BOULDER – The Colorado cross country program travels to Lubbock, Texas on Friday to compete at the NCAA Mountain Regionals with hopes to qualify for the NCAA National Championships.
The Buffaloes are coming off the Pac-12 Championships where the men’s squad placed fourth out of nine teams and the women placed third out of 12 teams. In both races, Colorado had a top-10 finisher as Austin Vancil and Karrie Baloga each came in eighth.
Baloga has had an amazing freshman season up to this point and she is coming off one of her best performances yet at the Pac-12 Championships in University Place, Wash.
“Going from high school to college your freshman year is a really hard thing to do and a big transition, but people like Emily Covert and Ella Baran have been really good mentors for me and they’ve helped me a lot,” Baloga said.
She has high expectations of herself and the rest of the team as she looks to continue her success in Lubbock and help propel the Colorado women to nationals.
“I just try to soak everything in and enjoy the moment and obviously my goal is to win titles,” Baloga stated ahead of regionals. “Everything I can accomplish, I want to, whether that’s Pac-12 titles, regional titles, invitational titles or national titles.”
Other big names for the women’s squad racing in Texas include Covert, Baran, Samree Dishon and Katie Doucette. The men are led by Vancil as Noah Hibbard, Paul Stafford and Isaiah Givens look to be key contributors as well.
The Lubbock Christian Cross Country Course is hosting the races as the women’s 6K will kickstart the day at 9 a.m. MT followed by the men’s 10K at 10 a.m. MT. The women’s course consists of two loops with the first lap being two miles. The second loop includes a mile stretch and a 1,200-meter wraparound to the finish line.
The men’s 10K is made up of three laps around the course that add up to a total of six miles before the final turn with 0.2 miles to the finish.
The forecast shows for a mostly cloudy day with temperatures ranging between 39 and 53 degrees.
The Buffs face a challenging path to get to the NCAA National Championships in Virginia, but they are more determined than ever to do so. Across the nine…