Sand Creek Scorpion Freezes 'Em Out Again

Kobe Christiansen's winning 400 was one of many reasons for Vista Ridge coach Jay Peltier to smile on a cold Friday evening. Photos by Alan Versaw.

Word is out around Colorado Springs about the Sand Creek Scorpion. It's out about two things: 1) the meet is always cold, and 2) it's a great opportunity for athletes who don't always make the rankings meets to get a taste of what a rankings meet is like. 

For whatever reason, the weather is always chilly in Colorado Springs on the evening of the first Friday in April. It's even more reliable than snow on the ground at Easter. Somehow, though, we all get through it.

And, each year, a few athletes discover a little something positive about themselves at this meet.

One of those setting a new standard for himself was Vista Ridge high jumper Hunter Maldonado. Last year, Maldonado found a ceiling at 6-0. Maldonado opened this season at 6-4. Joining him on the discovery parade was teammate Kobe Christiansen. Christiansen ran away from the 400 field in 52.46. And, what coach wouldn't love to find out he has a 52.46 sophomore on his squad?

Also from VR, Reed Rowan swept the shot put and discus with PR marks of 46-6.5 and 138-2. Those PRs lasted, however, all of about 18 hours as Rowan reset both of them on Saturday at the Palmer Terror. But, it was still a great, if somewhat chilly, start on the season for Rowan.

Elizabeth's Tyler Curtis enjoyed his first foray over 20 feet, winning the long jump at 20-4.5. 

Not be outdone by the boys, Ashten Loeks of Elizabeth took an upset win in the 800 at 2:31.95. That's not a bad way to start off your high school career at 800 meters. Teammate, and fellow freshman, Ella Benkendorf won the 400 at 1:05.12, a mark that will probably change inversely with both temperature and speed of headwind up the finish straight (yes, indeed, the Vista Ridge track is set up to finish races going north).

There were, of course, some more familiar names present at the meet as well. Elizabeth's Tegan Alexander swept the 100 and 200. Custer County's Jerald Taylor made short work (relatively speaking, of course) of both the 1600 and 3200. Green Mountain's Alexis LaLiberte made a sweep of the girls throws. Green Mountain's Bailey Sharon was better than two seconds ahead of the 300 hurdles field. Anthony Peters put in enough of a performance to win the 200 meters. Tyler Prejean cleaned up on the 300 hurdles.

And, somewhere, Sand Creek coach Bobby Tillman is huddled in a corner wondering what he has to do to host a meet with no snow to clear, no biting winds to endure, and temperatures that reach, maybe, into the balmy ranges of the 50s.

Meet Results and Photos