This was an exceptional race. PAC12 conference still hangs on to all that history and tradition. The first 12 or so runners were all Oregon, Stanford and Colorado. The pace was a bit tactical, but the unsung Colorado hero in this one was Ryan Forsyth who took the lead with 800 to go and surged with a 62 second penultimate lap. This meant the kick was essentially coming from 800m out rather than only at the close. This made it tough on Stanford's Fisher and McGorty who were doubling off the 1500.
Saarel who was fresh closed in 55! or 1:57 for the final 800 and Perrin hung on for 2nd with Forsyth 5th I believe. These guys had a national championship in XC early in their careers, and now bookend it with a memorable conference meet win as seniors. Not everything always goes as planned in distance running, but it makes it just that much sweeter when it does.
The women's 5k was just as good with Elise Cranny from Stanford holding off a pack from Colorado.
On Ben Saarel - just a good solid dude - he has some crazy hard major like Physics / Physics Engineering where he has a 3.9 GPA and he just won the PAC 12 Scholar Athlete award.
For Nationals all 3 of these Colorado guys are threats to score points. The key is that they are all healthy and confident. There are some NCAA talents who could make the 5k a 13:20 race, but if it ends up between 13:40 and 14:00 they will be right there in the mix!
Good luck to all - Stanford and Oregon too!