Buff to run at the Olympics in the 10,000 since his professional coach and former Buff legend Dathan Ritzenhein did in London in 2012. He becomes the fourth CU alum to run the 10k at the Olympics, joining Ritzenhein’s two appearances, Jorge Torres’ 2008 appearance and Kara Goucher’s 2008 appearance.

The Buffs now own two of the first three Pac-12 Olympic positions this year as Morgan Pearson was the first for the men in the triathlon and Klecker is the third following Fisher’s finish .61 seconds ahead of him. Galen Rupp, Jake Riley and Abdi Abdirahman are also conference representatives after qualifying in the marathon in February of 2020 where the Conference of Champions swept the men’s spots.

The Buffaloes also favored well in the women’s 1,500 first round with Jenny Simpson and Dani Jones advancing to the semifinals. Simpson was the top qualifier in 4:11.34 out of the first heat while Jones ran 4:13.47 to place second in the second heat and advance. Micaela Degenero finished 26th overall in 4:18.33 and will not advance.

Also for the former CU athletes, both Maddie Alm and Carrie Verdon moved on to the finals in the women’s 5,000 out of the first heat. Alm ran the third-best time today in 15:31.43 while Verdon finished with the ninth-best mark at 15:32.87.

The women’s 5,000 semifinals continue tomorrow at 7:40 p.m. MT while the women’s 5,000 finals start Monday at 6:40 p.m. The women’s steeplechase will be the next event for the Buffs to join in on the action with the first round starting Sunday at 7:35 p.m. with Emma Coburn, Val Constien, Sara Vaughn and Madie Boreman all competing.

Continue reading story here

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June 17th 

… Citius, Altius, Fortius … 

14 Past and Present Buffs competing for Olympic berths

From CUBuffs.com … Colorado track and field will have fourteen current and former members of the program compete at the 2021 USATF Olympic Trials that begin Friday June 18 and conclude Sunday June 27, including four current members that will run in the black and gold.

The four current student-athletes are Sage Hurta in the women’s 800, Eduardo Herrera in the men’s 5,000, Madie Boreman in the women’s steeplechase and Micaela Degenero in the women’s 1,500. The former athletes are Dani Jones in the women’s 1,500, Jenny Simpson in the women’s 1,500 and 5,000, Emma Coburn in the women’s steeplechase, Val Constien in the women’s steeplechase, Sara Vaughn in the women’s steeplechase, Joe Klecker in the men’s 5,000 and 10,000, Maddie Alm in the women’s 5,000, Carrie Verdon in the women’s 5,000 and 10,000, Laura Thweatt in the women’s 10,000 and Makena Morley in the women’s 10,000.

The Buffs have two athletes ranked in the top-3 in their respected events, Olympians Jenny Simpson in the 1,500 and Emma Coburn in the steeplechase. Coburn is the top-ranked American in the steeplechase at 9:02.35. Simpson is second in the 1,500 with a personal-best of 3:57.22.

Colorado has seven total marks inside the top-10 in the US heading to the trials. After the two top-three marks, Val Constien is fourth in the steeplechase, Klecker is seventh in the 5,000 and 10,000, Simpson is eighth in the 5,000 and Jones is 10th in the 1,500.

The first event for Colorado will be the women’s 1,500 first round where the three CU women will look to finish top-six in their heats of 10 or have one of the six next fastest times. Simpson owns the fastest mark in her heat while Jones is third and Degenero is ninth. The second round will consist of the top-five in each heat of 12 advancing to finals with the next two fastest times for the women’s final where the top-three will represent the US at the Olympics if they have gone under the Olympic Standard mark.

The men’s 10,000 is the first final on the track for CU where 25 men will battle for three spots. Klecker has the fifth-best 10,000 for an American this year but is ranked seventh heading into the final based on personal bests.

Events will be live streamed and televised on NBC and NBCSN. A few events for Buffs are not scheduled to be streamed and those include the women’s steeplechase first round, all of the rounds of the men’s 5,000 and the women’s 800 first two rounds. Live results including heat sheets released the day before and a schedule of events are available at https://trialsresults.usatf.org/.

