The Cadet Field House will be bustling with holiday lights and track and field action starting at 2 PM on Friday afternoon. The Air Force Holiday Open kicks off the season for a large number of local track and field athletes--some high school, some college, and some with college well behind them (and even a small handful who have not yet started high school).
Although officially a collegiate meet, only Air Force and Adams State are even remotely close to sending a broad spectrum of athletes to this meet. A smattering of Colorado and Colorado State athletes will be competing as well.
Club programs spotlighting Vista Ridge, Lutheran, Castle View, and Mountain View athletes will be in attendance, with many more high school level athletes competing as unattached.
One of the more intriguing high school entries is Max Gilbertson in the 60 meter hurdles. Since this is a collegiate meet, that means Mr. Gilbertson will be skimming the tops of 42" hurdles, not the usual 39ers. His sister Zoe won't have any extra inches to deal with in the women's 60 hurdles. Nor will either have any extra distance to cover in the 300 meters.
Several accomplished high school pole vaulters--both male and female--will be lining up to vault off of Air Force's springy runway. Those checking poles include Andrea Willis, Kyle Rex, Blake Standring, Cooper Daniels, Josie Spitz, Taylor Alexander, Avery Paxton, and Kelly Chamberlain. Anthony Peters, Sierra Suazo, and Allyson Stanley are a few of the most recognizable high school names scattered across the other field events.
On the track, we'll get early-season looks at Dawnielle Lewis, Javan Lanier, Ki Jana Phillips, Julia Hall, Mia Coats, and several more.
Doubtless there will be a few names we'll be looking at more closely than we ever have before when the results go up. That's just part of the fun of a season-opening meet.
It is by no means a comprehensive look at the athletes on the high school indoor circuit, but it's certainly enough to stoke a little early interest before everyone settles into the holiday season.
Field event starts at 2 PM at the Cadet Field House, with track action commencing at 4 PM.