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In the final Buff race of the day, looks like Abbie Nichols of had some health issues, as she's showing as a did not finish (DNF). She looked very comfortable and in the pack at around 6000M, but her last 2 laps were very slow (per the splits), and she's showing as having to pull off the track at around the 7200M+ mark.
(I couldn't see what might have happened with her because, as usual, ESPN seems to treat the long races as an opportunity to crank through lots of ads, and when not doing that taking the time to summarize every field event that's occurred, rather than showing much of the distance race.)
Hope whatever happened is minor, but with 2nd place finishes at Pac 12's in both the 5000M and 10000M, the grad transfer has already had a great season for the Buffs.
" EUGENE – Colorado track and field advanced two women through to Saturday's 1,500-meter run finals after taking two of the three fastest times in the semifinals here Thursday afternoon at the NCAA Championships.
Sage Hurta and Micaela Degenero move on after finishing first and third in the first heat of the 1,500 prelims. Hurta advanced with the top-mark of 4:08.88 while Degenero ran the third-best mark at 4:09.38, moving her to sixth in CU history. Hurta's time came with ease and set her up for something special as that time made her the eighth-fastest to ever run at the NCAA Outdoor Championships.
"Sage ran quite comfortably, a little under 4:09," said head coach Mark Wetmore. "She looked good to me. I watched her after the race, she wasn't collapsed or laid out. I think it was a pretty controlled effort for her, and I think she's ready to go."
To start the race, Hurta sat in second then went with 250 meters to go and easily cruised to the heat victory. Degenero sat in fifth for most of the race, then moved up at the same time as Hurta and finished third overall. Degenero's mark is a new personal best by nearly three seconds while Hurta ran her second-best time ever.
"I would say she was just being careful," said Wetmore on Degenero's race. "She was watching where fifth was and then she felt better maybe than she expected and closed out well. I don't think she was ever in trouble at all and she had the fastest last lap I think."
In the second heat, Rachel McArthur unfortunately did not make it through. She led and slowed down the second heat drastically before three Stanford women and BYU's Whitney Orton took the pack and ran tightly together with a group of nine women pushing out seeking the top-five spots. McArthur came through 11th in her heat at 4:22.75.
"It's not a terrible tactic to take the lead if the field is reluctant, but then she did make a tactical mistake and let the race surround her," said Wetmore on the race. "She got buried. Finally she kind of had to come out the back. I think that was just really disturbing for her to have it in her hands and then let it slip away. The first lap wasn't a terrible mistake but I think the second lap wasn't great."
Moving to the steeplechase, Madie Boreman went out and sat in the fifth-place mark in the second heat of the women's steeplechase prelims, looking to run at least 9:46.08 to qualify for the finals by time, half a second faster than her personal best after the first heat went out fast. She dropped down to eighth halfway through with the pace a second off what was needed for a time qualifier. She stayed in that position, crossing in 9:49.28 and missing out on the finals as the final time qualifier came through in a blistering 9:42.41.
"It's a new world," said Wetmore on the fast qualifying. "Two or three years ago 9:48 would've made the final but it's a new world, people are running 9:30 something. The honest truth is she just needs to be fitter."
In the 400 hurdles, Eriana Henderson was in wonderful position off the final curve in the first heat of the women's 400 hurdle prelims, but she slowed over the ninth hurdle where she was caught. The senior finished sixth in her heat, officially out of contention for finals, finishing in 58.95 seconds. Abbey Glynn took to the track in the following heat next to defending NCAA Champ Anna Cockrell of USC. The freshman came off the turn in eighth in her heat, finishing that way in 59.49 seconds. She was one of three freshman in the 24-woman semifinals.
"Eriana got lane nine so she's out there all alone, and my opinion is she was out too fast," said Wetmore. "So she had a bad last 100 where she got tied up."