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June 13th

… Citius, Altius, Fortius … 

Saga Hurta earns All-American honors with second-place finish in 1,500 at NCAA Championships

From CUBuffs.com … Colorado track and field picked up a pair of First Team All-American finishes here Saturday in the final day of competition at the 2021 NCAA Championships.

Sage Hurta finished as the national runner-up in the women’s 1,500-meter in 4:09.42 while Micaela Degenero earned her first All-American honor as a Buff after finishing sixth in 4:11.26.

Hurta came into the race having run the fastest semifinal in NCAA history in 4:08.88. Off the gun, Hurta and Degenero both went to the front with Hurta on the outside. Alabama’s Amaris Tyynismaa took the lead after the first 300 as Hurta sat in third. The women went through in 69 seconds as Degenero got bunched back in ninth. Hurta earned positioning on the shoulder of the Alabama leader as the women hit the 800 meters remaining mark while Degenero sat in 10th and moved out with 600 left to begin covering moves. Hurta took the lead with a little more than a lap left with Degenero trailing in ninth. Hurta began leading as Anna Camp of BYU covered. Camp sat on Hurta’s shoulder as Donaghu from Stanford sat behind around the final bend. Camp passed Hurta with 80 meters left as Hurta began tying up, but Hurta held off Donaghu for second. Degenero picked up three spots in the final 200 to finish as a First Team All-American. Camp won in 4:08.53.

“Well in Sage’s case, she’s coming in here with all the pressure, everybody after her and it’s awfully hard your senior year with professional ranks waiting, being the favorite, it’s just really aggravating,” said head coach Mark Wetmore. “She looked a little flat in the last 100 meters, a little bit collapsed. Maybe a little tactical error moving too soon earlier in the race, perhaps. But second place, what a great year, great senior year. She’s been a tremendous buffalo. She goes into the pantheon.”

“Micaela is a good closer if she keeps near it,” said Wetmore. “Then she smells blood and goes after it. She was feeling a little flat after the first round. I have to say their first round was impressive going 4:09, but they were carrying a little more fatigue than the 4:13 heat. So she felt a little tired going in and maybe let the race get away from her some. Very, very pleased with the last 400. Very pleased for her to get sixth. I don’t know that she’s ever even made it here before so if this is her first outdoor NCAA to get sixth, and she’s got a year to go. Good stuff.”

Continue reading story here

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June 3rd

… Citius, Altius, Fortius … 

CU alum Morgan Pearson qualifies for the Olympics as a triathlete

From the Daily Camera … Even though Colorado track and field has yet to complete the outdoor season or had the USATF Olympic Trials, CU track and cross country alum Morgan Pearson has already punched his ticket to the 2021 Olympics in Tokyo.

The 27-year-old added two more disciplines to his running background and has become one of the world’s top male triathletes since leaving Colorado in 2016. He has since risen to the top of the triathlon world, placing bronze in the 2021 World Triathlon Championships Series in Yokohama, Japan in May to punch his ticket as the first male representative for Team USA. In claiming his first medal, Pearson also became just the third U.S. male to earn a medal at the WTCS.

Thanks to his bronze medal he is now third in the standings after one event and is ranked 16th in the world in the Individual Olympic Qualification Rankings according to triathlon.org.

“It’s really cool and I’m really excited. This was a goal I had when I started doing triathlons,” Pearson said. “I started racing pro in 2018. It’s not only like a goal accomplished but it’s also kind of a dream since I was a little kid.”

Pearson was a five-time indoor All-American and one-time All-American in outdoor during his time in Boulder.

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May 30th

… Citius, Altius, Fortius … 

CU track and field women qualify seven athletes for NCAA Championships

From CUBuffs.com The Colorado track and field women qualified seven student-athletes through to the 2021 NCAA Championships here Saturday evening at the NCAA West Preliminaries.

The women had a stellar day, qualifying three women through in the 1,500, a pair in the 400 hurdles and one in the steeplechase and 5,000. In total, CU will compete eight individuals in nine events at the NCAA Championships in Eugene.

“The women had a great weekend all the way around,” said head coach Mark Wetmore. “Everybody either made it through or ran better than their ranking. Eriana came in ranked 11th so had a good day to make it through but Abbey was a big excitement also getting through. Then Abby Nichols doubling back and running great, very good 5k/10k double for her. So yeah, the woman had an excellent weekend.”

