By Linda Sprouse, CU’s Associate SID
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. — The fifth-ranked University of Colorado women’s cross country team flexed its muscle on Friday morning, winning the FSU NCAA Pre-National Invitational by almost 100 points. The meet was held at the Apalachee Regional Park. Men’s Garnet 8k (HTML) | Women’s Garnet 6k (HTML) | Men’s Open 8k (HTML) | Women’s Open 6k (HTML)
The Buffaloes recorded 54 points in the 6-kilometer garnet race at Apalachee Regional Park and the runner-up, No. 10 ranked Utah, recorded 149. Colorado’s dominating performance was led by All-American Abby Nichols as she recorded her first cross country win in a CU uniform, crossing the finish line in 19 minutes, 46.4 seconds.
“Abby ran well,” winning head coach Mark Wetmore said. “We thought she would be high in the race. We did not presume she might win it but she moved carefully throughout and closed better than her opponents.”
“The men’s race was a little deeper than the women’s,” Wetmore added. “We were the highest-ranked team in the women’s race so it’s not a big surprise that we won.
“I think we ran a little better than people expected and we beat some other ranked teams by more than was expected.”
Arkansas’ Lauren Gregory finished runner-up in the 6K with a time of 19:47.7, while Lauren Ryan of Florida State ran 19:51.1 for third place. They were followed by 4 Taryn O’Neill of Northern Arizona who ran 19:53.3 4 for fourth, while Colorado’s Emily Covert ended up fifth overall in 19:54.6.
Meanwhile, No. 1 Northern Arizona dominated the men’s team race and went on to tally 64 points for the victory. They were followed by No. 7 Colorado, No. 8 Arkansas, No. 5 BYU and No. 2 Notre Dame.
Overall, the performances on both sides were very exciting and I am looking forward to seeing the remainder of the season.