Cole Sprout and Carter Dillon ran a 1,600 for the ages at the Mullen Invitational.
Sixteen sets of brightly colored spikes toed the white starting line for the boy's 1,600. Among them was a black pair of Adidas with bright white stripes. It's owner, Cole Sprout, leaned at the line with an intensity in his eyes that said it all: I'm going to win this race.
When the gun shot the sixteen bodies crashed around the track in a distance sprint.
Sprout led the stellar field in a hot pace that passed the 400 in 64 seconds. His eyes beamed in that same intensity from the start as he didn't wait to see who would be throwing the first punch. The pack clung to his his heels as he towed them around the track at dizzying speeds. The second lap reflected the first - Sprout leading at a pace that hovered around 4:17-4:18.
By the third lap the pace was beginning to hit the field. Sprout cruised up front while his competitors began to thin out. He powered off his toes with his eyes forward as if to say "Come get me." Heading down the backstretch of Lap 3 it appeared that only Carter Dillon, Caden Foster, Cal Banta, and Chase Dornbusch remained up for the challenge, but so was Sprout.
As they reached the bell lap Dillon made a surge up to Sprout's shoulder. For a slither of a moment it appeared that the hot pace may have taken it's toll on Sprout, and Dillon sensed blood in the water. But the moment passed, and Sprout bore down, keeping Dillon inches behind him.
The two telescoped away from the field as it was evident the winner would be one of them. They rose to their toes in a sprint for the finish that started on the backside of the track. The crowd rose to its feet, well aware that they were witnessing something special.