Track meets: April 15 - 20

Caleb Simons stirred a few thoughts with his 6-4 high jump at John Tate last weekend. He meets a big part of his 2A competition in Chris Epps at the Kiowa Klassic on Saturday. Photo by Alan Versaw.

When I first started this a little over six years ago, either I was clueless or there simply weren't as many meets going on all through the heart of invitational season. And, it seems like they're all big meets these days. Take a look at this week's schedule and see if you don't come to the same conclusion.


Clear Creek Frontier Meet #1

Clear Creek gets to host this one. The schools coming in include South Park (not a Frontier League school, but they do bring in athletes like Kacey Buttrick and Chris Carpenter--though we seem to be missing Jacob Benson this spring), Platte Canyon, Clear Creek, Lake County, Middle Park, Lake County, Jefferson (not Academy), and--from regions far flung--Bennett. Bennett, of course, brings the jumps duo of Abby Mangham and Kassi Van Cleave.

Clear Creek High School
Evergreen, CO

Fort Collins City Meet

It's springtime, and you're never going to go long in Fort Collins in the spring without a track meet. Now that the NC Golden Spike series has run its course, it's time for the Ft. Collins City Meet. And, yes, that would include Liberty Common and Heritage Christian Academy. For small schools, these two programs put a lot of talent on the track. In fact, don't be too surprised if Nico Forcatto ends up as the top seed in a couple of sprint events. 

In recent years, however, this meet has not been one that the big local 5A powers have loaded up for. Combine that with the fact that athletes do have an 11-meet limit going into the league meet, and you may find the participation of top names a little limited for this one. But, it Kelcey Bedard and Josie Natrasevschi are both throwing, it should be an entertaining day at the discus ring.

Fort Collins High School
Fort Collins, CO

Highland Twilight Invitational

They won't be drawing anyone from Fort Collins, but they'll still be hosting a fair-sized meet. The schools coming are of the small-school variety, with Weld Central, Sterling, and Valley being the ranking schools in terms of enrollment count. Meet highlights are likely to center around the girls jumps, where we should see a convergence of Ashley Perez, Kylie Chavez, Jazmin Montes, and Jamie Clawson.

Highland High School
Ault, CO

Jeffco 5A Qualifier

Yet another weekday meet at Jeffco Stadium--the venue that never rests. All of these teams have been recently busy, so it's a decent bet that many will be laying a little low, but there's always a nice mark or two that pops out of these meets, so be sure to check the results when they push through tonight.

Arvada West High School
Lakewood, CO

Ron Keller Invitational

Durango takes their turn at hosting the San Juan Basin schools tonight. Some of the Demons could be a little road weary from their trip to sunny Arcadia this past weekend, so some of those athletes may be on the shelf for this afternoon's action.

But, it's not just San Juan Basin schools that are coming. Wolf Creek Pass will see Alamosa, Del Norte, and Centauri buses today as well. If you're looking for one very good matchup that is likely to happen, look for Creede Wylie and Aubry Brown in the discus. 

Durango High School
Durango, CO

Palisade JV Meet

It's not just District 51 schools, folks. They're pulling from places like Glenwood, Rifle, and Montrose as well. Several athletes will be making late bids to be included on varsity travel rosters as the invitational season winds down over the next couple of week.

Palisade High School
Grand Junction, CO

Weld County JV Meet #5

And, while Palisade hosts a few hopeful JV tracksters, so also does Greeley West. Last week's edition of this meet hosted what would have been a couple of state-qualifying throws. We've come to expect big things of the Weld County JV series.

Greeley West High School
Greeley, CO

La Junta Tiger Relays

You would not think that La Junta could pull 4A and 5A schools from Pueblo and Colorado Springs, but they do. This meet has a special kind of staying power. It pulled those Colorado Springs and Pueblo schools when they were running the last meet in the state on a cinder track, so why would anything change now that La Junta has a nice, new stadium and stellar throwing venues?

Close to 30 schools are making their way to the queen city of Otero County on Thursday afternoon, and that spells a big day for the Subway on the west side of town. 

And, did somebody say throws? You'd better believe it. Lamar meets Pueblo in a major showdown of throwers. Oh, and by the way, the distance runners like this place, too. There aren't many places in Colorado with better altitude than this--and cool temps are on tap for Thursday.

