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Harriers Prepped For NCAA Mountain Regionals

Discussion in 'University of Colorado News and Olympic Sports' started by RSSBot, Nov 13, 2014.

  1. RSSBot

    RSSBot News Junkie

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    Category: Cross Country

    The Buffs are ready for the 2014 NCAA Mountain Region Championships on Friday, November 14, in Albuquerque, N.M.

    Originally posted by CUBuffs.com
    Click here to view the article.

    "
    BOULDER – The University of Colorado cross country teams are ready for the 2014 NCAA Mountain Region Championships on Friday, November 14, in Albuquerque, N.M.


    The CU men enter the meet as the top-ranked team in the nation, while the women are 12th in the latest poll. The men are also the top team in the region, while the women are second behind New Mexico.

    ...

    New Mexico will serve as the host of the regional championship at UNM North Golf Course starting at 12 p.m. with the women’s 6-kilometer race. The men’s 10k race will follow at 1 p.m. and a short awards ceremony will follow to honor the top 25 racers on each side with all-region honors. Friday’s forecast is a high of 59 degrees Fahrenheit.
    "
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 13, 2014
  2. AztecBuff

    AztecBuff Club Member Club Member

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    So, from what little I know about cross country, this meet tomorrow definitely sounds like a simple "taking care of business" type event, as both men (overwhelmingly) and women are favored to get one of the two top places/ scores in their respective races, which is what's needed to automatically advance to the NCAA Championship race next weekend (Saturday, 11/22). There won’t be much glory from this event, but it is a vital “means to an end”.

    A few notes:

    1) Quoting from the cubuffs.com article (same for both men’s and women’s teams), “The Buffs will be competing for two automatic berths to the 2014 NCAA Cross Country Championships on Saturday, Nov. 22, in Terre Haute, Ind. There are nine regional championship sites, automatically qualifying 18 teams for nationals. Another 13 teams will be selected for at-large bids on Saturday by the NCAA selection committee. ”

    2) As noted above, this race is only 8 days before the Nationals so, in addition qualifying for Nationals, assume it’s also important to preserve energy to the extent possible. Since the men seem to be pretty dominant and deep this year, it will be interesting to see if they try to take it a little easy this race, or possibly even not run all their top runners so as to be ready and rested as possible for next Saturday. (I don’t know if the women have enough depth and cushion over other Mountain Region teams to do this this?)

    3) For the men, letsrun.com says the Mountain region may be one of if not the deepest in the country. Per their article, 6 or 7 teams may qualify to the National Championships from this region (#1 nationally ranked Colorado, #10 Northern Arizona, #13 New Mexico, #15 BYU, #29 Air Force, Colorado State and #30 Southern Utah). See http://www.letsrun.com/news/2014/11/ncaa-regionals-mens-preview-whos-track-qualify-big-dance/ if you want to read more detail from letsrun on the Mountain and/ or any of the other regional races.

    4) For the women, only CU (ranked #12) and New Mexico (ranked #9) are ranked in the Coaches poll Top 30 (http://www.ncaa.com/rankings/cross-country-women/d1/ustfccca), so letsrun anticipates they’ll be the two auto-qualifiers, with them guessing BYU may also be an at-large choice for the National Championship race out of the region. Letsrun also has an analysis of the women’s regional races if anyone is interested in reading (MUCH) more detail- http://www.letsrun.com/news/2014/11/ncaa-regionals-womens-preview-whos-going-ncaas/ . It should be noted just I believe a couple years ago the women only finished 3[SUP]rd[/SUP] in regionals so didn’t earn one of the two auto-qualifying spots into nationals, and then JUST got an at-large berth (I believe thought by the running press to be the last team in).

    5) Another major running website also has a detailed analysis available (http://www.flotrack.org/coverage/25...sive-2014-Regionals-Team-Preview#.VGUtVvnF_ng ) of all the regions if anyone wants to read it. Flotrack doesn't mention either CU school as not getting a berth, but they do talk of a potential battle for 1st for both the CU men (against Northern Arizona) and Women (against slightly higher ranked New Mexico).

    6) Hopefully it’s not going to be anything relevant to either of the Buff teams, but there is also an individual component to the races. I believe the top 4 individual finishers in both the men’s and women’s races on teams who don’t qualify to the National Championships also get to race at Nationals to fulfill personal goals and possible glory.
     
