In 24 hours some of the best athletes from across the country will descend on the Cadet Field House for the Air Force High School Open.
Several meet records will be in jeopardy as Colorado's best take on all-comers in the state's most premiere indoor track and field meet.
Current heat sheets reveal that not only are the country's top performers competing, but the meet will play host to an insane amount of depth across every event. Snow may coat the grounds (in some areas of the state, and probably just in the shadows), and the outdoor season may be another month away, but it's evident that Colorado track and field athletes are eager to compete.
Below is a brief glimpse of what the (current) heat sheets reveal. The meet is still open for entry.
Sprints Bring The Heat
The men's 60 has 123 entrants, seven of that massive, massive number have a New Balance Indoor Nationals championship qualifying mark already. On top of the list is Devin Cadena andLuc Andrada, the only two who've dipped under the magical seven-second-60 (6.98, and 6.99). Right on the cusp is Sam Hageman and Korey Hairston, both at 7.0.
The women's 60 is led by Colorado's Arria Minor, who'll likely run a major result. Minor's US-leading 7.30 is beyond a list of 89 entrants in the event, which includes comeback kid Sydnee Larkin, Dajaz Defrand, and Dawnielle Lewis. Four have gone under 7.7. Minor and Larkin are the only two on the start list with the NBIN championship mark so far.
Like Minor, Emily Sloan has been on fire this season, and I wouldn't expect anything less than another big result for her in the 60 hurdles. Her US No. 2 mark of 8.33 is clear of a fairly stellar field. US No. 7 Jaiden Paris is on the start list, as is Anna Hall, Kylie Davis, and Delaney Smith. Colorado's top-five 60 hurdlers will toe the line together on the same weekend.
Minor once again tops the list in the women's 200, and looks to be the clear favorite among a solid field. Minor's US No. 1 of 23.40 is nearly a full second ahead of her nearest competitor -- Maya Evans. The field includes four who have run under the coveted NBIN mark, as Defrand and Kyairra Reigh have dipped under 24.75 (including Minor and Evans). Minor has a chance to take down an 18 year-old meet record if she can dip under 24.06
The men's 400 includes 13 under 52 seconds, but no one with a NBIN championship mark -- yet. Leading the list is James Milholen, who's the lone competitor under 50 seconds at 49.90. Rafael Osoria may be his only real challenger, as he's the only one (besides Milholen) under 51 seconds.
The women's 400 appears to be a race to the line. Lauren Gale sits on top of this list at 55.40, but right on her heels is teammate Mary Gillett at 55.50 and Reigh at 55.70, then comes nearly a two-second drop-off. The trio all have an NBIN championship mark.
Distance Events Bring Out-Of-State Talent
Keep an eye on the men's 800. Jake Merrell is making the trip from Texas, and he's bringing his lofty 1:51.56 personal best with him. His seed time comes in almost four-seconds ahead of his nearest competitor. If there's anything that could lasso this Cowboy, it'd be that he hasn't endured the tight turns of an indoor track yet. Behind him are Oklahoma's Aden Baughman and Landon Rast -- both 1:55 half-milers. Merrell looks primed to take down Zach Petrie's meet record of 1:5519.
The women's 800 brings a slew of Colorado talent to the starting line. Chantae Steele leads a strong field with her 2:14.10 seed time. She's the lone competitor in the field with a NBIN championship mark so far, but hot on her heels is Lauren Neugeboren at 2:15.65, and Abby Scott at 2:16.79.
The men's mile appears to be a great prelude to what'll come during the outdoor season. 75 are entered here, as it's evident that Colorado's distance runners are anxious and eager to get the outdoor season underway. Michael Mooney is on top of the entrants list with a 4:20.27 full mile. Mooney could have a welcome challenger in Valor's Cole Sprout, who is just two-seconds back with his 4:22 1,600 personal best. Behind the Colorado duo is A.J. Kedge at 4:26 all the way from Albuquerque. The list drops off a bit, but I wouldn't count out Sadio Fenner -- he's the first one of the list that's raced indoors this season so far.