"Well that's a statistic I didn't know (on Glynn being one of three freshmen)," said Wetmore. "Abby, what was that her third 400 hurdle race of her life, I don't know. She's had a great second half of the spring. She's a big talent. Burke has been telling me that for a couple months, she had to work through some injuries earlier on in the season. She really only had about a half a track season to get ready. She's going to be a good one for us down the road."
The final race of the night had Abby Nichols in the women's 10,000-meter run, the first finals for the CU women. She quickly jumped out to fifth overall through the first half mile. After the first 10-minutes, Nichols found herself in eighth in a large bunched group. The group went through the 5k mark in around 16:30 as Nichols dropped down to 10th but remained very intact to the pack. She lost contact with the pack after the 6,000-meter mark, dropping down to 20th overall. Nichols continued to fade, losing her 80-second lap pace and dropping it down to 84 then 89 when she finally stopped at the 7,200m mark due to an existing injury.
"The injury that she's been nursing since the regionals was nagging her," said Wetmore on Nichols race. "We've been trying to treat it, she had to take a pretty big block of time off. She felt well enough in the last few days to start here today, but it kept getting worse. I don't know if she'll be able to run the 5,000 or not there's a couple of things. First of all, she has to feel ready and second of all, having stopped, now we have to get medical approval for her to continue."
Nichols has the 5,000-meter final in Saturday if she feels better, but if she is unable to compete CU will only have one more race for the 2021 NCAA season in Saturday's 1,500 final at 4:11 p.m. MT.
" EUGENE – 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."
The final race was a comeback in sorts for Abby Nichols in the women's 5,000. Thursday evening Nichols wasn't able to finish the 10,000-meter final as she battled a lagging injury. She needed to be medically cleared for the 5,000 and was luckily. At the start, she sat in 12th in the beginning of the race. BYU's Whittni Orton took the race out hard and led by 15 meters through the first mile while Nichols stayed in 12th in the middle of the chase pack. With seven laps left, a chase pack of two women went to catch the leader and a smaller pack of six came later as the race strung out as Nichols sunk to 14th overall. Though Nichols laps didn't get any slower through 3,000-meters, her place slipped down to 17th. Nichols stayed there the rest of the race, finishing 17th as an honorable mention All-American after crossing in 16:04.74. She even caught Orton as NC State's Elly Henes won in 15:28.05.
"Very pleased that she was able to come back and do well," said Wetmore. "We were hoping at least she could get All-American which is top 16. She was 17th, but she's had a rough weekend with some medical issues. As you saw the 10,000 didn't go well at all. So this is a nice little comeback and we're pleased for her."
The CU women finished with 11 total team points from the 1,500, tied for 26th in the nation. Their 11 points in an event was the fifth-such occasion for the women in one event at these championships, joining the USC women in the 400, Texas A&M in the 400 and high jump and Ohio State in the shot put. They finished fifth for Pac-12 teams as the USC women took the national championship with 74 points. LSU took the men's title Friday with 84 points, 31 ahead of host Oregon who took second.
"I think we had four All-Americans with Madie who turns out to be All-American at 15th I think, John and then the two women today so we're pleased," said Wetmore. "I'd say a B or a B plus effort but not an A plus. We had to do a lot of catching up since October we were behind far behind in October. Heather and I sat down with the women and said we got to get going, here are the things we need to do, they made a lot of progress from there to the Pac-12 outdoor meet. And now they rest."
Three Buffaloes will not rest with a potential fourth as they return to Eugene next weekend for the start of the 2021 USATF Olympic Trials. Hurta will run in the women's 800 Thursday June 24th along with Eduardo Herrera that day in the men's 5,000 prelims. Madie Boreman will start things off Sunday June 20th in the women's steeplechase prelims while John Dressel could be added as a late addition to the men's 5,000 if accepted. The USATF originally stated that the qualification window ended June 13th, but also closed the deadline for registration to the trials this Tuesday, a day before the NCAA Championships. Hurta, Herrera and Boreman are all registered and qualified with a mark and will join 10 other former CU athletes at the trials.