Buffs Kick Off Season In Boulder

Buffs Kick Off Season In Boulder

BOULDER – The University of Colorado cross country teams started off the 2023 season on a beautiful Friday morning here at the Buffalo Run Cross Country Course. Despite many runners not competing, the Buffaloes placed fairly well in the opening time trials.

Last years opening races consisted of just the University of Colorado and Colorado Christian, however this year the Colorado School of Mines joined the competition as well.

The women’s race began the day as the runners participated in a 5.3k made up of three laps around the course. After the first loop, Colorado’s Karrie Baloga was off to a great start, leading the pack as a true freshman. Baloga was joined by Samree Dishon, Katie Doucette and Natalie Cook as Colorado women who competed unattached in order to preserve eligibility.

As the race progressed, the leading group started to gain some separation from the rest. Redshirt senior, Emily Covert was amongst those leaders and ended up finishing second out of 37 runners. Three of the four unattached Colorado runners finished in the top-5 as Cook also performed well, coming in 11th.

Dishon placed first with a time of 18:53.0 which was 6.8 seconds faster than Bailey Hertenstein’s first place finish from the year before. Just behind Dishon and Covert were Doucette and Baloga. Whitney Valenti rounded out the top-10 with a time of 19:07.7.

While several CU runners led the race, head coach Mark Wetmore was more concerned with the back half of the group. “As we narrow down our selections for the competition’s to come, I need to know who’s seventh, eighth, ninth, 10th, etc.,” said Wetmore. “So an important thing that happens on this day is I begin to see the almost varsity and not quite varsity. We accomplished that.”

Shortly after the women’s race had wrapped up, the men crowded the start line to compete in the 7,080-meter race. Three teams running at once, on this course, proved to be an issue regarding space as it took three starts for the race to actually commence. The first two starts had to be brought back due to busy crashes taking place in the middle of the group.

The race was much more packed at the end of the first loop, however the group started to scatter in the following laps. Isaiah Givens was the first Colorado runner to cross the finish line. Givens placed fifth out of 48 total runners and he was…

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