Showdown In Gunnison

There's a big meet brewing in Gunnison this weekend. 

Altitude? No problem. The Western State High School Open is drawing some top talent from across the state, regardless of the thin air. 

I'll be on hand for this meet, covering somewhat live via our twitter (ColoradoTrackXC) and instagram (comilesplit) accounts. 

What stands out most when scrolling over the heat sheets are the distance events -- there are some great races on tap.

But we'll get to that later...

Highlighting the long jump is Annalese Edwards and Ginny Bergstrom. This could be a two-way battle for the win that dip into some Colorado top-10 marks. 

Likewise, Mason Anthony and Aj Crowley stand tall among the boys competition in the long jump. The two are the No. 5 and No. 11 long jumpers in the state and should make for a good chess match. 

Sydney Trichler is the top entered female in the triple jump, and she'll be eyeing a Colorado top-10 mark. If she's got anyone to push her to new heights, it'll be Joanna Delfin, who comes in with the second-best mark. 

Edwards is additionally the top seed in the high hump at 5-01, but look for Trichler to give her some competition. 

Keep an eye on the boys high jump -- a battle among Colorado's best is brewing. Jasper Germain will open his 2018 season at the Mountaineer Field House. Germain hasn't competed this indoor season yet, but holds a 6-7 personal best. If he duplicates that, he'll be the new No. 1 in Colorado. Look for Colorado No. 7 Andrew Jorgenson to push the bar higher. 

And the heat doesn't end there. 

Reece Davidson brings his arms and Colorado No. 1 mark to Gunnison for the shot put. Davidson went 55-05 days ago in Golden, so you know he'll be looking to keep his momentum rolling. 

The boys 60 could make for a great race that goes to the line. There are at least five guys capable of dipping under 7.40. 

Jaquaireus Grant highights the 200s. Grant is the No. 7 200 runner in the state and appears clear of the field.

Sub 60 400 runners Madisyn Minerich and Joslin Blair highlight the girls 400 entrant list. Western's wide turns and thin air could be help here - spectators could be treated so more Colorado top-10 marks coming out of this race. 

A 1,600 steeple? At 7,770 feet? Indoors?

Palmer Ridge's Emily Gentry and Anna Busath look to lead the charge on the girls side while Sadio Fenner, who is destined to be a college steepler, will lead the charge on the boys. The recent Nebraska-commit will have company in Kieran Nay and Connor McCabe. Despite the oddity surrounding the event, it's already shaping up to be a very competitive affair. 

The mile, in all its prestige, will be a hotly contested race. The girls mile hosts a slew of Colorado's best, as Battle Mountain is bringing the battle to Gunnison. There are three sub 5:10 milers on the start list. There's Lizzy HardingNaomi Harding, and Madi Kenyon, who will make for a great race. Additionally, Battle Mountain's Alex Raichart should be in the mix. 

The boys race appears to be a two-way race between Arizona's Robby Foster and hometown favorite Colton Stice. Given Gunnison's 7,700 feet of chest pain, Stice has the upper hand. Of note, Nay, who is listed in the steeple as well, is on the entrant list for the mile -- which runs right after the steeple. Whether he goes full ironman or not and runs both, we'll see. 

And the entertainment won't end there. The 800s look stacked as well. The Battle Mountain trio will storm the half-mile on the girls side, while the boys side is loaded. 

Stice, Foster McCabe, and Fenner are on the 800 list, along with Battle Mountains James Moran, Alamosa's Richard Sais, and Wheat Ridge 1:56 half-miler Drew Seidel. A sub-2, even at this altitude, looks needed to win this race. 

The 3,200 will be a mixed race and appears Tyman Smart's for the taking. On the girls side Syndey Petersen should mix it up with the boys.