It comes as a bit of a surprise to some folks, but the weekend before the weekend before the start of official practice actually has a decent number of events to talk about.
Down my way in Colorado Springs, the monthly running of the Nielsen Challenge 2 Mile took place in Monument Valley Park on Saturday. It's flat and fast.
I talked a little about Afeworki Zeru in the Rampart boys cross country preview. Zeru ran a very passable 11:16 at the Nielsen Challenge on Saturday morning. And, if you're trying to get a read on Rampart, their team was very much in evidence at the Nielsen Challenge. That would include both boys and girls.
Of note, Erik Le Roux was the first finisher in 10:13. This, of course, isn't mid season cross country, but an 8th grader running 10:13 is nothing to dismiss lightly.
Also in Colorado Springs on Saturday morning was the Run for Rwanda. Though I classify it as a road race to keep it separate from the cross country results coming up, it runs more like a cross country course than a road race course (and there are no streets involved in this one).
Cole Munoz of Widefield demolished the field at this one with a 16:45. Truthfully, that's blazing for this kind of a race. Second place was teammate Ryan Outler in 18:02.
Air Academy's Sophia Braza worked over the girls side of the field with a 20:44.
Today (Sunday) was the annual running of the Evergreen Town Race 5K and 10K. You need to understand as you look at these teams that this is a downhill race. The complete results are here, but I capsulize some of the more notable results for you below.
Shae Henley posted the top women's time in the 5K at, hold onto your seatbelts, 17:55. Also of local note, Claire Pauley ran 18:03 for third among the women.
Aidan Scott took top honors for boys among the current crop of high schoolers at 15:52. Colton Stice checked in with another very nice time of 15:57.
Yes, some people are running very fast very early.
As if all that wasn't enough, the pole vaulters were having a competition of their own up in Boulder. Demand for pole vaulting opportunities is such that there will be an entire series of such meets running through the end of October. Even for pole vaulters, though, there comes a time to go indoors.
Anyhow, some clearances of note at the ATB Churchyard Meet #1 included Erika Willis at 12-0.5 and Hayley Rayburn at 11-6.5. This summer has been good to Rayburn, and this latest clearance represents about five inches of PR.