Colorado cross country Pac-12 Conference champion Abby Nichols was named Monday as the co-women’s national athlete of the week by the USTFCCCA.
Nichols earned the award days after placing first in the Pac-12 championship event in Salt Lake City on Oct. 29.
Nichols ran a very smart, patient race at the Regional Athletic Complex in Salt Lake City, Utah, which was an extremely flat 6-kilometer course set up on seven soccer fields. Along with her teammate, Emily Covert, Nichols and Utah’s Emily Venters pulled away from the rest of the field with about 1,500 meters left to race. Nichols made her final move with about 1k left, putting distance between her and the other two and just kept adding more space between them until she crossed the finish in 20:25.4.
Her time was over 11 seconds faster than her Covert’s, who earned runner-up honors in 20:36.7, while Venter’s took third in 20:40.7.
She is the second female Buffalo to win an individual Pac-12 title, joining Dani Jones, the 2017 and ’18 champion.
The Kettering, Ohio, native helped the CU women capture their fifth Pac-12 team title since 2011, their 20th overall. The Buffs won the team race with 24 points, besting Utah, which recorded 54 points. The 24 points scored is the lowest by a men’s or women’s winning team, since CU entered the conference in 2011.
Nichols shares the national honor with Megan Hasz (Minnesota) who won the individual women’s Big Ten Championship last week.