  3. cmgoods

    cmgoods Olympic Sports Mod Club Member

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    I really don't see any way that we don't make it out of the regionals.
     
  4. AztecBuff

    AztecBuff Club Member Club Member

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    It's not likely, but like in any sport, s**t happens. Cross country even has some elements which make unpredictable results even more likely to occur:
    1) Strong effect terrain and weather can play (similar to skiing in that way),
    2) the pressure the team format cross country places on individuals, and
    3) just the demands running hard for long distances (often alongside the aforementioned pressure) places on runners so that they sometimes just "blow up" during a race, and cost their teams to end up with many more points than anticipated.
    4) health of course can also play a big role, especially in a pretty pure aerobic sport like running. (It's funny listening to interviews with Coach Wetmore. He admits he's not a rah rah guy, but the interviewers are always trying to know what sage advice (as one of the most respected coaches in America) he gives his runners leading up to big races, and the only answer I've heard him give is making sure his runners are using hand sanitizer so as not to get sick.)

    (A couple Buff examples come to mind of tough things happening to the Buff women:

    1) In the 2009 National Championships, the women came in ranked #6 but only came in 20th, largely due to Jenny Barringer (Simpson), one of if not the greatest CU female runners ever, having an off day (maybe her ONLY off day as a Buff) as the heavy individual favorite of the race and only coming in 163rd.

    2) Even last year, the Buff women ended up finishing in the National Championships roughly how they were ranked (I believe 7th). However, if you look at the details, the young women who were the Buffs 2nd and 3rd place runners in most of the races earlier in the year BOTH fell (in brutal weather conditions and mud that day), and so ended up far below the young woman who in this race ran 2nd for the Buffs. If they both could have just finished around where the Buff's 2nd place finisher ended up that day, the Buffs could have ended up as high as 2nd instead of 7th in the team race.
    )
     
    Last edited: Nov 14, 2014
  5. AztecBuff

    AztecBuff Club Member Club Member

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    Women's race about to begin.


    [tweet]533332499938934784[/tweet]
     
  6. AztecBuff

    AztecBuff Club Member Club Member

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    [tweet]533333598670430208[/tweet]
     
  7. AztecBuff

    AztecBuff Club Member Club Member

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    [tweet]533335048356130816[/tweet]


    [tweet]533335365437104128[/tweet]

    [tweet]533336410208878592[/tweet]
     
    Last edited: Nov 14, 2014
  8. AztecBuff

    AztecBuff Club Member Club Member

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    [tweet]533336364323205120[/tweet]
     
  9. AztecBuff

    AztecBuff Club Member Club Member

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    [tweet]533337747403333632[/tweet]
     
  10. AztecBuff

    AztecBuff Club Member Club Member

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    [tweet]533338190137262080[/tweet]
     
  11. AztecBuff

    AztecBuff Club Member Club Member

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    [tweet]533338821543215104[/tweet]
     
  12. AztecBuff

    AztecBuff Club Member Club Member

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    [tweet]533339889086255104[/tweet]
     
  13. AztecBuff

    AztecBuff Club Member Club Member

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    [tweet]533340139641008128[/tweet]


    Congrats to Ms. Clark for her great season continuing in this race!
     
  14. AztecBuff

    AztecBuff Club Member Club Member

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    Sounds like the women took care of business. Congrats to them!

    [tweet]533342024729387011[/tweet]
     
    Last edited: Nov 14, 2014
  15. AztecBuff

    AztecBuff Club Member Club Member

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    [tweet]533343338607677440[/tweet]


    [tweet]533343482090233857[/tweet]


    Next, men's race starts in around 20 minutes.
     
  16. AztecBuff

    AztecBuff Club Member Club Member

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    Forgot to mention in my earlier posts that I believe this will be the 1st time the men race 10Km this year, with most earlier races being 8Km. Shouldn't be an issue since the indication I get (from reading the running blogs) is, if anything, the extra distance benefits the Buffs.

    [tweet]533348335701458945[/tweet]
     
  17. AztecBuff

    AztecBuff Club Member Club Member

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    The men's race has begun.

    [tweet]533350172429144064[/tweet]


    [tweet]533350370505154560[/tweet]
     
  18. Buffnik

    Buffnik Real name isn't Nik Club Member Junta Member

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    Congrats to our women's team! Huge performance to beat UNM on their home course like that.

