It's that time of year again. Football season is coming into full swing with Colorado's home opener against Hawaii this Saturday, and most Buffs fans are preoccupied with the trials and tribulations of Tyler Hansen, Coach Hawkins, and the gang. After the disaster at Cal-Berkeley, there's a growing vibe around campus that CU sports are nothing to be proud of. CU Sports Buff is here to change that with a look into the Colorado Cross-Country team, a group of talented athletes that doesn't often disappoint!
The running Buffs' season kicked off on Saturday, Sep. 4th at the CU Alumni/Open/Time Trial. On CU's home turf, the Buffalo Ranch Cross Country Course, several redshirt and true freshmen made their marks. On the women's side, newcomer Rachel Viger, who was running unattached, finished first in the 5.8k course in 22 minutes, 10 seconds. Just one second behind her was Shalaya Kipp, who was a strong presence on the track as a true freshman last spring but who is making her cross-country debut as a redshirt freshman this fall. Three other redshirt freshmen had strong finishes in the women's race: Diana George in seventh, Camille Logan in eighth, and Kelly King in eleventh. The women's combined time, impressively, is about 30 seconds faster than it was in the same race last year. Another indicator of the strength and of this "herd" is that King's eleventh-place time is only 1 minute, 2 seconds behind Viger, the race winner!
The Buffs men put together a fast stampede at the Time Trial, too, and their pack was also led by a freshman. In second was an unattached freshman, Dillion Shije, who finished the 8k race in 26 minutes, 29 seconds. Brennan Lynch, a redshirt and the top runner in a CU jersey, finished just two seconds behind Shije - and the top seven CU-uniformed runners all finished within two seconds of one another!
The women's team is currently ranked 11th nationally in the USTFCCA Coaches' Poll (having moved up from 13th in the preseason polls) and the men are ranked sixth.
So, Buffs fans, don't give up hope if your football team isn't delivering (and that can't even be said with certainty just yet - there's a shot at redemption against Hawaii tomorrow!) CU Sports Buff will continue to highlight other successful teams that wear their Colorado jerseys proudly, race after race.