Cherry Creek's Olivia Anderson made her mark in the 300 hurdles as a freshman. She's back--and better now--as a sophomore. Colorado Track XC file photo.
Every year, the Mullen meet is one of the most competitive and exciting in the entire state. This year promises to be no different.
Even with a sizable contingent of Colorado runners (mostly boys) headed out to California to compete in the Arcadia Invitational, the fields for most events at Mullen are still loaded.
Running roughly in the order the events will happen, you'll want to be sure to catch the following higlights:
1. Girls Long Jump - Brittany Lewis vs. Annie Kunz vs. Amy Medina. These three have been posting great marks for a couple of years running. Tomorrow they go head-to-head in competition.
2. Girls 1600 - Dominique Gerard, Eleanor Fulton, and Kaitlin Hanenburg square off in a four lapper that just might be as good as last year's.
3. Boys Long Jump - Steven Walker, Kyle Thomas, and Cameron Carter are names that are still a little unfamiliar but the season is still young and the promise is there. This should be a tight contest.
4. Girls Discus - Kiah Hicks and Alexis Cooks have already enjoyed some big throws this season. On Saturday, they share the same ring.
5. Girls 100 Hurdles - This race assembles a field that includes the likes of Sa'De Lewis, Jamie Derrieux, Annie Kunz, Sara Benson, Kelsey Ankoviak, and Kayla Wein. There isn't much margin for error within this group.
6. Boys 110 Hurdles - Right now, Trevor Brown has no peer in the state in this event. The rest of the field is solid and might get a lift from competing against Brown.
7. Girls 400 - An intriguing matchup between a current and former athlete of Brian Kula--Elizabeth Jefferson vs. Dana Gaetani.
8. Boys 400 - Keep an eye on the top heat. Among others, it should be Kordell Deffebaugh, Kevin Scheuerman, Trent Ireland, and Josh Chance. Showdown.
9. Girls 100 - Some old faces, some new, all fast. Look for Christine Scott's debut as a Mullen Mustang. But, she'll have to deal with Kayla Fisher-Taylor, Andi Slouka, Charron Johnson, Iris Vollmer, and Carly DeLorenzo.
10. Boys 100 - For many Colorado track fans, this will be opportunity #1 to see much-heralded Eaglecrest freshman Marcus Harris. Don't blink. Trent Ireland and Kenny Chambers will be looking to keep Harris company, or maybe even break away.
11. Girls 300 Hurdles - Olivia Anderson is the current state rankings leader. Find out why.
12. Boys 300 Hurdles - Kumar Pinkney, Ben Hinckfoot, Trevor Brown, Keith Limary, and few others. Someone will walk away with a worthwhile crown in this one.
13. Boys Discus - Jaden Terry threw in the mid 180s last week. Can he push it out closer to 200 this week?
14. Girls 800 - We all already know about Eleanor Fulton and what she's capable of. Vanessa Fabrizio and Emily LaValley have quietly been putting up the kind of marks that suggest they're going to be ready to roll. We just might see some times dropping well below 2:15.
15. Girls 200 - Much the same group as the 100. Who can put on the show when the legs are a little tired?
16. Boys 200 - Ditto girls 200. Somebody is likely to have a chip on his shoulder after the 100 and be looking for redemption in the 200.
17. Boys 3200 - Hondo Katz has the top seed going into the race. The field has been depleted a little by the Arcadia meet and Katz didn't dabble much in the longer distances in previous years. Can he live up to his seed?
18. Boys 4x400 - There are some traditional powers in this field and the focus will once again be on Brian Kula's current team and his former team. Valor vs. Littleton. And can either one hold off Sierra? Can 3A entry The Classical Academy take the heat in this field? It should be a fun and fitting conclusion to the meet.
And, for all that blather about who to look for, somebody is going to sneak up, have the performance of the season thus far, and win an event that nobody gave them a chance to win.
It will be fun to watch!