Simplot Games set to commence

Simply stated, the Simplot Games is the biggest high school indoor track and field extravaganza west of the Mississippi.

It seems that just about everybody who's had an indoor season here in Colorado, plus a few who haven't, is headed for Pocatello this weekend to spend Valentine's Day on a wooden track with a couple thousand other like-minded individuals.

If you're looking for the recognizable names in Colorado high school track and field, they are there en masse. Dior Hall takes the top seed in the first heat of the girls 60 meter hurdles. Maya Ries and the Carlys also own top heat seeds in the event. Colorado has a bundle of top seeds in heats of the 60 meter dash--to include Chyna Ries, Alexei Cox, Shayna Yon, Alexis Groce, and Alexandria Groce. But don't look for knockout times in the prelims; to save wear and tear on the track spikes are not allowed until later rounds of the competition.

To the previous list of names, add names like Heather Harrower, Daisha Stanley, and Payton Miller taking top seeds in preliminary heats of the 200 and 400. Jennifer Celis and Riley Cooney will represent Colorado in the 800. Darby Gilfillan and Tabor Scholl take center stage in the 1600. For the second year in a row, the Colorado girls have eschewed the 3200, leaving it to mostly Idaho and Utah to battle that one out.

In the weight throw, Haley Showalter was going to single-handedly take on the entire Throw1Deep club until Mariah Walker showed up to help out. Both will be messing with people's minds in the shot put as well. The weight throw is among the first events of the competition on Thursday evening.

Stephanie Bess and Christina Stathakis head the Colorado pole vault delegation. Lindsey Kroboth, Carly Paul, and Ashlyn Hare will try to bring back high jump medals. Long jumpers abound, but you can't miss the name of Chyna Ries among the listing of the competitors. Stephanie Bess and Maya Ries take Colorado's two best indoor triple jump marks into the competition as well.

Does it get any less interesting on the boys side? Not really.

Zac Petrie in the 800. Cerake Geberkidane in the 3200. Liam Meirow in the 1600. Those three should get some serious looks in the longer events.

The boys 60 meter dash top seeds are deep in Colorado representation--including Jaysean Skrine, Trevor Cook, Andrew Bradberry, Jake Peterson, Jai'Shawn Thompson, and Kossi Tchenawou. Wait a minute, does this mean Colorado has become a boys sprint state as well? Apparently so.

Ryan Younggreen owns Colorado's lone top seed in the 60 hurdles. Brandon Singleton, Nick Van Horn, Jack Robb, Dueth Vassall (there's a name we haven't seen in a while), Gabe Brown, Barry Visser, and Kevin McClanahan adds their names as top heat seeds among the long lists of 200s and 400s.

Nathan Dunivan in the weight throw is an intriguing topic of conversation, but he definitely brings more experience to the shot put where he joins forces with Nick Garcia to take on the male version of Throw1Deep (arguably the best club name in North America).

Above the Bar is largely staying home, but Zachary Ray and Nicholas Meihaus are very familiar names among Colorado's pole vaulters who will be making the trip. Meihaus, of course, doubles up with the high jump to get his weekly quota of hang time, and he will be joined by Tyler Russell in that event. Colorado has several triple jumpers in the competition with Tyler Russell appearing to have the best season credentials to date. Luke McDaniel and Kevin McClanahan have the biggest indoor long jumps to date of Colorado's LJ delegation.

Just on the face of it, folks, this looks to be a lot more productive year for Colorado at Simplot than last year was.

Boys Heat Sheets

Girls Heat Sheets