La Junta High School
La Junta, CO

R2-J Invite

Loveland, Mullen, Battle Mountain, Mountain View, Berthoud, Eaton, Cheyenne Mountain, Mountain Vista, etc. You get the picture. This should be a very competitive meet. And, if Vail Christian is coming, that must mean the pole vault could get kind of interesting. For clarity's sake, Berthoud High School is the host venue. Don't be looking for a Loveland exit, take the Berthoud turnoff. With the change to Friday for better weather conditions, this one is back at Loveland High School now.

Loveland High School
Berthoud, CO

Wray Lenz-Valko Invitational

In the lore of Wray track and field, the names Lenz and Valko figure in a big way. In fact, those names are on the current roster, but I'm a little doubtful they named the meet after current high school athletes. You should be, too. By now, you should know the teams to expect at this meet. More importantly, they know who to expect at this meet. The schools for the northeast corner of the state get to know one another very well before the season is over.

Wray High School
Wray, CO

Phil Wertman Invitational

This weekend's big rendezvous on the Western Slope is hosted by Fruita Monument. If you click on the meet page link, you'll find links to meet records going back to 1991. A little research turned those up, so that everyone has a clearer idea of marks to aim for. All of the Junction schools will be there, plus heavy hitters like Paonia, Coal Ridge, and Eagle Valley. The field deserves it, so Colorado Track XC is sending coverage to this one.

Fruita Monument High School
Grand Junction, CO

Akron Invitational 2014

Much of what doesn't get settled in Wray on Thursday could get settled in Akron on Saturday. The overlap of teams is, well, substantial. Limon, Liberty Common, and West Grand, however, are a few of the teams coming in on Saturday to provide at least a little bit of a change of scenery.

Akron High School
Akron, CO

Boulder County Championships

Oh, this is big. It's a slugfest. It's the kind of stage that might actually see Elise Cranny go after a record--unless she's headed out of town for the weekend. But, if you wait for any one big event, you'll miss a lot of great stuff waiting. The toughest decision here is trying to decide if you should stay trackside or mosey on over to the jumps, or take in a few throws.

And, absolutely, Colorado Track XC will have on-site coverage for this one. 

The one confusing element of this meet is that it's not precisely a Boulder County meet. There's not a lot of Broomfield, nor much of Frederick that lies within the bounds of Boulder County. It's more of a meet for schools whose district headquarters are domiciled in Boulder County. At this point, the principal private school in question, that being Shining Mountain Waldorf, is not on the list of teams attending. 

Broomfield High School
Broomfield, CO

Dakota Ridge Invitational

Yes, the stadium that never sleeps. Like Pomona last weekend, this one is big. Real big. We have about 30 teams headed to Jeffco Stadium on Saturday, including powerhouse programs like Palmer Ridge, Cherry Creek, Fort Collins, Valor, and so on. It's a long day of track and field action, but the day never seems long. If you aren't looking forward to a few relay showdowns, you're missing something about the teams coming to this meet. 

Dakota Ridge High School
Lakewood, CO

George Washington Patriot Invitational

You realize, don't you, that Dior Hall hasn't run a flight of hurdles in a Colorado meet yet this season? I'm guessing that changes this weekend--what better place to start than your own home meet? And, it's something of a showcase affair, too, with better than 20 schools making the trip to All-City Stadium. The list of schools coming suggests this meet will be a little heavy on the side of sprints. We'll hope the winds cooperate for the kind of showdown this could turn out to be.

And, for those wondering, yes, this is a Colorado Track XC coverage meet.

George Washington High School
Denver, CO

Grandview Invitational

With all the other big-deal meets in town, it's a little surprising that there is yet another on Saturday, but there is. In case you've forgotten about the venue, this one is being held in Cherokee Trail's backyard--Legacy Stadium. Cherokee Trail will be there. As will ThunderRidge, as will Highlands Ranch, as will Rocky Mountain... I can't speak for you, but I'm sensing some very nice relay action coming up.

Grandview High School
Aurora, CO

Holly Invitational

Holly is kind of your last taste of Colorado before you get to Kansas, home of former Colorado governor Roy Romer, and all that sort of stuff. It's also home to a brand-new track, and they'll be breaking it in this weekend. Figure that a good-sized chunk of the human population of southeastern Colorado will be there. There should be some pretty decent 1A state previews happening on the track. Potentially, we see Jason Barth, Koy Palmer, and Gabe Longworth all in the same heat of the 100.

