TEMPE, Ariz. – For the second straight year, University of Colorado sophomore Eileen Gehring broke the 400-meter dash school record, this time with a blazing time of 53.38 seconds on Saturday night at the Sun Angel Track Classic.
Gehring placed third overall in the premiere section of the 400, and became the first Buff to run a sub-54 second 400. Her time currently ranks 19th in the NCAA Division I and is 11th in the west region.
“We were hoping she could run under 53.5 this year because that would give her a great chance to make west preliminaries and if she did well there, to make nationals,” assistant coach Drew Morano said. “This time was even better than we had hoped for this weekend.”
She ran with some of the nation’s top talent. Arkansas’ Sparkle McKnight won the section in 52.17. Gehring wasn’t far from second place as the runner-up, Arizona State’s Brianna Tate, finished in 53.30. Gehring beat out Arkansas’ Chrishuna Williams, who finished fourth (53.88), by half a second.
“Eileen executed the race perfectly and exceeded our expectations,” Morano said. “She did what she needed to do and we know she can do better and will continue to get stronger as the year goes on. We are very excited about this performance.”
Prior to Saturday night’s run, Gehring’s previous best and the former school record was 54.21, which she ran at Mt. SAC Relays in 2012.
Gehring also did well in the 200, running 23.95 for sixth place overall. In doing so, she tied the second-fastest time in CU history, which was set by Amaris Buchanan in 2001. She was just .09 seconds away from setting her second record of the day. Tanisha Johns owns the CU record at 23.86 and set it in 1993 at the Big Eight Championships in Boulder.
“I’m very proud of Eileen’s performances tonight,” Morano said. “She came out strong in the 400 and followed it up with a great run in the 200.”
Sophomore Lindsy Mattson also did well at the same meet. She started the day with a third-place finish in the 400, finishing in 55.52, and followed that up with a personal best in the 200 at 24.76.
The CU throwers competed at little closer to home at the Air Force Relays earlier on Saturday afternoon. Junior Emily Hunsucker continued to dominate in the hammer throw; winning her third meet of the season with a mark of 192-7. Her closest competition came once again from Colorado State’s Kiah Hicks, who placed second with a throw of 184-1.
Two other Buffs finished with top-three performances at the meet. Sophomore Kelsey English took second in the high jump, clearing 5-7. Sophomore Brady Rutt placed third overall in the shot put with a toss of 41-7.75. Rutt also competed in the hammer throw and discus. He took sixth in the discus (163-6) and was 15th in the hammer throw (155-0).
The Buffs will return to their home track next week to host the Colorado Invitational, April 12-13, at Potts Field. The hammer and javelin throws will be on Friday at 2 p.m. and all other events will take place on Saturday starting at 11 a.m. For the complete schedule, go to CUBuffs.com/trackandfield and click on home meet information.
SUN ANGEL TRACK CLASSIC
Sun Angel Track Stadium (Tempe, Ariz.)
CU Athletes Only
Women’s 400-Meters: (1. Cekarri Nixon, UC Davis, 54.76) 3. Lindsy Mattson, 55.52
Women’s 400-Meters (Premiere): (1. Sparkle McKnight, Arkansas, 52.17) 3. Eileen Gehring, 53.38
Women’s 200-Meters: (1. Isatu Fofanah, NAU, 23.77) 9. Lindsy Mattson, 24.76
Women’s 200-Meters (Premiere): (1. Ashley Spencer, 23.04) 6. Eileen Gehring, 23.95
AIR FORCE RELAYS
Cadet Outdoor Track & Field Complex (U.S. Air Force Academy)
CU Athletes Only
Women’s Discus Throw: (1. Kiah Hicks, CSU, 166-5) 16. Kajsa Bank, 102-0
Men’s Discus Throw: (1. Mason Finley, unattached, 197-7) 6. Brady Rutt, 163-6
Women’s Hammer Throw: 1. Emily Hunsucker, 192-7; 8. Kellie Lind, 156-2
Men’s Hammer Throw: (1. Andrew Loftin, unattached, 234-7) 15. Brady Rutt, 155-0; 19. Cameron Hutchins, 147-3
Women’s Javelin: (1. Nikki Freeman, AFA, 139-10) 7. Kajsa Bank, 101-3
Men’s Shot Put: (1. Ken Harriman, CSU, 56-8.75) 3. Brady Rutt, 41-7.75
Women’s High Jump: (1. Ashley Reid, CSU, 5-8.75) 2. Kelsey English, 5-7; t9. Ewelina Pena, 4-11