NCAA Championships Team Previews: Colorado Women

NCAA Championships Team Previews: Colorado Women

As with their male counterparts, the Colorado Buffaloes women's team has a reputation for peaking at the right time. Could they pull off the upset this year?

It would be a historic upset if they did. The Buffs are currently ranked #6, and no women's team ranked below #3 has won the meet in the sixteen years for which poll data is available. But one of the voters in that coaches' poll gave them a #1 vote, so at least one person on the panel believes it's possible.

Like virtually all contending teams, Colorado has run only three major meets: an invitational, their conference championship, and their regional championship. Their only loss in those was a fourth-place finish at the Pre-National Invitational, and they pulled off a massive upset to win the Pac-12 Championship over then-#2 Washington.

At Pre-Nats, the Buffs didn't have the services of track star Emma Coburn (senior, Crested Butte CO). She'd had a long summer of racing the steeplechase, culminating in a 13th-place finish at the IAAF World Championships on August 30. She opened up her cross-country season at the Pac-12, where her fifth-place finish was one of the major reasons the Buffs won that meet.

What would have happened at Pre-Nats if Coburn had run? Even if she won the race, the Buffaloes still would have been third behind Georgetown and Florida State. It's still a team sport and it takes a team effort.

Besides Coburn, the other team leader for Colorado this season has been Shalaya Kipp (sophomore, Salt Lake City UT), who was less than a second ahead of Coburn at both the Pac-12 (where she finished fourth) and the Mountain regional (fourth again). She was 40th at last year's NCAA Championships, and appears a heck of a lot better than that right now. She and Coburn are used to running together; they finished third and first, respectively, in the NCAA steeplechase last spring.

The Buff's third runner has been Lara Darco (junior, Walpack NJ), a transfer from Brown. At the Pac-12, where the team scored its upset, she was ninth, just 24 seconds behind Kipp and Coburn. If she can keep it that close at the NCAA meet, she gives her team a chance.

A big surprise at the Pac-12 Championships was Rachel Baptista (freshman, Austin TX), who had a breakout run to finish 14th. She ran a good race at the Mountain regional as well, proving it wasn't a one-off performance. Katie Cumming (senior, Hudson WI) also ran well at the Pac-12 for 18th, to keep the Buff's 1-5 gap at only 36 seconds.

The presumed other roster members for Monday's race are Camille Logan (sophomore, Littleton CO) and Rachel Viger (sophomore, Fort Collins CO). Both have been well back of their teammates, which gives the Buffs no room for one of the top five to have a bad day.

My bottom line: a very long shot to win, but has as good a chance as anyone at being runners-up.

Katelyn Tuohy Shatters Mary Cain's National High School Record For 5K

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North Rockland High School, New York, sophomore Katelyn Tuohy ran the fastest 5K ever for a high school girl — indoors or outdoors — today with her winning time of 15:37.12 at the VA Showcase in Lynchburg, Virginia.

Christian Coleman Crushes 60m World Record In His Season Opener

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Today, in his first meet of the year, Christian Coleman set the bar for his season incredibly high and put the world on notice. 

Vincent Crisp Runs Fastest Collegiate Time Ever For 600 Yards

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Texas Tech junior Vincent Crisp posted the fastest indoor collegiate mark of all time over 600 yards on Friday. Competing at the Texas Tech Red Raider Invitational in Lubbock, Texas, Crisp ran 1:08.16 and held off TCU’s Derrick Mokaleng, who ran 1:08.18.

Michael Saruni Runs World-Best In Indoor 600m

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On Friday night, Michael Saruni continued his hot start to 2018. The UTEP sophomore ran a world-best time of 1:14.79 in the 600m at the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Invitational in Albuquerque.  

Austin, Texas, Chasing History With Olympic Trials Bid

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Austin, Texas, has hosted the NCAA track and field championships and currently stages one of the largest track meets of the calendar, the Texas Relays. The city has a robust road racing scene, bolstered by the presence of elite athletes and high-level training groups. But Austin has never hosted a USA track and field championship event — not for any distance on the roads, cross country or track and field. And certainly not the Olympic Trials. 

Justin Gatlin Switches Coaches After Investigation Uncovers Doping Scandal

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Justin Gatlin has officially begun his career after Dennis Mitchell. Reuters reported on Friday that Gatlin is being coached by Brooks Johnson in Orlando, Florida. Gatlin fired Mitchell in December after Mitchell was implicated in a doping sting facilitated by the British newspaper the Daily Telegraph. 

Robert Kigen, Felix Kandie Headline Napoli City Half Marathon

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Nobert Kigen and Felix Kandie of Kenya headline a men’s pro field aiming for a sub-60 minute performance at the fifth Napoli City Half Marathon in Naples, Italy.

Olympians, Top Collegians Clash At Larry Wieczorek Invitational

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The Larry Wieczorek Invitational this Friday and Saturday at the University of Iowa has it all: top professional athletes like Fred Kerley, Olympic champions and world record holders like Aries Merritt, and defending NCAA champions like Mikiah Brisco of LSU. 

Centro Passing On Indoors In 2018

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Olympic 1500m champion Matthew Centrowitz is skipping the indoor season and instead will race outdoors in Australia. 

20 Events You Cannot Miss at The VA Showcase!

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The 2017 VA Showcase saw 11 U.S. No. 1 performances, two national records, and its alumni went on to win a staggering 33 indoor national titles. Needless to say, it was the greatest regular season meet of all time.