    Primed for NCAA!
     
  19. Buffnik

    Buffnik Real name isn't Nik Club Member Junta Member

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    [tweet]533353066020360193[/tweet]
     
  20. AztecBuff

    AztecBuff Club Member Club Member

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    [tweet]533353010936545280[/tweet]

    [tweet]533353066020360193[/tweet]
     
  21. AztecBuff

    AztecBuff Club Member Club Member

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    [tweet]533353688060805120[/tweet]

    [tweet]533354339465957377[/tweet]
     
    Last edited: Nov 14, 2014
  22. AztecBuff

    AztecBuff Club Member Club Member

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    [tweet]533355864577417217[/tweet]

    [tweet]533356118085365762[/tweet]

    Sounds like the men are safely in also!
     
  23. AztecBuff

    AztecBuff Club Member Club Member

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    A little twitter attitude by the Buffs. Sounds like it's time for a big Congrats to them!. On to Terra Haute IN in 8 days.

    [tweet]533356292346093568[/tweet]

    [tweet]533356428723888128[/tweet]
     
    Last edited: Nov 14, 2014
  24. Buffnik

    Buffnik Real name isn't Nik Club Member Junta Member

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    [tweet]533355993124839424[/tweet]

    :dance: :dance: :dance:
     
  25. AztecBuff

    AztecBuff Club Member Club Member

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    [tweet]533358946501681152[/tweet]



    Great to see all the smiling faces.
     
    Last edited: Nov 14, 2014
  26. AztecBuff

    AztecBuff Club Member Club Member

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    So, unofficially, looks like Buffs at 4, 7, 9, 12 & 13. Another pretty dominating performance!

    [tweet]533362885859086336[/tweet]
     
  27. AztecBuff

    AztecBuff Club Member Club Member

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    Just a couple random notes not directly related to the Buffs:

    1) If I'm counting right, the estimators who look at who is making next week's national championships has 5 men's and 5 women's teams going from the Pac 12.

    2) Congrats to Niwot's Elise Cranny, who running for Stanford as a freshman ended up 3rd in the Western Regional, only finishing behind 2 young women (from Boise St. and ASU) who are considered two of the main favorites to win the national championships.
     
  28. AztecBuff

    AztecBuff Club Member Club Member

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    Full official results are available:

    Women’s- https://admin.xosn.com/pdf9/2975119.pdf?DB_OEM_ID=26000&

    Men’s- https://admin.xosn.com/pdf9/2975209.pdf?DB_OEM_ID=26000&

    And, since I don’t know how many serious running fans there are, thought I’d give my TOTALLY UNEXPERT thumbnail of the Buff’s finishers today, along with notes on what it might mean for the future. (I ask for forgiveness in advance for any inaccuracies in the below.)

    Women’s (in order of their finishing place in this regional race):

    1) Erin Clark (2[SUP]nd[/SUP] overall)- Just another great race from the Buff’s leader in every significant race this year. Only a sophomore, so great the Buffs get her for a few more years.

    2) Maddie Alm (7[SUP]th[/SUP] overall)- I don’t believe the junior, from Louisville CO, contributed much to the Buff's scoring last year, but has consistently been the Buff’s 2[SUP]nd[/SUP] or 3[SUP]rd[/SUP] finisher this year. Obviously has put a lot of work in, and has come on strong this year.

    3) Sara Sutherland (9[SUP]th[/SUP] overall)- Her nice finish here could be a good sign the Buffs could out-perform the outside experts expectations at nationals. The senior, actually a grad student transfer from the U of Texas, was considered a key to the Buffs chances of a decent finish at nationals, although there was a question mark since she was coming back from injury. In the last two races this year (Pre nationals and Pac 12), she finished quite a ways back in the field, but this result indicates she’s rounding into form. (She finished 58th in the 2012 national championships. Anything like that this year would be a great result for the Buffs scoring.)

    4) Annie Kelly (12[SUP]th[/SUP] overall) - Has been another solid contributor through the year. Another transfer (from the U. of Mississippi) contributing to the Buffs, she’s also another younger runner (sophomore) who should only get better.

    5) Kaitlyn Benner (13[SUP]th[/SUP] overall) - Scoring in a big race like this as a freshman- awesome performance! Also, always nice to see local young ones (she went to Monarch High School) do well.