The 1,500-meter trio started things off for the Colorado women. Alone in the first heat, Micaela Degenero had to deal with a trio of Stanford and Arkansas runners. She stuck around the eighth spot, then outkicked three athletes to take the fourth-qualifier spot in 4:12.36, passing Christina Aragon of Stanford and Olivia Howell of Illinois.

In the second heat, Sage Hurta and Rachel McArthur went straight to the second and third spots from the gun. McArthur took the lead while Hurta held the final transition with 800 remaining. Hurta took the lead with 200 meters remaining with McArthur in third around the bend, but the CU women finished 1-2 in 4:12.01 and 4:13.25, respectfully.

“That was very big (to get all three women through),” said Wetmore. “We thought each one of them is good and each one of them should be thought of as a contender. But to get three out of 12 is a pretty tall order. It was the highest we could have hoped for and we got it. And they ran fast”

The Buffs women also qualified through both Abbey Glynn and Eriana Henderson in the 400 hurdles. Henderson was the first through, picking up the third automatic qualifying spot in the second heat. She was the beneficiary of a fall by another athlete but would’ve made it through anyways with her time. Freshman Glynn picked up her first ticket to the NCAA Championships after she finished second in the third and final heat in 58.02.

Madie Boreman is now making her return to the NCAA Championships, nearly four years after her runner-up finish. The senior picked up the first of the ‘next three-fastest time’ qualifier spots after running 9:50.97 in the steeplechase to finish fourth out of the first heat. Her time ended up eighth overall and was faster than two of the automatic qualifiers out of the third heat. Alisa Meraz-Fishbein also ran in the first heat, finishing 36th overall in 10:37.07.

“She was in the final in 2017 and interrupted in all kinds of ways for a few years,” said Wetmore on Boreman’s return. “She’s worked very hard in the last six months to battle back into this thing. We’re pleased that she made it.”

Earning her second qualification was Abby Nichols who ran an excellent 5,000-meter race and finished second overall in 15:58.03. Nichols let Washington’s Haley Herberg take the lead and work hard, while Nichols stuck with a pack of seven for a majority of the race. Slowly individuals kept dropping but Nichols held on, then with 300 meters left she began to move up the pack. Stanford’s Julia Heymach passed Herberg with 200 left in the race and Nichols covered the move and finished the final 100 meters passing BYU’s Whittni Orton to finish second.

“Abby ran the 10,000 and ran very well,” said Wetmore. “She’s been nursing a sore leg a little bit and we weren’t sure this was the right thing to do but she said, ‘I’m here, let’s do it.’ And then, once the gun went off, she was just a terrier, she’s a quiet killer.”

Also for the women in the 5,000, Annie Hill finished 15th in the first heat in 16:39.13 and Kaitlyn Barthell ran 16:43.76 to finish 16tj in the heat. The two finished 28th and 31st overall, respectfully.

The women ended the amazing day with the women’s 4×400 relay of Jaida Drame, Henderson, Tamia Badal and Glynn running 3:38.42 for seventh overall in the first heat. Their time is good for seventh in school history and finished 17th overall.

“Well the women’s 4×4 ran their fastest time of the year, one of the fastest times ever at Colorado and that was not too long after the two women were in the 400 hurdles so all around, very good day,” said Wetmore.

Aaron McCoy was the first CU athlete on the track today as the men’s finals got pushed to Saturday due to rain on Friday. McCoy finished 21st in the 400 hurdles in 53.26 seconds.

The men’s 4×400 of Tyler Williams, McCoy, Ian Gilmore and Ronald Sayles ran 3:06.04 for the 12th-best time on the day, unfortunately not qualifying to the NCAA Championships. Williams had an amazing first leg from the ninth lane, giving McCoy the baton around fourth. The men, who were sitting in a qualifying spot in the final heat, held tight until the handoff to Gilmore where Arkansas snuck by and took the final time qualifier as no more moves extended to the end. The mark is the second-fastest relay in school history.

“The men’s four by four finished one spot out,” said Wetmore. “They ran the fastest time of the year I think they ran the second fastest time ever in Colorado. And for an hour, the team in front of them was being protested, so it was a real nail biter or perhaps a hoof biter. I didn’t see it, Burke didn’t see it, it just popped up as under review. Of course you don’t want to wish for something bad on somebody else, but if there was a foul or somebody ran out of their lane we’d want our team in. It was a long hour then dismissed but they ran really well those guys.”

