Six Events To Watch At The Pomona Invitational

The 2023 edition of The Pomona Invitational is loaded.

This meet has pre-state vibes...

And it sort of makes sense - it's at JeffCo Stadium.

We've scanned the entry list, and compiled six events you won't want to miss.


Girls 400

How many will crack 60-seconds here?

This race features the top-two quarter-milers in Colorado this season - Mountain Vista's Rachel Bair, and Chatfield's Aspen Webb, and four of the top-eight - Mountain Vista's Ashley Hollingshead, and Eaton's Andie Rasmussen.

Bair highlights the field with her state-leading 57.71 from the NoCo Series #1, where Webb was a few strides back in a Colorado No. 2 of 58.19.

What's additionally impressive, is that Bair and Webb have only raced the 400 once this season (and the result was the top-two times in Colorado.)

Hollingshead and Rasmussen have both dipped under 59-seconds this season, along with Valor Christian's Jocelyn Millican and Ellie Londo, and Douglas County's Chloe Johnson.

The girl's 400 final is scheduled to run Saturday at 11:55 a.m.

Boys 1,600

On paper this looks like the Event Of The Meet. 

The boy's 1,600 is absolutely loaded...

This race has pre-state vibes written all over it.

There's Mountain Vista's Tyler Downs and Benjamin AndersonValor Christian's Dane Eike, Fort Collins' Christian Groendyk, Cheyenne Mountain's Kaden Levings and Brogan Collins, Resurrection Christian's Jackson Fagerlin, and Central (GJ)'s Shalom Trowbridge

And the list goes on, and on, and on...

Two stand-outs have to be Downs and Groendyk - the 5A state cross country champ.

This will be the first meeting between Downs and Groendyk this season. Both are coming off stellar performances - last week Downs ran 1:53.68 at the Legend Titan Track Clash, and he's run 9:06 in the 3,200 in Colorado. Additionally, he's run 4:14 in Colorado before the season began.

Groendyk is coming off an 8:54.43 3,200 at lower elevations at the Arcadia Invitational. He hasn't raced a 1,600 this season, though he's clearly gearing up for a quicker race - he won the 800 at the Randy Yaussi City Championships in 1:58.54.

What adds a bit more spice to this race is the fact that Downs and Groendyk will meet again at this same venue next month for the Colorado State Championships. (Along with defending state champ Drew Costelow - he's not racing the 1,600 here, he's running the 800.)

This race has all the ingredients to be one tasty race. And because of how stacked it is, it's likely that strategy will play a massive role in the outcome. It'll either be a real burner from the start, or a sit-and-kick affair.

The boy's 1,600 is scheduled to run Saturday at 10:50 a.m.

Girls 3,200

Like the boy's 1,600, the girl's 3,200 is loaded. 

Pomona's Emma Stutzman is the headliner here - and with good reason. Not only did she win this race last year with one spike (over the final mile, and with a kick!), she's coming in blazing off a US No. 4 of 9:56.34 from last week's Arcadia Invitational - that's the third-fastest time ever run by a Coloradan.

On paper Stutzman looks to be the favorite, making the race for second The Race.

Fort Collins' Ella Johns is coming off a nicely sized personal best from the Arcadia Invitational, where she ran 10:27.

She'll have Arapahoe's  Emily Lamontagne and Ava Mitchell, Cherry Creek's Addison Price, and Mountain Vista's Peyton Adams to battle with.

Mitchell is the only one in the field who has broken 11-minutes in Colorado this season (though altitude adjustments would keep Stutzman and Johns well under the barrier.)

Editor's Note:  This race will not be live-streamed since it's on Friday, though we'll have archived video of this race loaded to MileSplit.

Girls 300H

This race will (likely) feature three of the top-nine in the event this season.

Highlighting the field is Vista Peak's Kendall McCoy. She's been undefeated in this event this season (she's raced it twice), and owns a season-best of 44.59 from the Northfield Nighthawk Invite. In both of her outings she's crossed the line under 45.50 seconds.

At the Northfield Nighthawk Justice Ephrim was just a few strides behind her in 44.71. That was Ephrim's first go at the 300H this season. 

These two are currently the No. 2 and No. 3 in the event so far this season, and they'll toe the line again Saturday.

ThunderRidge's Kyasia Sanders and Eaton's Andie Rasmussen could also be in the mix. Sanders has run 45.15 so far, and Rasmussen with her massive range has run 46.80.

The 300H final is scheduled to run Saturday at 12:10 p.m.

Boys Discus

Two of Colorado's best discus throwers will battle here. 

Central (GJ)'s Daniel Baroumbaye and Chatfield's Charlie Lafore highlight here. 

Baroumbaye has been getting better every week, and he's coming off a 183-2 victory at last week's Frank Woodburn Invitational. Add that he's been undefeated in the event this season, claiming five-consecutive victories. Every win has been beyond 162-feet.

Likewise, LaFore is coming off a PR of his own. Last week he won the City of Littleton Track & Field Championships with a toss of 176-0. He's only competed in the event twice this season, both wins, and both beyond 168-feet.

Boys 4x800

Word around the track is that there's a state-record attempt on tap here...

Valor Christian is loading up, and laser-focused on Smoky Hill's 7:45.10. When doing the math, it's actually very possible that spectators could be treated with a state record Friday afternoon. 

Valor will need to average roughly 1:56 through their four runners, and considering that Drew Costelow is coming off a 1:50.76 800 at the Arcadia Invitational, it's possible...

Editor's Note:  This race will not be live-streamed since it's on Friday, though we'll have archived video of this race loaded to MileSplit.