BOULDER — Senior Erin Clark, running in her final home meet as Buff, set the Buffalo Ranch course on fire, completing her 5.8k race in under 20 minutes, finishing first with a time of 19:54. Redshirt freshman Joe Klecker came in second in the men’s 8k race, running a time of 24:42. Both helped lead Colorado to a sweep of both races at the 31st running of the Rocky Mountain Shootout.
THE WOMEN’S RACE
Colorado’s women’s team entered the day ranked second in the nation, and they lived up to their billing sweeping the top four spots in the women’s race. Clark’s time of 19:54 is the fourth best time ever ran at the Rocky Mountain Shootout, and it was the first time that a woman broke 20 minutes since Jenny (Barringer) Simpson set the record back in 2009 with a time of 19:25 and joins Kara Goucher as one of only 3 women to ever finish the course in under 20 minutes,.
Junior Kaitlyn Benner came in second finishing behind Clark with a personal best at the Rocky Mountain Shootout time of 20:02. Benner’s time is now the fifth best time recorded at the Shootout.
Sophomore Makena Morley, running in her second race as a Buff since transferring from Montana during the offseason, finished third with a time of 20:11. Her time also puts her in the top ten all-time finishes at the Shootout, placing her with the eighth best time in the events’ history.
Sophomore Dani Jones rounded out the top four running a personal best at the shootout, finishing with a time of 20:17. Junior Melanie Nun, finished sixth with a time of 21:23 and redshirt freshman Karina Mann rounded out the CU women’s great day at the Shootout, finishing ninth with a time of 22:31.
More photos on Flickr.
THE MEN’S RACE
The men took care of business as well, finishing second, third and fourth respectively to take the men’s title at the Shootout.
Running unattached in the race, sophomore John Dressel finished first in the men’s race, coming in with a time of 24:38. Following Dressel’s unattached performance, the Buff men swept the next three positions.
Klecker came in second, with a time of 24:42, for CU’s top finish on the day and he led the way for the Buffs on the way to the overall team victory. Junior Zach Perrin finished third with a solid time of 24:56. And sophomore Ryan Forsyth completed his best finish at the Shootout, finishing with a PR of 25:04 and a fourth place finish.
Senior Ben Saarel, running unattached, finished fifth with a time of 25:14. Junior Adam Peterman and sophomore Ethan Gonzales rounded out the top ten finishers for the Buffs. Peterman came in eighth with a time of 25:37 and Gonzales finished ninth with a time of 25:47 to help finish off another great day for the Buff men.
The next set of four Buffs to finish placed seventh through 10th. Lucy May was seventh (22:39), Annie Kelley was eighth (22:44),Kaleigh Kroeker was ninth (22:46) and Brianna Schwartz was 10th (23:04).
More photos on Flickr.
UP NEXT: Next up for CU’s cross country team is a trip to the NCAA Pre-Nationals in Terre Haute, Ind. on Oct. 15.
Head Coach Mark Wetmore
“I think the men were the top five or six and the women were the top four or five of the top seven so it went about how we expected.”
What value does it have and like for you emotionally to have bronze medalists to be the starters here for these races?
“To be honest, I’m super proud of what they did. Proud to be affiliated with them but way to busy today to think about six weeks ago.”
But it’s a chance for your program to take a bow in front of these people and for the accomplishments of this program to be acknowledged?
“I’m glad that they have an opportunity to be out here in front of the Boulder public where we get to see them in person – they get to see them on television but not face to face. So happy for the two women and for the fans.”
Overall, how hard was the performance today?
“The women here were excellent – everything we had hoped for. It’s definitely our best front four ever. We ran a large group down in Denver today of women that we felt were better off on a safer and normal course and the report that I got from down there was good. So women get an A and the men, the front guys were wonderful. We trained hard this week – I think Tuesday and Wednesday might have shown in the legs of some of the guys. We had four run under 25 I think and at least one of the guys behind them is a sub-25 guy when you let his legs recover. So they were pretty good, B+.”
Senior Erin Clark
Tell me about your day so far today.
“Yeah it was really exciting. The coaches told me the day before that there were only a couple women who ran under 20. I knew I was 20.13 last year and I was fitter this year and have more people pushing me so that was the goal coming in and I’m excited to have hit that.”
Those couple seconds – that’s a big deal. Talk about what a big deal it is. Did you beat the course record?
“No there were two other women who had run under 20 so I’m like the third now.”
So the third fastest time ever in this course – how does that go with your senior year?
“It just feels really well. I have a lot of high aspirations for this senior year – I think I’m setting it up the way it needs to be set up and seeing how well our other girls finish. We were really running well there as a pack strong there for quite a while so I think it sets up really well for the team – I’m just really excited for what we can do.”
Talk about the team – what can you expect from the team this fall?
“I have very high expectations – I think we can win. I think that if we can do the right things, we train smart, recover when we’re supposed to, I think we’re going to be ready to go when the day comes.”
Redshirt Freshman Joe Klecker
Tell me about today’s race.
“It was a pretty good race. My goal is to run in the 24/40s which I think I did. I think we just raced pretty well as a team – we went out conservative and were able to run fast the last mile. But the course was in really good condition and the weather was really good – it got a little hot towards the end but I don’t think it was enough to seriously impact performances.”
This is usually a tester for the rest of the season, how do you guys feel going into the season?
“I think we had good expectations for today but we realize it’s not like a championship race so we just treat it like a really hard work out – if people have bad races they don’t take it too seriously they still know what kind of shape they’re in because we’ve been training together since July. So I don’t think one day is really going to impact what people think they can do this season.”
Tell me about the outlook for the season – obviously you have a really high bar – how is this race a test on how you’re going to do the rest of the year?
“I’m not really sure – I think we all raced good so I think that we can run better than our pre-season ranking. I don’t think teams expected to be as strong as we think we are. I think we were ranked either seventh or fifth going into the season but I think we’ll definitely beat that if everyone stays healthy – which everyone is doing so far. I think going into the season we’re going to have some good races.”
31st Annual Rocky Mountain Shootout Results
WOMEN’S FINISHERS (Top 15):
- Erin Clark, CU, 19:54
- Kaitlyn Benner, CU, 20:02
- Makena Morley, CU, 20:11
- Dani Jones, CU, 20:17
- Karley Rempel, unattached, 21:01
- Melanie Nun, CU, 21:23
- Lanie Szuch, 22:09
- Katy East, Northern Colorado, 22:23
- Karina Mann, CU, 22:31
- Alyssa Poremba, UNA-Elmhurst, 23:13
- Alaina Nebel, Elmhurst, 23:13
- Ruth Chepsat, Gillette, 23:15
- Rikki Gonzales, Northern Colorado, 23:16
- Regan Hefner, Air Force, 23:18
- Cami Kennedy, Northern Colorado, 23:19
MEN’S FINISHERS (Top 15):
- John Dressel, Unattached-Colorado, 24:38
- Joe Klecker, CU, 24:42
- Zach Perrin, CU, 24:56
- Ryan Forsyth, CU, 25:04
- Ben Saarel, Unattached-Colorado, 25:14
- Andy Wacker, Adidas Rocky Mountain Elite, 25:17;
- Riley Coates, 25:22
- Adam Peterman, CU, 25:37
- Ethan Gonzales, CU, 25:47
- Tait Rutherford, unattached, 26:02
- Eduardo Herrera, Unattached-Colorado, 26:13
- Paul Miller, CU, 26:17
- Sal Capetillo, Unattached-Colorado, 26:17
- Reilly Freidman, CU, 26:19
- Jason Engel, Air Force, 26:22