Colorado Shines Bright At The Desert Dream Last Hurrah

Cruz Culpepper has been quiet over the past few months following that 4:00 indoor mile, but he sure brought the noise to the Desert Dream Last Hurrah Invitational in San Tan Valley, Arizona Saturday night. 

A front-heavy elite 800 field toed the line under the lights Saturday night and put on a show for eager track fans that have been thirsty for action. 

Pacers set an insanely hot pace, taking a trio - John LesterDarius Kipyego, and Culpepper, through an eye-opening first lap just over 52 seconds. 

Culpepper sat back, waiting to unleash that trademark kick, while Lester led Kipyego around the top of the track. 

With 250 to go Lester began to stretch his lead. Behind him Culpepper shifted gears, passing Kipyego around the corner. 

Onwards into the final straight Culpepper began to take large bites out of Lester's lead, but the finish line would come before he could finish the meal. 

But that didn't matter. 

When the two crossed the line all eyes were on the clock. Lester had the victory in 1:48.26, just ahead of Culpepper's 1:48.51.Both were huge PRs, and the two fastest 800s run in the country this year.

Culpepper's 1:48.51 is the fastest 800 ever run by a Colorado boy. 

And it wasn't the only big performance coming out of the weekend. 

Highlighting Thursday's action for Colorado was Northfield's Giavonna Meeks, who won the girl's hammer throw with a toss of 134-02.

Meeks rallied back from Thursday's performance to finish third in the discus with a toss of 128-3 Friday, and third in the shot put Saturday with a mark of 40-01.50.

On the track Gavin Schurr stole the show Friday night. The Fairview junior swept the sprints, winning the 100 in a personal best of 10.56, and the 200 in a stellar 21.47.

That's a US No. 3 in the 100, and a US No. 4 in the 200.

Schurr came back Saturday in the 400, running 49.08 to finish third, just ahead of Ryan Chacon's 49.54.

Erik Le Roux led Colorado in the boy's 1,600, finishing third in 4:19, while Lukas Haug was three places back in 4:23. 

Le Roux doubled back Saturday for a big PR in the 3,200. The Cheyenne Mountain sophomore ran 9:09 to finish third.

Among the many highlights for the girl's was Camille Peisner, who finished second in the 200 in 25.20, just ahead of freshman teammate Peyton Holmes, who finished third in 26.23.

Peisner toed the line in the 400 Saturday and went on on to finish second in 57.73.

The girl's mile saw five dip under 4:50. 

Leading the way for Colorado was Riley Stewart, who finished fourth in 4:49.42. Eight-grader and future Air Academy freshman Bethany Michalak finished eighth in 4:55.45. 

The 3,200 was just as stacked, if not more. 

Niwot's Lucca Fulkerson finished ninth in 10:47 a day after finishing 15th in the 1,600 in 5:05.

Highlights from Friday night's field events came from the Valor Christian 1-2 punch of Sadie McMullen and Megan Lonneman. McMullen took the victory with a leap of 19-0, while Lonneman was second in 17-9.