The University of Colorado cross country team made an impressive season debut at Saturday’s 27thAnnual Rocky Mountain Shootout.
At the Buffalo Ranch in Boulder, the Buffs earned both the men’s and women’s Division I team titles and an individual men’s title. In the men’s 8-kilometer race, Colorado’s Jake Hurysz crossed the line first in 24 minutes, 34 seconds, the fourth-best time ever recorded on the infamous course.
Hurysz’ performance was his first-ever in a CU uniform. The junior is a transfer student from the University of North Carolina and redshirted last spring’s track season with the Buffs.
“I was just coming in and trying to feel good,” Hurysz said to the CU Sports Information Department. “I tried to come through three miles really controlled and see where I was at from there. I wasn’t really planning on being ahead however far I was, it didn’t really matter. I just wanted to go out there, run my own race, and try to stay strong.”
In addition to Hurysz’ breakout victory, the Buffalo men as a whole showed their depth. The team, currently ranked No. 7 nationally, placed runners in the 1, 2, 3, 4 and 6 overall spots to easily claim the title.
The No. 15-ranked CU women also handily won the Division I team title. The Buffs finished 39 points ahead of second-place University of Wyoming.
CU’s top three women all finished in the top-10 and within 20 seconds of each other.
In her first true collegiate race, freshman Carrie Verdon took third overall, finishing 5.8-kilometer race in 21:03. Junior Rachel Viger earned fifth in 21:10, while redshirt sophomore Jana Stolting was seventh in 21:21.
There were a couple notable Buffs who did not compete on Saturday, including junior Shalaya Kipp. Kipp, a two-time All-American in cross country, competed in the steeplechase at the 2012 Olympic Games in London and should be joining team competition with the Buffs shortly.
Kipp spent time with her team before the race start and added commentary during the race alongside the official announcer. Verdon said she enjoyed Kipp’s motivation.
“[Shalaya] was out there on the warm-up giving us guidance,” Verdon said.
The Buffs’ next race, the NCAA Pre-National Invitational in Louisville, Ky., is set for Oct. 13.
Statistics and quotations courtesy of the CU Sports Information Department.
Contact CU Independent Staff Writer Jillian Arja at Jillian.email@example.com.