The men’s 5,000 didn’t go as well as planned. Stuck in the first heat alone, Eduardo Herrera went out with a slow paced heat and paid for it as he was passed in the final 250 meters by two runners and finished sixth, one spot out from an automatic qualifying mark. The second heat, which included John Dressel and Alec Hornecker, went out much faster to take the two time qualifying spots by six seconds as Herrera finished 15th overall in 14:01.69, followed by Hornecker in 24th in 14:16.43 and Dressel in 30th in 14:25.30.  Dressel will be the lone male representative in Eugene after qualifying in the 10,000 Wednesday evening.

“Lalo got stuck in the heat with a lot of really good kickers,” added Wetmore. “Then it went slow. He didn’t kick brilliantly. But he’s looked tired for a couple of weeks, I think maybe I didn’t do the year perfectly with him. He was in monster shape in October and very good shape in April, and I think it was just a bridge too far.”

“Overall very good day for everyone, one disappointment in Lalo and I got to feel that was on me,” said Wetmore.

Colorado will return to action June 9-12 at Hayward Field for the 2021 NCAA Outdoor Track and Field Championships.

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May 24th

… Citius, Altius, Fortius … 

Ski coach Richard Rokos named to CU Hall of Fame Class of 2021

Bio from CUBuffs.com … Richard Rokos retired this past March after 34 years coaching at Colorado, the last 31 (1991-2021) as head coach of the men’s and women’s ski team … Only two coaches in CU history coached their teams longer than Rokos was at the reins of the skiers: Frank Potts (41 seasons, cross country and track) and Charles Vavra (32 seasons, men’s gymnastics) … Finished as one of the most successful coaches across all sports in school history, winning eight NCAA championships (1991-95-98-99-2006-11-13-15) with nine runner-up finishes and six third place efforts (or 23 top three performances in 31 tries) … The eight national titles are tied for the most by any coach in CU annals (Mark Wetmore has coached eight in cross country); they are the most in skiing, as he bested Bill Marolt’s seven in men’s skiing from 1972-78 … Marolt, who would become CU’s athletic director, named Rokos as head coach on July 3, 1991 … He and his staff coached 46 individual NCAA champions, included three in his final hurrah that brought CU’s all-time total to 100 … During his tenure, 247 skiers earned All-America honors, including first-team on 150 occasions (44 of whom earned two-time first-team honors in the same year) … Also piloted his teams to 14 Rocky Mountain Intercollegiate Ski Association titles, with CU skiers claiming 65 RMISA/NCAA West Regional titles (the meet served as both) … Named the United States Collegiate Ski Coaches Association National Coach of the Year on five occasions, last in 2015 … The 2006 Buffs performed the greatest comeback within the NCAA’s in history; in sixth-place and down by 52 points after the first day, CU rallied to assume the lead after day three (six events) and won going away by 98 points … His 31 teams competed in 187 collegiate races over his career, winning 73 times and finishing second on another 66 occasions; that’s a top two finish 74 percent of the time (with 28 third place efforts, his teams finished out of the top three just 20 times and out of the top four just four times) … Prior to being named head coach, he was an assistant under Tim LaVallee for the Buffs, coaching the Alpine “B” team for two years before being promoted to alpine coordinator for the 1990 season … A dual citizen of the United States and the Czech Republic, he escaped with his family from communist Czechoslovakia in 1980, making it to the States (Detroit) via Austria, where he and his wife, the former Helena Konecny, and then-18-month-old daughter Linda, spent a year preparing their visas (they moved to Colorado in 1982 and have made it their permanent home) … An ordained minister, he has performed nearly 40 marriages, including at least 20 that involves CU coaches and athletes … He was born May 25, 1950 in Brno, Czechoslovakia.

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May 8th

… Citius, Altius, Fortius … 

CU Lacrosse falls short in Pac-12 title game, falling to Stanford (NCAA bids out on Sunday)

From the Daily Camera … Colorado lacrosse senior Sadie Grozier recorded a career-high six goals, including four free-position goals, but No. 13 Stanford just had too much momentum on its side and defeated the Buffs, 17-10, on Saturday at Stanford Stadium in the title game of the Pac-12 Tournament.

