In track and among distance runners, there is a predictable problem. Nearly everyone thinks the 1600 is their best race and wants to run that race. So, how do you solve the problem? You hold a meet where the 3200 and 800 are the only events.
That's what they didn't today at today's slightly overnamed Kokopelli REAL Training Vista Nation Valor Track Series 2 Meet. You can get a couple laps of the 3200 in before you correctly spit out the full meet name.
That aside, there was some excellent racing to be had. Enough of it that it's difficult to pick the highlight of the meet. Allowing for that difficulty, I'll give you your choice from three options (you can, of course, submit a write-in option for a different highlight if you know my email address).
So as not the prejudice things by order of presentation, we'll take the possible highlights in the order they happened.
We had a clue or two beforehand. A cursory glance at the heat sheets revealed this one was likely to be a burner. Only, the likely favorite of the crew was Zane Bergen, the 4A cross country state champion from Niwot.
Bergen never found the lead. James Overberg had other plans. Overberg took the lead early, then withstood a challenge from Bergen on laps two and three and was never heard from, at least by the field, again.
Not Bergen, not anybody, could close the gap on Overberg. When the clock had stopped ticking, he had finished in 9:23 and opened a six-second gap on Grayden Rauba in second. Six seconds in 560-some seconds doesn't sound like much until you see it on the track. Overberg was dominant.
The setup heat for the final, and top, heat of the girls 800 featured Anna Prok. You might argue that the younger Prok sister unleashed a little too soon, but she hung on for the win over Tessa Walter.
And that, of course, provided a suitable stage for older sister Mia to lay the hammer down and complete a Prok sweep of the top two heats.
The first lap of the top heat belonged to Madison Shults. One stride behind Shults the whole way, however, was Mia Prok. A little before 600 meters, just as younger sister Anna had done, Mia hit the gas and surged into the lead. To this point, the script was executed perfectly.
Only nobody told Madison Shults about the script. Or, if they did, they didn't check to see that Shults was paying attention. At about 700 meters, Shults was in Prok's hip pocket, but Prok couldn't match Schults's speed down the finish straight. Shults would end up prevailing, 2:15.84 to 2:16.75. Not bad times at all for March.
Shults would finish with the win by a margin of just under a second.
Last week, William Merrick ran a 1:53.68 800 in little and got lots of accolades (including a MileSplit cover photo) for his effort.
Evidently, Harrison Witt completed his MileSplit homework sometime over the last week. Knowing what needed to be done, Witt surged into the lead early, just as Merrick did last week.
Nobody ever came close to catching a ride from Witt's effort. Rather, he pressed the pace all the way through to the finish and ended up logging a time of 1:53.60.
Ladies and gentlemen, I suspect we have a dazzler of a showdown headed our way sometime later this spring. Be sure to be there when it happens. Records may fall.