Contact CU Independent Staff Writer Kevin Pankow at Kevin.Pankow@colorado.edu.
The Colorado track and field team kicked off their outdoor season this weekend at the Nike Clyde Littlefield Texas Relays and the Stanford Invitational.
The Texas Relays began this Wednesday with sophomore Andrew Ghizzone competing in the decathlon and senior Abrianna Torres in the heptathlon.
After day one, Ghizzone placed 16th overall in the decathlon with a total of 3,417 points. Torres finished in 24th place after the end of the first day with 3,004 points. Her best performance was shot put, in which she finished eighth.
During day two, both Ghizzone and Torres had better performances and jumped in the rankings. Ghizzone moved up six spots to finish the decathlon in 10th place and set a personal record with 6,845 points, which was the eighth-best performance in Colorado history.
Ghizzone finished the decathlon, clearing 16.75 feet in the pole vault, another personal record and the second-best in Colorado decathlon history.
And though there were weather delays on Friday, Colorado still had some sprinters competing in the Texas Relays. Junior Jaron Thomas was the Buffs’ best performer in the men’s 110-meter hurdle, finishing in 15th. Freshman Alex Billing finished 36th overall, and junior Austin Mitsch finished 44th overall in the 100-meter dash prelims.
Colorado’s women’s 4×400-meter relay was close to advancing to the finals finishing in tenth place. Freshman Gabby Scott, sophomores Alex Peters and Ana Holland and senior Elleen Gehring finished half a second from qualifying for the finals. Tashay Brown finished in 50th place individually for the women’s 100 with a time of 12.55 seconds.
During the first day of the Stanford Invitational, senior Connor Winter finished the 3,000-meter steeplechase with a time of 8:42.44, which was a new personal best. This is placed him sixth overall in the steeplechase and is currently the fifth-best time in NCAA Division I.
Sophomore Adam Peterman followed Winter in the steeplechase with a time of 9:06.10 that put him in ninth place.
On the women’s side, sophomore Erin Clark finished in seventh place in the steeplechase with a time of 10:00.77. Sophomore Val Constien set a new personal best, finishing in 10:26.06 during the third heat, deeming her fifth overall. Graduate student Lucy Cheadle finished ninth in the same segment.
Senior Maddie Alm and freshman Dani Jones raced in the 1,500, finishing in third and fifth place. Both Alm and Jones set new personal bests with times of 4:17.83 and 4:17.99 and also marked ninth and tenth on the CU all-time performers list.
Freshman Tayler Tuttle finished fifth during the fourth heat, and freshman Elissa Mann finished ninth during the seventh heat.
During the 5,000, sophomore Mackenzie Caldwell finished in 11th place with a new personal best of 16:15.12, and freshman Cayla Seligman placed 21st in the same section. Sophomore Kaitlyn Benner also recorded a personal record with a time of 15:56.52 that put her in 11th place and was also 10th on the all-time CU performance chart.
Sophomore Ryan Forsyth and freshman John Dressel also set new personal bests during the 5,000. Forsyth finished in fifth place during the third heat with a time of 14:01.27, while Dressel came in second place during the second heat with a time of 13:48.88. Senior Ammar Moussa finished 13th in the top section of the 5,000 with a time of 13:57.16.
The day ended with the women’s 10,000, in which junior Carrie Verdon finished in 26th place with a time of 34:09.31.
The Texas Relays and Stanford Invitational conclude on Saturday, and the athletes who didn’t compete in these events for CU will be contesting in the Tom Benich Invite this Saturday in Greeley, Colorado.