The Buffs are now 8-7 while Stanford is 11-0. With the tournament title, the Cardinal earned the Pac-12 automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament, while CU will have to wait for the announcement on Sunday to see if its season will be extended.

Colorado’s second half was better than the first in just about every stat category, but the one that mattered the most was draw controls. Stanford dominated the draw, winning the first 10 of the game before Zoe McElhaney won CU’s first. The Buffs ended up with two draw control wins in the first half, while SU had 13. But the second half saw a reversal with CU winning 10 and the Cardinal winning four.

“Obviously this is disappointing; not the result we were going for,” head coach Ann Elliott Whidden said. “The draw controls and possessions, turnovers in transition in the first half, really hurt us. Stanford is a really good team. When you are giving them a lot of opportunities and you don’t get a lot on your end, it’s hard to stay in the game. I thought in the second half we did a better job of battling back and winning the draw controls and trying to give ourselves more positions, but a little bit too little, too late for us.”

Continue reading story here

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May 7th

… Citius, Altius, Fortius … 

CU Lacrosse defeats USC, 9-8, advances to Pac-12 title match

From CUBuffs.com Colorado senior Sadie Grozier recorded a hat-trick, which included her 100th career goal, and helped the Buffaloes record a second-half comeback to defeat Southern California, 9-8, on Thursday night in the semifinals of the Pac-12 Lacrosse Tournament at Stanford Stadium.

CU (8-6) will face Stanford (10-0), which is the top seed and is currently ranked 13th in the IWLCA Coaches Poll. The Cardinal defeated Arizona State, 18-11, in the first semifinal of the day.

The Buffs were playing without Charlie Rudy, but multiple players stepped up, especially in the second half where CU had six different players score. Grozier led the Buffs with three goals; two came in the first half and one was in the second half. Chloe Willard recorded a pair for CU and had one in each half.

Julia Lisella recorded 10 saves, five in each half, for a 55.6 saves percentage.

USC is now 9-7 overall after finishing the conference season 6-3.

“It was an exciting game,” head coach Ann Elliott Whidden said. “We knew going into it that this would be a battle. USC has been playing very well and both teams knew this could be our last game if we didn’t win. I am really proud of this group. All year it has been a battle for us and each time they have risen to the occasion and fought their way back.

“Tonight I think we played for each other and made plays for each other. When something didn’t go our way, the next person stepped up to get it back. We are excited to compete for a championship Saturday. Stanford is a great team, well coached and is playing well. We know it will be another battle and we look forward to the opportunity to compete in the Pac-12 Championship again.”

UP NEXT: The Buffs will play Stanford in the Pac-12 Tournament Championship game on Saturday at 1 p.m. MT.

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May 6th

… Citius, Altius, Fortius … 

CU Lacrosse goalie Julia Lisella named Pac-12 Defensive Player of the Year

Related … “Consistency and Julia Lisella, A Recipe for Success at CU”from CUBuffs.com

From the Daily Camera … As the Colorado women’s lacrosse team gets ready to make a run at the Pac-12 title, the Buffaloes took home some individual honors on Wednesday.

Senior goalkeeper Julia Lisella was named the Pac-12 defensive player of the year and joined three teammates on the All-Pac-12 team.

Lisella, senior attacker Sadie Grozier and graduate student Kate White, a defender, were all named first-team All-Pac-12. Junior attacker Charlie Rudy was named to the second team.

CU will face Southern California in the Pac-12 Tournament semifinals on Thursday at 8:30 p.m. MT.

Lisella is the first goalkeeper to win defensive player of the year honors, but she’s the second Buff to take that award in the three years it has been given. Defender Sarah Brown was defensive player of the year in 2018, the Pac-12’s inaugural season.

Lisella has played every minute in goal this season ranking 13th in the country in saves per game (10.31) and 14th in save percentage (49.1%). She leads the Pac-12 in goals-against average, save percentage, saves per game and total saves.

A graduate of Columbine High School in Littleton, Lisella has been named first-team All-Pac-12 twice during her career and second-team once.

