CU Women Third in Final USTFCCCA Program of the Year Rankings

NEW ORLEANS – The University of Colorado women’s cross country and track and field program finished third in the 2022 United States Athletic and Cross Country Coaches Association Program of the Year after a fourth place finish in cross-country and a pair of top 10s in Track.

The women finished third in the standings with 25.5 points in a system that equates to one point for each finish at the NCAA cross country, indoor track and field championships. The Buffs finished fourth in the cross country, tied for 11e indoors with three other teams and tied for ninth outdoors last week. It’s the first time Colorado has finished in the top three since 2017.

The Buffs were led by a quartet of women in each championship. At cross-country championships, Abby Nichols led the way finishing eighth for his second cross-country All-American final for CU. Secret Emily was 31 years oldst to earn his first All-American honor, followed by Rachel McArthur in 55e and India Johnson in 58e.

On the track side, the female quartet split into a trio in the 1500 and Avery McMullen in the heptathlon finishing eighth while Micaela DeGenero, Madie Boreman and McArthur were all in the 1500m final. DeGenero made a move from the back of the pack and couldn’t be stopped as she rode to the NCAA National Mile title followed by McArthur in fourth and Boreman in eighth, all picking up points as the Buffs finished tied for 11e.

On the road, Colorado earned first-team All-American finishes from Secret Emily, DeGenero, Nichols and Boreman. Covert started things off by finishing fourth in the women’s 10,000m, an effort that was matched by the same place for Boreman in the steeplechase. Nichols had three points in the women’s 5,000 with a sixth-place finish, and DeGenero was just a few yards short of doubling the indoor and outdoor titles and she finished second in the women’s 1,500.

Arkansas won the women’s title with fourth place indoors, sixth place outdoors and eighth place cross country. BYU finished second with second place in cross country, followed by eighth place indoors and tied with CU outdoors for ninth place.

In the men’s standings, Texas easily won the title after finishing 14e in cross country but winning the indoor track title and finishing second outdoors. The UC Men were not eligible for seeding as each program must score points at all championships to be eligible. Colorado finished eighth in cross country, tied for 41st inside and scored no points away from home. If the men had picked up a point, they would have finished tied for 68e away with 117 points which would have finished them 18e in the program ranking.

Only Arkansas, Stanford, Alabama, Oregon, Texas and Florida State have won the men’s title since its inception in 2008. Only four women’s teams have won it now, with Arkansas winning their first victory with BYU, Oregon and Stanford. The UC Women finished second to Oregon in 2017 for their best result.

Ryan H. Bowman