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Dani Jones leads Colorado Buffaloes to Cross Country National Championship

At least one sport is thriving.

Ken Moreland

The Colorado Buffaloes’ finest sport continues to set the standard of excellence. On Saturday morning, the women’s cross country team won the 2018 National Championship in Madison, Wisconsin, as their fearless runners dominated in snowy conditions.

Dani Jones claimed the individual National Championship in her senior year. The 2-time Pac-12 champion exceeded sky-high aspirations and claimed a hard-earned achievement. Jones is the second individual cross country champion in program history, after Kara Grgas-Wheeler (Groucher) won in 2000.

Before the season, legendary coach Mark Wetmore said, “I am probably cursing myself and Dani, but she has what the other big stars here have had. Now she needs the one component that is unpredictable and that is luck, which is staying healthy and having no big interruptions.”

Jones had the health, and as a bit more luck, she got the brutal weather the team desired. “All season we wanted the hardest conditions,” Jones said after her race. “We wanted the winds and everything. We woke up and were all happy this morning.”

This is women’s team’s third national title. They won in 2000 when Grgas-Wheeler also won the individual title. They won it again in 2004 as well, but without an individual title.

Besides Jones, Colorado placed another 5 runners in the top-40: seniors Makena Morley (8th), Sage Hurta (22nd) and Val Constien, and juniors Tabor Scholl (15th) and Tayler Tuttle (24th). All of whom have thus earned All-American status.

The men’s team finished 4th at nationals with no individual National Champion. There’s always next year for the men to reach the achievements of their fellow Buffaloes.