Ritzenhein Torches 4:44.30 1600 At Niwot Invitational


Addison Ritzenhein stood motionless on the starting line while a mixture of color littered the green hill behind her. 

There might not be stands for spectators on the west side of Niwot's track, but that didn't deter any fans from making themselves comfortable in (arguably) the epicenter of Colorado's running community. 

Editor's Note: A slew of professional training groups utilize Niwot's track on a weekly basis. 

But in this moment, the Niwot sophomore stood patiently waiting the starter's gun for the girl's 1,600 at the Niwot Invitational.

Likewise, parents, teammates, and fans lined the green hill in anticipation of how this one would play out. 

Even though Ritzenhein has quickly made a reputation comprised of consistency - consistency in terms of having great races, or good ones. 

The question here was: how fast would she run?

And Ritzenhein answered that question in four-minutes, and 44-seconds. 

The Niwot sophomore bolted to the front of the pack, and controlled the pace from the opening strides. 

Not so motionless anymore. 

Ritzenhein's intentions were clear before the clock hit 60-seconds. 

She cruised around the track like a metronome, with all of her ambitions in front of her.  

Summit's Ella Hagen was the only runner in the field daring enough to give chase, though Ritzenhein -  the 2023 Nike Cross National Champion - added to her lead with each lap. 

Ritzenhein cooked up a 4:44.30 clocking.

That's dessert before dinner. 

The performance was a Colorado No. 1, US No. 2 (before any altitude conversions), and the fourth-fastest time ever run on Colorado soil. 

Add that it was a personal best for Ritzenhein, a meet record, and a track record. 

If it's even possible, that last bit adds even more impressiveness to the feat, given the star-studded alumni who have sweat on that track. 

The list includes Olympian and current American record holder in the indoor 5,000, Elise Cranny, and Stanford's Taylor James and Madison Shults, just to name a few...

And here, Ritzenhein made a 4:44 at 5,164-feet of elevation look like another day in the office. 

Doubling upwards in distance...

Seven girls have broken 11-minutes in the 3,200 in the first three weeks of the season. 

Two run for Mountain Vista. 

Juliet Frum and Peyton Adams made it a 1-2 sweep for Vista Nation in the 3,200, with Frum taking the W in a monstrous Colorado PR of 10:48.50 - that's also a CO No. 1. Adams was a few strides back in 10:51.74. 

The 400 saw yet another loaded field. 

And Aspen Webb took down all-comers. 

The Chatfield senior kicked hard over the final 100-meters to win this one in a state-leading 56.96. 

Six of the top-10 times run in Colorado this season came in this race. 

Of additional note on Webb's performance - that's the fifth time she's run under 57-seconds in 2024 - and Saturday's win was her first time racing the event outdoors this season.

Three weeks ago she ran 56.07 to finish seventh in the event at Nike Indoor Nationals

Doubling up in distance...

Kiki Vaughn took the 800 down to a kick, winning the event in a CO No. 2 of 2:15.69. Anna Prok was a few strides back in 2:16.50. 

In the hurdles we saw just how good Karamoko Sacko is. 

Photo by Tim McDonald

The Northfield senior torched a 13.94 PR - that's his second time under 14-seconds in two weeks, and it's a CO No. 1 by well over half-a-second. 

Like the girl's 800, the boy's 1,600 saw a stellar field kick to a wild finish - seven boys finished within three-seconds of each other. 

And emerging victorious was Mountain Vista's Benjamin Anderson, who ran a state-leading 4:16.54. Valor Christian's Dane Eike was a close second in 4:16.87.

Doubling up in distance, Cheyenne Mountain's Aiden Le Roux telescoped away with the W in the 3,200, running a state-leading 9:19. 

Moving along to the field events...