May 27—Eduardo Herrera has set records and earned All-American honors during his running career at Colorado. Yet his final race will be remembered as a disappointing one.
CU's decorated sixth-year senior, as well as teammate Andrew Kent, fell just short of advancing to the NCAA outdoor track and field championships in two weeks, finishing just behind the cut line in the 5,000 meter run on Friday night at the NCAA West Preliminaries in Fayetteville, Ark.
With the top five finishers in each of two heats, plus the next two best times, earning spots in the NCAA finals, Kent placed sixth in the opening heat (14th overall) with a time of 13 minutes, 39.2 seconds, finishing just .19 of a second behind the fifth-place spot that would have secured an automatic bid in the next round.
Herrera — owner of the CU records in the indoor mile, indoor 3K, and outdoor 1,500 — finished just on Kent's heels in 13:39.49. That mark was just .36 behind the fifth-place spot in the opening heat, which was secured with a personal-best mark from Arizona State's Vincent Mauri (13:39.13).
Both runners finished nearly five seconds behind the mark for the final at-large spot, which was nabbed by Iowa State's Ryan Ford (13:34.79, also a personal best). CU's Charlie Sweeney placed 28th (13:55.27).
That gut-wrenching finish in the 5K capped a tough day for the CU men's side, which was unable to advance any athletes into the NCAA finals.
Freshman Noah Bouchard finished 36th in the high jump (2.05 meters) but fell short of qualifying for the championships. The season ended in the quarterfinals for Tyler Williams, who placed 20th in the 400 (46.13), as well as Aaron McCoy, who finished 16th in the 400 hurdles (51.26). CU's 4×400 relay team also fell just short of advancing, placing 12th with a time of 3:05.50. Although that was a season-best time for the team, it still was just 1.53 seconds behind the final at-large spot for the championship meet.
The CU women will have a busy day in the West Preliminary's final day on Saturday. Highlighting the slate will be a trio of Buffs looking to advance to the NCAA championships in events in which they expect to compete for the title, with Micaela DeGenero taking off in the 1,500 at 4:15 p.m. (alongside Rachel McArthur), Madie Boreman competing in the steeplechase at 4:40 p.m. MT, and Abby Nichols leading the charge in the 5K at 7:10 p.m. MT. Emily Covert and India Johnson also are expected to compete in the 5K even after earning NCAA championship berths in the 10K on Thursday.
In other action on Saturday, Mead's Abbey Glynn competes in the quarterfinal of the 400 hurdles at 6:25 p.m. MT. Avery McMullen will compete in the 100 hurdles and the Buffs will have two entrants, Kylie Harr and Allie Routledge, competing in the high jump.
DeGenero on Friday was named as a first team of the CoSIDA Academic All-District Seven selection.