PRs proved to be tough to come by for Colorado's top athletes at the meet designed to deliver PRs.
There was nothing slow about the Brooks PR Invitational. Even the meet itself finished ahead of schedule. But the much-anticipated PRs for the Colorado contingent mostly failed to materialize.
For Dior Hall, there was an 8.37 in the preliminary round. That was easily enough to get her into the faster heat of finals. Then we all held our breath for Hall to drop the hammer in the final round. As things turned out, we held our breath for Sasha Wallace, who ran the US#3 all-time mark in the event, more than for Hall, edging Hall 8.18 to 8.21. Wallace's mark was a PR. Hall's mark missed both the national record we dared to hope for and her own PR, but, in the great scheme of things, an 8.21 60 meter hurdles is still an outstanding kind of effort.
As an aside, this may not be the last time this winter we see Hall and Wallace matched up against each other.
Chyna Ries and Marybeth Sant traded off orders of finish in the 60 meters, with Ries taking honors between the two in the preliminary round and Sant the finals round, but both posted top marks on the day that came up well short of their personal records. Sant managed a 7.47 in finals but would have needed all of PR from earlier this season for a win.
Greg Popylisen had much the same experience in the boys 60, running a 6.88 in prelims and a 6.87 in finals. Solid marks, to be sure, but not enough to reset his PR or get him onto the podium.
The girls 2 mile run quickly became the personal showcase of Michigan's Erin Finn. For those watching who hoped to see glimpses of Jordyn Colter, those glimpses turned out to be difficult to come by. Still, when the figurative dust had settled on the Dempsey Arena track, Colter had run a big-time mark (and PR) of 10:29.25. To attempt to put that mark into a Jeffco Stadium context, figure about 20 seconds' worth of altitude conversion by NCAA standards. Colter's previous best 3200 time (about five seconds faster than a two mile) had been 11:01. While Colter's mark would appear to saddle her with the status of 5A favorite for 3200 meters this spring, it's also a little early to close the door on the conversation over who wins that event.
Heather Bates was Colorado's final contestant of the day. Like Colter, Bates found herself in a race quickly taken over by another--in this case Amy-Eloise Neale, then Haley Meier, then Neale again. As such, those of us watching via the webcast didn't get to see too much of Bates during the race. Nevertheless, Bates finished in a PR of 4:53.45. That time beat her Brooks PR time from last year by about 0.7 of a second. We could banter over whether yesterday's mark or her 4:58.74 from last year's Colorado Springs Metro Meet is her all-time best mark at the 1600/Mile distance, but it yesterday's effort ranked as a solid performance any way you look at it.
What can't be denied is that it was an entertaining evening of track and field punctuated by enough Colorado entries to keep those of us back home glued to our computer monitors and with sufficient excuse to ignore that drift of wind-driven snow reaching across our driveways.