Madness At The Music City Distance Carnival


Cole Sprout and Cruz Culpepper went 1-2 in the mile. Sprout ran a nation-leading 4:04.19 to win the mile, and Culpepper was just a stride behind in 4:04.82.

I'm running out of phrases for when great things happen, so I'll stick with my current, corny, over-the-top one, because in this case, it really seems fitting...

"Holy Shamoley, It's a Bobby Dazzler!"

Colorado sent a few to the Music City Distance Carnival, and the few made sure to run their share of Top Pocket performances!

The boy's mile was insane, and that's an understatement. Cole Sprout and Cruz Culpepper gave Colorado the 1-2  on the national scene it's been yearning for since cross country. 

The pack went out quick - just over 61 seconds with Sprout and Culpepper hovering back a few strides before moving on up. A 2:03 half-mile meant this race was bound to be fast, and it lived up to the hype. 

With 600 to go Sprout was hovering in third and Culpepper made a surge to jump into the race for the big W. 

At the bell the possibility of a Colorado 1-2 seemed possible as Sprout and Culpepper were within striking distance. They cruised through the 1200 at 3:05 and as if on cue the the kicks began one by one. 

Sprout, who was chasing about five meters behind, began to inch his way up, and behind him a bigger chase was heating up. 

With 200 to go Sprout looked to be in prime position to take the W, and that's how the story went. The Valor Christian junior took the wide turn around in Lane 2 and claimed the lead in the final 160 meters while state-mate Culpepper was kicking hard. 

Heading into the final straight Sprout was clear of the field and Culpepper was sprinting down the freeway of Lane 3. 

Sprout sprinted his way to a big win, running a nation-leading 4:04.19, with a crazy 59.17 final lap, while Culpepper was just a step behind in second in 4:04.82, running the second fastest time in the country with a just-as-crazy 59.51 final lap. 

And that was for a *full* mile.

The win was redemption for Sprout, who took second to Jack Renfree at NBNI in March.

Yes believe it's true - Colorado just went 1-2 with the two fastest mile times in the country - and they're both juniors... 

They don't call the Denver area Mile High for nothing!

Behind all the chaos of who would win and how fast they'd run, Denver West's Yasin Sado ran an incredible race of his own, running 4:09.25. 


Taylor James gave Colorado a big, big win in the 800 to kick off Saturday evening's festivities.

The Niwot sophomore (soon-to-be-junior) sat in second place through the opening lap, which the pack cruised through just over 61 seconds. Despite a near-fall after being tripped just before the 400 was reached, she held her pace and regrouped. 

Down the backstretch it appeared that nearly everyone was still in the hunt, though James sat in the most ideal position to kick for the win, and that's exactly what she did. 

With 200 meters to go she kicked hard and around the corner. With 100 to go the race was down to two. James moved out to lane 2 - then lane 3 when Bailey Goggans moved out and off the rail. Despite kicking from one lane outside the Lane Of High Hopes (Lane 2), Lane 3 became her Lane of High(er) Hopes, and she rocketed by Goggans with 40 meters of real estate remaining. 

James crossed the finish line without anyone breathing down her back, in 2:05.83 for the second fastest half-mile in the country, a huge personal best, and the biggest win of her young career. 

As incredible as James' run was, she wasn't the only Colorado half-miler with a big result.

Alamosa's Lilly Lavier had a huge race of her own, running a four-second PR of 2:08.57 to finish fourth, and Keely Jones capped her Valor Christian career with a 2:14.22 finish to give Colorado its third top-10 performer. 

In the boy's 800 Niwot's Jack Kenkel was the lone Coloradan in the field, and he represented the Centennial State well with a third place finish in a two-second PR of 1:53.80.

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