    6) Jenny DeSouchet (16[SUP]th[/SUP] overall)- Such a positive the Buffs had many close high finishers like this so, if one of the young women above had not finished as high, this result still would have been enough for the Buffs to win the team race. Ms. DeSouchet generally been a valuable Buff’s scorer all year, and was the Buffs #4 at the recent Pac 12’s.

    7) Mackenzie Caldwell (36[SUP]th[/SUP] overall) - Another nice performance for a freshman (this one from Indiana). Even though the Buff’s lowest finisher, she finished in the upper 1/3’rd of the overall field of 133 finishers, and higher than at least one runner (and in most cases many runners) who scored for every other team, so raised those other teams’ scores.

    Overall, today was a good sign the Buffs, if they have a good day, could end up better than their current #12 national ranking at the upcoming national championships.

    And, looking forward, the Buffs could definitely have podium aspirations next year with:

    A) all but one of the above runners coming back,
    B) Hopefully two Buffs (at least) who are out with injury this year (I know of Junior Carrie Verdon and Sophomore Melanie Nun) who were major contributors last year will be back and healthy next year and
    C) The Buffs have what looks like a nice recruiting class coming in, including 3 high school state cross country champions (Colorado 2A, Arizona and Pennsylvania), two of whom are ranked as the top 25 in the country.

    Men (in order of their finishing place in this regional race):

    1[SUP]st[/SUP], wanted to mention it looks like Buff leader Blake Theroux doesn’t show with a time today. Assuming he’s feeling OK (no information he’s not), nice if he got to rest up and be ready for next week. Overall, the Buffs great depth seems to mean they have 6 runners who finish near the front, all of whom could be the Buffs #1 finisher.

    1) Connor Winter (4[SUP]th[/SUP] Overall) - The Buffs top 6 seem to trade off who finishes 1[SUP]st[/SUP] of the Buffs each race. Must have been Mr. Winter’s turn. Seriously, great to see the junior get the win. He was one of if not the only Buff with an off day in last year’s national championships (he didn’t score for the Buffs with a 145[SUP]th[/SUP] team score place), so I’m sure will be hungry for a great finish at nationals.

    2) Jake Hurysz (7[SUP]th[/SUP] overall)- Considered (at least in interviews I’ve seen) maybe the hungriest Buff, the senior had to redshirt due to injury last year, so really wants the Buffs to repeat as national championship this year.

    3) Ammar Moussa (9[SUP]th[/SUP] overall)- The high school phenom (2 time California Gatorade cross country runner of the year) was a little behind the other great Buffs last year, although his charge as the Buffs 5[SUP]th[/SUP] finisher at the national championships was key to their winning. This year as a junior, he’s right with all the others, and probably the most visible improvement that has made the Buffs depth so dominant.

    4) Pierce Murphy (12[SUP]th[/SUP] overall) - Just another of the Buffs key pieces. Thankfully only a junior, so will also hopefully be able to be one of the Buff’s main contributors next year.

    5) Ben Saarel (13[SUP]th[/SUP] overall) - And, another of the “big 6” who has been a consistent high scorer. A high profile high school recruit, he could have a special career for the Buffs both in cross country and track. Ended up the Buff’s top scorer in last year’s national championships with an 8[SUP]th[/SUP] place finish, extra awesome since he was a freshman.

    6) Adam Peterman (64[SUP]th[/SUP] overall) - Another young Buff, he’s listed as a sophomore, but his cubuffs.com biography said he didn’t compete last year. Just keeps gaining valuable experience for future years.

    As I’ve also mentioned in other threads, the Buffs are dominating so far this year without one of their main 3-4 runners from last year Morgan Pearson, who as a senior is evidently red shirting this year. His being able to come back next year should help the Buffs remain one of the favorites next year, along with the 4 juniors and 2 sophomores named above, along with I don’t know who else on the roster who is working hard to be a contributor in the future, as well as any incoming freshmen coming to Boulder next year.
     
    Last edited: Nov 14, 2014
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  29. cmgoods

    cmgoods Olympic Sports Mod Club Member

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    Nice win!!!
    :gobuffs:
     
  30. Highlander

    Highlander Club Member Club Member

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    Great performances by both squads. Next up - Nationals!
     

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