Holly High School
Holly, CO

Kiowa Klassic

Although Kiowa has gone to Elizabeth a few times to host their meet, they're going to Elbert this year. And, it's a good thing Elbert is accustomed to hosting big crowds, because there's another one pointed their direction for Saturday. If you live along the Front Range and have ever wondered what the Kyle English show looks like, this might be a good opportunity to hang out by the jump pits. If it's a south wind blowing, you're pretty much sheltered from those winds there. Not so much so if it's a north wind. Chris Epps and Caleb Simons could be a good high jump show, but that involves pushing your way through the crowds between the horizontal jumps and the high jump.

Kiowa High School
Elbert, CO

Pine River Invitational

Bayfield hosts a lot of meets, so they need a lot of meet names. "Pine River" doesn't narrow things down a lot for most people in Colorado, but it is a clear indicator that the track at Bayfield High School will be busy again this Saturday. This one looks to be strictly a San Juan Basin affair. 

Bayfield High School
Bayfield, CO

Platte Valley Bronco Stampede

They're stampeding again in Kersey! They said they would accept up to 25 teams, and they got 25 teams. And, that makes for a pretty good Stampede. There is a sprinkling of 4A teams making their ways to Kersey, but it's largely a 2A and 3A affair, pulling in very competitive teams like Highland, Lutheran, Eaton, Resurrection Christian, University, and several more. It's getting to be the time of the season where you have to lay a few cards on the table, and this figures to be a meet where a lot of that gets done.

Platte Valley High School
Kersey, CO

Rangely Invitational

The small schools of northwestern Colorado find their way to the garden spot of western Rio Blanco County. We should get a good read on 1A powers Plateau Valley and North Park out of this one.

Rangely High School
Rangely, CO

Ray Campbell Invitational

It's a great meet if you can get in. But they try to keep this one on the side of smaller. Cherokee Trail is listed here as well as Grandview. That could mean split squad; it could mean boys one place and girls another. If it means that CT is bringing their A relays to FFC, then we have a major showdown on our hands. Sand Creek will add their throwing charm to this meet. And, truthfully, it's kind of an odd mixture of large and small schools. There is a nice slice of both crowds coming to this one.

Fountain-Fort Carson High School
Fountain, CO

Rock Canyon Jaguar Invitational

It wouldn't be a Saturday at Sports Authority Stadium without a track meet. Rock Canyon plays host this weekend. Eaglecrest, Pine Creek, Discovery Canyon, Douglas County, and Castle View are among the most potent names on the list of schools converging.

Rock Canyon High School
Parker, CO

Rye Thunderbolt Invitational

Rye has their own new facility and they're anxious to break it in. When I contacted Tammy Van Oort about this meet a couple months ago, they thought it would be a small, cozy meet. It looks like they were wrong about that. There's a sizeable crowd of 1A - 3A schools headed to the shadow of Greenhorn Mountain. It should be a good day for the eating establishments in Rye and Colorado City. Nobody is coming from exceptionally far away, but you can get a little restless driving from Rye to Westcliffe, or Las Animas, or Center.

Rye High School
Rye, CO

Thornton HS Maxine Ehrman Invitational

It would appear just about every major track and field facility in the Denver Metro area is busy this weekend. You won't be able to avoid the crowds at First Bank Stadium, either. As if the Colorado schools weren't enough, a couple of Wyoming programs are joining Thornton's little party. 

Thornton High School
Westminster, CO

WSCU-GHS Combined Invitational Track Meet

And, we finally get to the end of our list. Western State plays host to a small college meet, and Gunnison plays host to a little bit larger high school meet, both at the Mountaineer Bowl. The college crowd gets altitude conversions (and very large ones at that), but the high school crowd must settle for the times they get--although that's perq in the case of sprinters. Life isn't always equitable. 

Evidently, they have the snow cleared of the track in Gunnison. But, there's probably still a fair chill in the air.

You might be surprised how many high school teams want to run a meet at 7700 feet of elevation. Over 20 teams are on the list of attendees, but it's barely an upward bump in altitude for the San Luis Valley schools. And, for Lake County, it's a substantial drop in altitude. I'm honestly not sure if Telluride comes up or down for this meet, but probably down.

Gunnison High School
Gunnison, CO

So, there you have it--this weekend's menu of track and field action. It promises to be fun wherever you are.