Top Stories Of 2019 No. 8: Mile Madness At Music City

Looking back at the 2019 track season gives me goosebumps, because Cole Sprout and Cruz Culpepper left some ashes on the track a few weeks after the state meet... 

The two (then) juniors took down a stellar field at the Music City Distance Carnival that was at the time the fastest, and deepest field in the country.

Sprout's 4:04.19 full mile led Culpepper across the finish line in 4:04.82 for a 1-2 finish. The times were personal bests for both, and topped the national rankings as the top two times in the country for just over two weeks.

Their performances led a charge of milers down to that 4-minute barrier, setting up the stage for an explosive 2020 track season where it's safe to bet that someone will give chase at the most coveted of barriers in track and field, the four-minute mile.

Sprout and Culpepper's 1-2 finish, along with their US No. 1 and 2 (at the time) land them at the No. 8 Story of the Year.

Watch the race below.

Excerpt from "Madness At The Music City Distance Carnival"

"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."