Indoor track and field has been growing in Colorado the last few years. A growing schedule of meets is attempting to keep pace with the demand. Colorado Track XC file photos.
Indoor track and field has no CHSAA-sanctioned season. Nor, given the budget constraints schools are currently facing, is a CHSAA-sanctioned season likely to happen in the near term. But indoor track and field is definitely a growing sport in Colorado.
And, from the first full weekend in January through the third weekend in February there are local and regional indoor meets aplenty to offer lots of opportunities to indulge the competitive appetite.
If you don't count the Blue and Silver Open (which several high school aged athletes participated in on December 9), the high school indoor season begins on January 7 at Balch Field House in Boulder with the Fort Collins Track Club Invitational. For those who can't make the Saturday meet, and for those for whom one meet in a weekend is simply not enough, there is the Colorado School of Mines High School Invitational on January 8 Steinhauer Field House in Golden.
It's another double header the next weekend. The first of the USATF-Colorado All Comer Invitational series goes on January 14 at Balch Field House. Then, on Sunday the 15th, the Air Force Academy opens up its oversized (six glorious laps to the mile) indoor oval for the Air Force Indoor High School Invitational. The latter meet has a growing reputation for attracting out-of-state talent as well as a great selection of local talent.
After that, things slow down a little to just one meet per weekend. For a while, anyway.
Balch Field House hosts the second USATF-Colorado All Comer on Sunday, January 22. Then, it's back down to the Air Force Academy on January 29 for the Martin Luther King, Jr. Mile High Classic. Only the track at Clune Arena is about 1700 feet higher than "mile high." Call it the MLK, Jr. 1.3 Mile High Classic if you like.
Back at Balch Field House on February 4, it's the USATF-Colorado Indoor Championships.
And then the options come back with a vengeance. Open wide and say, "Ahhhhh."
On February 11, you can hang around locally and run, jump, or throw at Balch Field House for yet another USATF-Colorado All Comer meet. Of course, all the while, the Mondo track with banked turns at the Albuquerque Convention Center will be beckoning you to come down and mix it up a little at the Great Southwest Indoor Classic on the same day. The Great Southwest Indoor doesn't yet rival the size of the Simplot Games, but it is a growing regional meet with a less adventurous drive (at least in most cases, I-25 to Albuquerque should be less of a late-winter adventure than I-70 across Wyoming to Pocatello).
Having introduced the topic of the Simplot Games--a meet that really needs no introduction--let me simply say that that event takes place on Pocatello, Idaho, on February 16-18 on the campus of Idaho State University. Lots of Colorado tracksters will be missing school to take part in that event.
Still not enough, you say? Well, there are three national level meets to keep you going after the Simplot Games, but they all involve a lot of travel. You're probably booking a flight for any of these. New Balance Indoor Nationals run in New York City from March 9 - 11. The GREAT American Scholastic Indoor National Championships run in Geneva, Ohio (I think that's suburban Cleveland), in a spiffy new facility with an oversized indoor track on March 10 - 11. The facility reportedly also boasts the best seating and viewing of any indoor facility in the nation--not that that would take much. And, for the die-hard clubbers, there's the USATF Indoor National Youth Championships in Hillside, Illinois. It would almost be worth going just to see what qualifies as a hillside with a capital 'H' in Illinois. That meet also takes place on March 10 - 11.
That, my friends, is a lot of possibilities. And, if those possibilities boggle your mind, fasten your seatbelt. There's more coming down the road. Both Adams State College and Western State College are in process of building new indoor track and field facilities. That means more capacity to handle the indoor track and field demand and better proximity for people living in south-central and western Colorado.