CU XC Kicks Off Season with Time Trial
The Buffs will start their season on Saturday, August 31, with the Alumni/Open/Time Trial on CU’s South Campus at the Buffalo Ranch Cross Country Course. The men’s 8-kilometer race is at 8:30 a.m. and the women’s 5.8k will follow at 9 a.m. Parking and admission are free.
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The University of Colorado men’s and women’s programs will start off the season on a familiar note as both teams are ranked in the USTFCCCA Top 30 Preseason Poll. The men’s team is ranked third overall and the women are 14th in the poll. They are both ranked quite high in the regional rankings as well, which came out on Monday afternoon. The women are the top rated team in the Mountain Region and the men are ranked second behind Northern Arizona.
“We have some returning All-Americans, and we have some returning varsity members who are aspiring All-Americans. We also have a two time defending men’s Pac-12 championship team, and we are the host of the 2013 Pac-12 championships. So, a lot of intriguing things, we hope, this year,” stated Assistant Coach Heather Burroughs speaking on behalf of Mark Wetmore who was in Russia for the World Championships.
The Buffs return three All Americans from the 2012 NCAA Championships. Shalaya Kipp, a three-time All-American, placed 18th at the 2012 championship
after ?nishing 19th in 2011. She was also 40th in 2010. On the men’s side, Jake Hurysz and Blake Theroux return after earning their ?rst cross country All-American honors in 2012. Hurysz led the Buffs with a 32nd-place ?nish and Theroux was 39th. The men also recorded a third-place team ?nish at the NCAA Championship for the second consecutive season.
When asked about filling the gaps after losing graduates, Blake Theroux stated, “Our team is extremely blessed for being very deep. And so, even with the team doing as well as we did last year in the Pac-12’s and the NCAA’s we still had guys waiting to jump in at any moment, and those guys are still waiting. So, I think there are a lot of guys that could potentially step up, and it’s really hard to tell at this point because we are so deep and everyone’s training so hard. I think it’ll be pretty cutthroat. But there are a lot of guys that could step up. Morgan [Pearson] was the alternate for NCAA’s last year, and David Kilgore who is a junior this year has been training really hard, and I’ve seen it. We have some freshman that are absolutely stellar and ran some amazing times in high school. One of the best, if not the best, recruiting classes we have ever had. ”
Also keep an eye out for last year’s freshmen standouts Carrie Verdon and Ammar Moussa part of that team’s recruiting class.
Burroughs comments, “Carrie [Verdon] is going to be a sophomore for us, and she was one of our best runners a year ago. I hesitate to put too many expectations on her shoulders, but she was probably our second or third best runner for most of her true freshman year. She made the USA World Cross Country team in March, and was as top finisher for the USA there. She’s an excellent cross-country runner, and she’s a very good 5K and 10K runner. She’s tiny, and I wouldn’t say that her day-to-day personality is big, but her contribution is big in terms of she’s happy. She’s happy, she wants to work hard, she likes her teammates, she’s calm, and she’s excited for big races.”
The next race in the schedule is the Rocky Mountain Shootout, Saturday September 28, also hosted at the Buffalo Ranch Cross Country Course. Then the team will travel to NCAA Pre-Nationals in Terre Haute, IN on October 19.
This year CU will be hosting the Pac-12 Championships on Saturday November 2 at the Coal Creek Golf Course in Louisville. The Men’s 8K race will start at 10:40 a.m. and the Women’s 6K will start at 11:40 a.m. The meet will be the first conference championship televised by the Pac-12 network for the 2013-14 season; but it will not be shown live. The date and time will be announced later in the fall. Information about the meet can be found at CUBuffs.com/Pac12.
“The Pac-12 Championship rotates, so we only get host once every 12 years. And, of course, this will be the first time we have hosted in a new conference. I think the Pac-12 is the most elite distance running conference in the country. There were four women’s teams in the top ten of the NCAA last year. We have some of the dominant individuals in the NCAA. Minus the NCAA Championships it’s arguably the second best collegiate cross country race that you will see this year. It’s going to be at Coal Creek Golf Course, and we are hoping to smash records for attendance. It’s also going to have a spectacular backdrop. Of course we have not ran there before because it is not our home course. We will not have a home field advantage in terms of knowing the terrain, but we hope to have a big advantage in terms of spectators.”
On Friday November 15, the Buffs will go against Utah in Ogden, UT then finish up its season back in Terre Haute for the NCAA XC Championships on Saturday November 23, 2013.