Mullen Lives Up To The Hype

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 DillonCaden FosterCal 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. 

Sprout led Dillon by inches as they reached the 200 marker, but Dillon wasn't willing to let this one go just yet. The two remained locked in a slugfest that made everyone cringe in anxiety. That intensity from Sprout's eyes had gone up into the ether as everyone could feel the intensity of this race now. When they rounded the final corner they could see the finish. Dillon went out into Lane 2 - The Lane Of High Hopes - but Sprout didn't give him in an inch. The two pumped their arms and lifted their knees all the way down the final straight. They ran the gas tank all the way down to E as neither of them were willing to give an inch.
With that bright white finish line that held their anxiety nearly four minutes and 11 seconds before was feet away Dillon leaned at the line. 
But it was Sprout's. 
He had decided that much when he toed the line and waited for the starter's gun. When he crossed - in 4:12.75, the agony was over for him, and everyone watching. The sophomore had just won an instant-classic, as right on his heels was Dillon, who ran 4:12.91. 
It was the first time in Colorado history that two boys had run 4:12 in the same race. Both boys ran nearly 10-second personal bests. 
While history will remember Sprout as the winner of this epic race, Dillon's second-place finish is equally impressive. Currently he's the fastest second-place finisher inside Colorado's Top-10 times in the 1,600. (One thing is certain, that 4A state 1,600 race is going to be historic, as Sprout, Cruz Culpepper, and James Lee will toe the line, together.)
When the 1,600 was over, it wasn't even lunch time at the Mullen Invitational. The morning was young and a laundry list of top-tier performances were ahead. 


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