This Week in Track and Field

2A star Annie Hughes tagged along with the Salida group at the Air Force High School Open, and could figure with the same group again at Western State this weekend.

For the Colorado high school indoor season, this is it. After this week, if you have indoor business left to take care of, it means a trip outside the borders of Colorado (and some very stiff competition). 

Realistically, there are three meet options this weekend.

Thursday night's offering is #4 of 4 in the Mines High School Indoor Open Series. The series has been a smashing success thus far. There's no reason to believe #4 will be any different. Remember, this one runs the 3000 as the distance event and includes the triple jump.

Attendance will likely be a bit on the rebound after last weekend.

Saturday's options are twofold, and both require some travel for most Colorado athletes.

The Western State Indoor Open takes place in Gunnison. For many Western Slope athletes, this will be their lone indoor experience of the season. But, they'll be joined by several athletes from the Front Range as well. 

A unique feature of the Western State meet is the 1600 meter indoor steeplechase. There is no water jump, but there is a steeple barrier to be negotiated on both the front and back straight. The event has done well in two previous trials. 

Closer for some, but farther for most, is the Great Southwest Classic Indoor in Albuquerque. This year's edition of the meet has attracted a serious cross section of talent--and particularly so in the sprint events--from Texas. Anyone going down for a visit to the banked Mondo oval in downtown Albuquerque had best be bringing their wheels with them.

Although the special events have historically done little or nothing to attract Colorado athletes, unique features of this meet are the weight throw and mile race walk competitions. Another nice feature of Great Southwest is that its quarters in a downtown convention center make it an exceptionally spacious indoor meet venue. 

All three meets figure to draw well from the Colorado population. It says something about indoor track and field here in Colorado if three different meets in one weekend can draw a nice cross section of talent. And, the Western State and Great Southwest meets provide nice changes of scenery for those who know the environs of the Cadet Field House and Steinhauer Field House just a little too well by now.

MileSplit will be live streaming the Great Southwest Classic Indoor. We'll be posting results from all three meets as soon as they come our way. Colorado Track XC will be sending coverage to both Gunnison and Albuquerque this weekend.