Colorado finishes championships with three All-Americans

STILLWATER, Oklahoma — The University of Colorado Cross Country programs ended the 2022 season here Saturday morning with three All-American finishes, with the men finishing eighth and the women finishing eleventhth total.

The highlight of the day came from Pac-12 Champion Bailey Hertenstein who in the last 400 meters from the 16th to fifth place with a time of 19:45.1. Hertenstein led for CU for most of the race, transitioning from 30th on the first 2000 meters to 16th for the second half. Coming up the last hill in the corner, Hertenstein charged from her late teens and then overtook the hill to the final descent, passing 11 runners, including numerous All-Americans like Alabama’s 5,000 National Champion Mercy Chelangat.

“I think she was 12th with 500 points to go,” said the head coach Mark Wetmore on Bailey’s departure and future. “She needs to keep gaining confidence. Keep getting fitter. She’s back with us next year. So she’ll be a real force in a year’s time. We’ve only had her since August. She’ll probably sit out the indoor season because she only has one left That means she now has five or six months to put in some excellent non-stop training, she can be an even better runner than she is now by May, and then keep getting better all of next year.

Fellow Degree Transfer Ella Baran also finished her first black and gold season as an All-American, passing 20 athletes in the final 700 meters to finish 30thth at 20:09.2. Baran started the race in midfield around 80ththen rose to 54th at the 4,000m mark before firing into an All-American finish.

The Buffs stuck to their game plan and had a number of strong finishes. Gabrielle Orie was 169th in the first third of the race, then he caught up with 22 or more runners every kilometer to finish 78th at 20:29.0. Emily covered struggled with a lower leg injury and finished 105thth at 20:39.0 followed by Kaitlyn Bartell 129th placeth at 20:47.6.

Also for the buffalo Alisa Meraz-Fishbein done 228th at 21:44.8 and Whitney Valentine done 234th at 21:52.0.

Matching their incoming ranking, the women scored 286 points to earn 11th placeth. The Buffaloes were the top Pac-12 school, upsetting Utah, Stanford and Oregon, all of which were ranked higher than CU in the most recent poll. NC State defended its title with 114 points.

“Honestly, the women may have had a better day than the team standings suggest,” Wetmore said. “We’ve been nursing Emily all season for a lower leg issue, it was never bad enough to stop but never good enough to train fully and she just wasn’t fit enough today. But Bailey was wonderful. Ella Baron was wonderful. Ella Orie had her best race ever. Kaitlyn did well as a runner two or three years ago. More good than bad for women. Like I said, we would have liked to have been a little higher, we just needed Emily healthy.”

Next the men were led past Austin Vancil and Andrew Kent. The team steadily crept up the standings, surpassing the 3K mark in 21St before blasting to 13th in the next kilometer. The team rose from 11th Halfway through the race to eighth place overall.

Vancil stayed in front for most of the race and stayed in the 40s for most of the race. In the final 2,000 meters, Vancil overtook a total of 10 runners to finish 36thth overall for an All-American finish in 29:33.3. Kent stayed on Vancil’s heels for the race, passing 33 runners after surpassing the 3,000 mark in 76th. Coming straight from an All-American finish, Kent finished in 43rd placeapprox overall in 29:37.8.

Most of the positions was catching up Seth Hirsch. After the first kilometer, Hirsch was 205ththen rose to 126th halfway before passing nearly 60 runners on his way to 68th overall in 29:53.4. Charlie Sweeney finished right behind Hirsch in 69th overall with a time of 29:53.8. Brendan Fraser finished the points five with 86th place in 30:06.9.

Also for the buffs, Jacob Overberg done 111th in 30:20.4 closely followed by Hunter Appleton in the 115thth running 30:21.2.

“The men did exactly what we hoped they would,” Wetmore said. “Coming out cautiously as a team, steadily rising in the teams’ standings throughout the race. Early on they were 22nd and then they were 20, then 17, 13 and just moving up. I can’t fault them. Right now them “We say yes, maybe we should have come out harder, but they did what the coaches asked of them and they all moved forward well. Great race for Austin, All-American, very proud of him. Andy just missed and then next.” three guys all did their jobs, Seth, Chuck Sweeney had his best race for us, Brendan did well. Even our six and seven were far better than anyone would suspect. So in my opinion at least a 2+ for the day.

The seventh Buffs landed one spot below their leaderboard, upsetting No. 5 Tulsa. No.2 Northern Arizona and host school No.4 Oklahoma State are tied at the top with 83 points, with the title going to NAU with three of the five tiebreaks. This was the third major tie at the top this season after NC State and the New Mexico women’s Nuttycombe, CU, tiebreaker at the Pac-12 championships against the Utah women’s and finally the men’s team title to a tiebreaker had lost.

Results women’s team: 1. NC state 114; 2. New Mexico 140; 3. Alabama 166; 4. State of Oklahoma 201; 5. North Carolina 242; 6. NAU 257; 7. Notre Dame 261; 8.BYU 263; 9.Virginia 268; 10.George Town 271; 11. Colorado 286; 12. Utah 307; 13.Stanford 371; 14.Oregon 390; 15. State of Ohio 467; 16. Providence 468; 17.Washington 470; 18. State of Florida 471; 19. Wisconsin 494; 20. State of Michigan 497; 21. Arkansas 507; 22.Michigan 534; 23. Syracuse 544; 24. State of Oregon 544; 25. State of Colorado 548; 26. Utah Valley 548; 27. West Virginia 562; 28. Toledo 654; 29.CBU 659; 30. Northwest 714; 31.Texas 983

Individual results of the women: 1. Katelyn Tuohy (NC State) 19:27.7; 2. Parker Valby (Florida) 19:30.9; 3. Kelsey Chmiel (NC State) 19:37.1; 4. Elise Stearns (NAU) 19:43.9; 5. Bailey Hertenstein (COLO) 19:45.1; 6. Hilda Olemomoi (ALA) 19:45.6; 7. Natalie Cook (Okla. St.) 19:46.3; 8. Olivia Markezich (ND) 19:46.4; 9. Amaris Tyynismaa (ALA) 19:48.2; 10. Addie Engel (OSU) 19:50.4

OTHER CU RESULTS: 30 Ella Baran 20:09.2; 78. Gabrielle Orie 20:29.0; 105 Emily covered 20:39.0; 129 Kaitlyn Bartell 20:47.6; 228 Alisa Meraz-Fishbein 21:44.8; 234 Whitney Valentine 21:52.0

Results men’s team: 1. Nau 83; 2. State of Oklahoma 83; 3.BYU 132; 4.Stanford 195; 5. Wachwald 204; 6.Wisconsin 212; 7th Air Force 264; 8. Colorado 281; 9. Tulsa 304; 10. North Carolina 323; 11. NC state 334; 12. Syracuse 340; 13. Gonzaga 400; 14.Washington 422; 15. Notre Dame 450; 16. Oregon 465; 17.Harvard 474; 18.Texas 506; 19. Villanova 513; 20. Tennessee 517; 21. Butler 553; 22.Virginia 557; 23. Arkansas 584; 24. Ole Miss 598; 25. State of Montana 599; 26. State of Utah 618; 27. Alabama 683; 28th CSU 704; 29.Michigan 708; 30. Princeton 712; 31. George Town 752

CU RESULTS: 36 Austin Vancil 29:33.3; 43 Andrew Kent 29:37.8; 68 Seth Hirsch 29:53.4; 69 Charlie Sweeney 29:53.8; 86 Brendan Fraser 30:06.9; 111 Jacob Overberg 30:20.4; 115 Hunter Appleton 30:21.2