Continue reading story here

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April 27th

… Citius, Altius, Fortius … 

Women’s soccer season ends with a 1-0 loss in NCAA tournament

From the Daily Camera … With less than 8 minutes remaining and NCAA Tournament dreams on the line, Colorado freshman Shyra James leaped for a header chance within the shadows of the South Alabama goal mouth.

The chance went awry, and James couldn’t help slapping the turf in frustration. The sequence epitomized the match for the Buffaloes on Tuesday, as CU dropped a 1-0 decision against South Alabama in the first round of the NCAA Tournament in Greensboro, N.C.

It marked the first time in six tournament appearances over nine seasons under head coach Danny Sanchez that CU has lost in the first round. The Buffs finish the unusual 2020 season played in the spring of 2021 at 9-6-2.

“If you look at throughout the season, chances were at a premium for us. And when we created those, we need to be more efficient in the final third,” Sanchez said. “Obviously the last 25 or 30 minutes we created some chances, but that’s what the game was giving us because we were down a goal and were chasing it.

“But I think over the 90 minutes, I don’t know if we were tight a little bit, but at the end of it when you look at our whole season it had been a struggle throughout the season to create a lot. When you play this many one-goal games, sometimes you’re not going to get the result. Unfortunately that was the thing tonight.”

Continue reading story here

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April 19th

… Citius, Altius, Fortius … 

CU women’s soccer earns NCAA tournament invite – will take on South Alabama in the first round

… Head coach Danny Sanchez: “This might be our best regular season we’ve ever had” … 

From CUBuffs.com … Colorado soccer will head back to North Carolina as one of the 48 teams selected to the NCAA Tournament on Monday. The Buffaloes, an at-large selection, will take on South Alabama in the first round on Apr. 27 (5 p.m. MT) at Bryan Park in Greensboro, N.C.

“I can make the argument that the length of the season, all the challenges everybody had to go through, the shrunk-down bracket with less at large slots that this might be our best regular season we’ve ever had,” head coach Danny Sanchez explained after the selections were announced. “Going into the last stretch of games we knew we had to get results, and we did against very good teams. I couldn’t be more proud of this group.”

CU’s selection marks the 12th in program history and the sixth since Coach Sanchez took over in 2012. It is CU’s second consecutive trip to the tournament and its fourth in five seasons. Colorado is 10-11-1 all-time in tournament games, advancing to the third round in both 2006 and 2013.

“It was pure excitement [to hear Colorado announced],” junior Hannah Sharts exclaimed. “We’ve worked so hard since the end of June to get to this point. We’ve done all the right things and I’m really happy we got rewarded in the end. We’re not done yet. We’re very excited.”

The Buffs finished the regular season on a four-match unbeaten streak, knocking off Oregon, No. 17 Arizona State and Utah. CU boasted the most ranked wins in program history this season, defeating No. 10 California, No. 14 USU and the aforementioned Sun Devils. CU also had a quality win in the season-opener against Denver, the winners of the Summit League Championship.

Colorado, one of five Pac-12 teams to make the tournament, finished 5-4-2 in the conference this season, besting its mark of three wins in the 2019 season.

“I felt that we deserved a spot in the 48-team bracket,” Sanchez continued. “We look forward to competing with South Alabama. They are a very good team. Very well-coached and are always in the tournament. It’ll be a huge challenge for us, but we’re excited to have the opportunity.”

Next Tuesday’s contest will be the first meeting between the Buffs and the Jaguars. South Alabama finished its season with a 13-8-1 overall record and defeated Arkansas State in the Sun Belt Championship back in November. The Jaguars played eight spring matches, going 3-5 leading up to the NCAA Tournament.

Different from previous tournaments, all 48 teams will travel to North Carolina. Previously the tournament featured a 64-team field, with matches hosted on campus sites. This season matches will take place at various campus locations including Campbell, East Carolina, UNC Wilmington, UNC Greensboro and Wake Forest. Off-campus sites include Bryan Park (Greensboro), J. Burt Gillette Athletic Complex (Wilson, N.C.), Sportsplex (Matthews, N.C.) and WakeMed Soccer Park (Cary, N.C.).