It appears that Madison Mooney hopes to make it a Mooney sweep in the mile, as she's clear of the field with the No. 1 seed time of 4:47. She's got the fastest time by 17 seconds. Behind her is Naomi Harding in 5:04, Neugeboren in 5:05, and Lizzy Harding in 5:08. After that the list drops off quite a bit.
The men's two-mile appears to be a two-man race, unless someone else enters between now and the start. But on paper Shane Henderson is the clear favorite at 9:45, just ahead of Luke Thurman at 9:53. The two are the only ones listed under 10 so far.
The women's two-mile should be a great race, however, with a Wyoming duo from different schools coming to battle it out in Colorado. Aubrey Frentheway boasts an 11:03 seed time while cross-town rival Mackenzie Marler is seeded at 11:15. Behind them, the women's two-mile looks to have the most depth of any distance race with Lizzy Harding, Madeleine Burns, Caitlin McConnell, Hannah McReavy, Addi Iken, Katelyn Mitchem, and Harding toeing the line -- all have seed times under 11:40.
Seeing Red In The Field
Mayson Conner comes to the Cadet Field House (from Nebraska) with a 7'1" personal best in the high jump. Coincidentally, that's a few inches past Matt Rice's 29-year meet record. Conner's mark is No. 1 in the country right now. We could see history in the making in the high jump -- and Conner may just be a part of it, because Colorado's No. 1 high jumper Jequan Hogan is also competing in the event, and his 6-10.75 is also above the meet record. Whether it's a battle between these two, or a new meet record, or a new US No. 1 mark, the high jump will surely be an event to watch.
Anna Hall leads the women's high jump with her 5-8 mark. The No. 12 high jumper in the country will likely be pushed by her teammate, Riley Masten, who comes in a 5-7. And just two-more inches down is Rhyan Moore at 5-5.
Like the Mooney's, the Manson's appear to want to make it a sibling sweep -- in the pole vault.
Like Max, Mia Manson enters the meet as the top seed with a mark of 13-6 -- a US No. 3 mark which she set Thursday night at Mines. Manson holds a solid advantage over Erika Willis, who comes in with a mark of 12-8, and Hayley Rayburn at 12-6.
The women's long jump is already shaping up to be yet another event-to-watch. Colorado's Maya Evans and Sydnee Larkin are on the entrant list. While this is Colordo No. 1 vs No. 2, this is also US No. 3 vs US No. 5. Spectators will be seeing the best long jumpers in the country go head to head.
Jequan Hogan -- if he wasn't competing in a load of events already -- is leading the charge in the men's triple jump. Hogan is the No. 3 triple jumper in the country, and he could slide into that No. 1 spot with a big performance here. If he's got any competition, it's likely to come from Allam Bushara.
Likewise, the women's triple jump is set for more entertainment worth your money. Larkin is the favorite here, as she is head and shoulders above the competition. The No. 3 triple jumper in the country will likely want to move up on that ranking here. Additionally, Danielle Williams' 24 year-old meet record could go down if Larkin duplicates her previous success.
Two names highlight the men's shot -- Reece Davidson and Kain Medrano. The two best shot putters in the state will go head to head once again. Davidson had the upper hand at last week's USATF meet, we'll see if Medrano can respond this weekend.
Relays To Cap The Meet
Everybody's favorite relay -- the 4x400 should close out the meet with fireworks. The men's 4x4 will be a battle between AMATA, the Denver Lightning, and Elevate Athletics. All three teams are seeded within two-seconds of each other, which means those tight turns and handoffs could be insanely entertaining to watch.
The women's 4x4 is in the hands of Real Training and the Denver Lightning. There's a four-second spread between these two on paper, with Real Training with a real lead of 3:52 to the 'Lightning's 3:56.
If you can't make it out to the Cadet Field House -- we've got you covered. MileSplit will be LIVE STREAMING the meet. So make sure to check it out.