What a way to spend a Saturday night: glued to your computer screen, watching the Brooks PR Invitational...
Seven of Colorado's titans headed west to Seattle, and all seven put on quite a show.
Between the dominance in the distance events, the quantity (three!) in those 800s, and the fire in the sprints, it was yet another big night for the Centennial State.
Cole Sprout opened up the evening with Colorado's lone title, and it was quite the artistic display of dominance.
After the pack cruised through the opening mile in 4:27 the Valor Christian junior went to work, meticulously ramping up the pace with each stride.
Sprout's surge began the slow and inevitable demise of nearly the entire field, as they began to drop like flies.
One by one they fell as Sprout ran freely up front. Heading into the final 800 meters it appeared the race was down to two, but appearing was all that it was, as Sprout did his best Peter Pan impression and lost every challenging shadow, including his own. With 600 to go the race was his, and the eighth and final lap would be a victory lap of sorts. Still, he pressed on.
He ran on alone through the final lap, like he has through most of his races this outdoor season, and took one final glance over his shoulder with 200 meters to go for good measure.
The race was his.
Sprout ran into the final straightaway clear of the field for an 8:46 victory.
The win was redemption, as he finished second here a year ago.
Next on the track was Anna Hall, who had double-duty, as she competed in the 100 Hurdles, and 800, within half an hour of each other.
In the 100H the Valor Christian senior and future Georgia Bulldog dipped under 14 seconds in 100 Hurdles for a solid runner-up finish, running 13.97.
On the boy's side of the competition Zion Gordon capped his big season with a fourth place finish in the 110 Hurdles, running just off his personal best, running 13.81
A half our later Colorado has its highest-quantity showing at the meet, as Taylor James, Marlena Preigh, and Hall were on the line in the 800.
The pace was steady from the gun, but that left the entire field still in the race as they cruised through the opening lap in 63 seconds. Heading down the backstretch for the final time saw the track filled three-lanes wide with James and Preigh still in the hunt, and Hall just a few steps back.
With 200 to go it still appeared to be anyone's race, though the flood gates had been opened and Preigh and James found themselves in need of a serious kick around the outside if they still had any hopes of a podium (top three) finish.
With 100 to go the race for the top two was nearly called, but Preigh and and a late-charge from James were able to give the Centennial State a 3-4 finish. James caught Preigh just a few strides before the line to finish third in 2:06.48, and Preigh a stride back in fourth in a season best of 2:06.70. Hall finished 10th in a PR of 2:11.02
Sydney Holiday capped her first year as a Colorado athlete in a big way. The Broomfield junior completed her ascension to the elite group of the best sprinters in the country with an impressive third place finish in the 100, running 11.61 to finish third.
The final race of the day had all the joy and woe of competition.
The boy's mile had an insane finish, and a crazy fall that took out a handful of milers in the final 600 meters.
Cruz Culpepper sat deep within the field through an opening lap just over 62 seconds. The pace hovered around 4:08 pace through the 800, begging for an insane finish - and that's exactly what happened.
The entire field was licking their chops heading into the final 700 meters, as several milers went into lane three. The chaos caused some contact with 600 to go, taking out a few runners. Culpepper was just a few strides away from the wreck.
The race had six still in the hunt heading into the final lap, which they cruised by in 3:06. An
And then the kicks began...
One by one they went, off and away into the final 300 meters. Culpepper battled to maintain connection, but the race for the big giant W was just out of his reach. With 200 to go he had sixth locked up, but he wasn't done. As four battled for the win into the final straight, Culpepper was cleaning up the bodies falling off the hot last-lap pace.
Culpepper's final lap was somewhere along the lines of a 59+, but it required an insane 57-second final lap to claim the victory.
Culpepper finished fifth in 4:06.05.