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April 12th

... Citius, Altius, Fortius … 

Dani Hansen named Pac-12 Goalkeeper of the Week – for the third time

From CUBuffs.com … Colorado goalkeeper Dani Hansen was selected as the Pac-12 Goalkeeper of the Week on Monday.

The sophomore from Broomfield, Colo., recorded a pair of shutouts for the Buffs this past weekend, holding both Arizona and No. 17 Arizona State scoreless. Hansen made 16 saves in her 200 minutes and now leads the Pac-12 with 87 saves this season.

Hansen now ranks seventh in the NCAA and leads the Pac-12 with seven shutouts this season. She made 11 saves against the Wildcats, the most in a shutout this season. Hansen is averaging 7.4 saves per game in her shutouts this season.

Hansen has provided stability in net for the Buffs all season. She’s fifth in the NCAA in saves. 15th in saves per game (6.21), 16th in save percentage (.888) and is fourth in the Pac-12 with a .743 goals-against average.

This is the third weekly honor for Hansen this season. She previously won back-to-back Keeper of the Week awards on Feb. 22 and Mar. 1.

It’s the first time a CU goalkeeper has been honored three times in the same season since Jalen Tompkins won the award three times in 2017.

The Buffs are tied with ASU with 14 points in the Pac-12 Standings with just one match left in the regular season. CU will have one last chance to make a push for the NCAA Tournament, hosting Utah on Friday (3 p.m. MT).

Sophomore Magnus Boee named National Men’s Nordic Skier of the Year

From CUBuffs.com … Magnus Boee picked up the largest of his many awards after a spectacular sophomore season, earning the National Men’s Nordic Skier of the Year by the United States Collegiate Ski Coaches Association.

Boee had the most dominant season in CU history for men’s Nordic skiers, winning 10 of 12 races and finishing third and fourth in the other two.  His 10 wins matches the CU record for a men’s skier with Dave Butts in 1960, and is the record for men’s Nordic skiers by two wins, breaking Mads Stroem’s total of eight in 2016.  That season Stroem tied CU records for most freestyle and classic wins in a season with four apiece, and Boee broke both of those records, as well, picking up five wins in each discipline.

Boee had a streak of five straight wins in the regular season and won six of eight regular season races before sweeping both the Regional and NCAA Individual Championships in the postseason.  He became just the fifth skier in CU history to sweep regional and national races, joining Stephan Heinzsch (men’s alpine, 1977), Jana Weinberger (women’s Nordic, 2006), Maria Grevsgaard (women’s Nordic, 2008) and Stroem in 2016.  Storem and Boee are the only two men’s Nordic skiers to also sweep the NCAA Championships races.

To date, he has been honored with two RMISA MVP honors, picking up the award for both classic and freestyle, was first-team All-RMISA and the top seed at the NCAA Championships in both disciplines.  He earned RMISA Skier of the Week honors for the first meet of the season and picked up CU Athlete of the Week honors four times.

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12 Replies to “CU Olympic Sports”

  1. Damn…..I really feel bad for Emma. Something just wasn’t right……whether it was the heat, a transient “Bug” (virus) or what………..I don’t know.

    I just know it was not TYPICAL of Emma to be that far behind in the final lap and I believe that influenced her physically which led to her proprioception error by misjudging her landing which caused the fall.

    It’s really the $h*#ts to have to wait another 4 years to prove her performance in this Olympics was just a red herring….. that is, if she even wants to.

    Still proud of you Emma….. you are Total Buff.

    1. I liked his tweet that this would be the first time he has traveled outside of the United States.
      That’s one way to get your passport stamped!

  2. Congratulations to the lacrosse team for defeating USC and advancing to the PAC-12 championship. Always nice to beat SC.

  3. Just in case you missed it
    The Lady Buffs soccer team plays Tuesday at 5 pm in the first
    round of the NCAA tourney,

    Its at 5 pm mountain time and will be shown
    on ncaa.com

    Go Buffs.

    Note They are pretty dang good

  4. It is totally clear those 100 AD wannabe’s are uneducated.
    Middle Note: I am allowed to say this because of the perception rule in the survey

    If you don’t know the Mighty Buffs…………………..you don’t now SH*T
    Sit down and shut up.

    Go buffs, Kick those teams arses.

    Middle Note: I am allowed to say this because of the perception rule in the survey

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