Hands down, the most significant running sport event in the state this weekend was the Early Grizzly Open in Alamosa.
For those out of the loop, Adams State has a new indoor track facility, destined to become known as the Adams State Bubble. It got its breaking-in Saturday as UCCS, Eastern New Mexico, CSU-Pueblo, New Mexico Highlands, Fort Lewis, and the Academy of Art converged on Alamosa. If you're wondering who Academy of Art is and what kind of track and field program a school with a name like that might have, you are woefully behind the times in your understanding of DII track and field.
It speaks volumes of Academy of Art's respect for the Adams State program, however, that they made the trip from San Francisco to Alamosa for this meet.
As December track meets go, this was a very big deal.
But, it was still a December track meet. And, that means it was mostly about seeing what people have in the tank and retained in muscle memory after a long period of competitive layoff. As it turns out, some folks had quite a bit to show in the Bubble.
Adams State lodged the day's lone auto qualifier with a 10:12.15 in the distance medley. And, in fairness to the power atheltes present at the meet, these guys are coming fresh off a cross country season where most of them were getting plenty of opportunity to stoke the fires. Tabor Stevens, Derek Brown, Steve Lezema, and Kevin Batt did the damage to the qualifying standard.
Adams State's Carlton Lavong did some serious flirting with the auto-qualifier marks in the long and triple jump, but got turned down both times. Lavong's 7.48m in the long jump missed by 2 cm. His 15.26m in the triple jump missed by 18 cm. Both marks are, however, provisional qualifiers for nationals in North Carolina at the end of the season.
Carson Aberle of UCCS turned a few heads with a shining 1:55.76 800 out of the season's gate, also a provisional qualifying mark.
On the women's side of things, Adams States' Jessica Scherrer, a 2013 graduate of Albuquerque's Del Norte High School, has the distinction of scoring a victory over Vashti Thomas. Scherer took down the Academy of Art superstar, 57.86 to 58.35, in the 400 meters.
Alicia Nelson, whose cross country eligibility was used up prior to this fall, was back in action running the 3000, but took second to Lauren Martin, 10:17 to 10:22. Both marks stand, however, as provisional qualifiers.
For a complete listing of events and results, including numerous Colorado and New Mexico high school graduates, please see the: