Today In History: Two Near Misses At St. Vrain

Max Manson nearly took down his dad's 33 year-old pole vault record at the St. Vrain Invitational last year.

It's been a year to the day - May 11, 2019, and we can still feel those inches, or tenths of a second...


Just a few inches.

That's all that separated a long-standing state record from being broken. History being made, or history eluding us, again, at the 2019 St. Vrain Invitational in Longmont. 

And it wasn't just one event, it was two.

Max Manson and Cole Sprout were both chasing records that are well over three decades old - Pat Manson (Max's dad) set the Colorado pole vault record at 17-7.5 in 1986, while Rich Martinez set the Colorado 1,600 record at 4:10.98 in 1981.

Inches. Or, a tenth of a second.

Just a few.

That's all that separated Manson and Sprout from wiping out three decades-old records, and replacing it with theirs.

Despite the near- misses, both performances were jaw-dropping, head-spinning, eye-opening, you get the idea.

They were big.

In the pole vault Manson went 17-4 for nation-leading, state-leading mark. After soaring through the air higher than anyone in the country this season, he promptly had the bar raised to 17-8 - a half-inch above his father's record.

Manson had the crowd in the grasp of his hands - everyone wanted to witness history in the making. In each attempt the crowd clapped along while he sprinted down the runway, up, up, here comes the crescendo, and over, and "AW!"

Oh, so close...

After faltering through the first two attempts, the Monarch senior cleared the height on the third attempt, but it was inches -inches- too soon, that lead the bar to be touched ever so slightly on his way down.


Sprout ran the second fastest 1,600 ever run in Colorado. The Valor Christian junior soloed a 4:11.13. After cruising through the opening lap just a tick under 62 seconds, he powered on, chasing the shadow of Martinez's record.

With a lap to go Sprout needed a 60-second final quarter to claim the record. As what's become a common sight to witness Sprout do un-worldy things, he shifted into another gear around the top of the track while the crowed cheered him on, urging him to break the record. With 200 to go he had 30 seconds remaining on the clock, and when he entered then final straight, 15. It appeared that he'd nearly get it, or nearly miss it.

The crowd rose to their feet as he neared the finish line, all eyes were on Sprout, and the clock. He threw one last lean at the line but when the clock stopped, it was a near miss - by inches. Here comes the crescendo, and once again that familiar sound: "AW!"

Oh, so close... 

With COVID-19 ravaging track and field seasons across the country, these are two records that remain in the record books to this day.