The premier contest of the 4A state track meet may very well be the boys 1600, and Canon City's Tabor Stevens is one of the top contenders. Photo by Alan Versaw.
Because just about nothing is certain about the composition of relay teams in the 4A and 5A classifications, I will dispense with the part of the articles that lists the events for several of the top athletes in the meet. Instead, I will focus solely on the most delectable match-ups on tap for the weekend.
Starting with the boys...
Boys 100 - The big question here is whether anyone has the wheels to stay with Mullen's Malik McKinney, a relative latecomer to the season. Trent Ireland, Kenny Warner, and Zane Evans all have serious wheels, but McKinney comes in as the favorite. It will be a very fast 100, regardless of who wins.
Boys 400 - With four entries boasting times under 49 seconds from a less-than-favorable spring, this one should be closely contested. Nolan Mayhew of Cheyenne Mountain wears the favorite's mantle.
Boys 1600 - The boys 800 could be stellar, but the Saturday feature race of the 1600 looks like it will be even better. Chris Ganem, David Perry, Tabor Stevens, and Scott Fauble square off. Who will take the early lead? Who will try to be patient and win by a kick at the end. Will this be the race that knocks down the long-standing all-classification record in the 1600? Though probably unlikely, it is not outside the realm of possibility if conditions and pacing are right.
Boys 110 Hurdles - Trevor Brown is a prohibitive favorite, and races with a prohibitive favorite usually aren't the best races. But Aaron Praska is very capable of running a fast set of hurdles, too, and it's not out of the question that Brown breaks a state meet record on this one.
Boys Long Jump - Five contestants already over 22 feet automatically make this one intriguing. Better yet, three of the top team contenders--Mullen, Longmont, and Sierra--each have one of the top five. This event could go a long way toward deciding the team title.
And for the girls...
Girls 200 - I like this one better than the 100 because Samantha Kee and Christine Scott are probably better 200 runners than short sprinters. With times already dipping into the 24s, expect that it will take at least a low 24 to win the thing on Friday.
Girls 400 - Samantha Kee will be busy. In the 400, she takes on Elizabeth Jefferson in what looks to be a race for all the marbles. If, and it's a big if, Kee wins the 100 and 200, this will be the third leg of the triple crown. Liz Tremblay's record from last year isn't entirely out of view. If they still have big pop in their legs will into the day on Saturday....
Girls 1600 - This one will almost be on a par with the boys 1600. Vanessa Fabrizio, Maddy Jourgensen, Nicki DeSouchet, Becky Schmitt, and Karina Ernst. It will be a high-stakes move to take the lead early in this one. Schmitt and Ernst will aim for keeping this title at Thompson Valley HS.
Girls 110 Hurdles - The girls from Wheat Ridge (Kunz and Ankoviak), the girls from Colorado Springs (Alvarez and Lewis), and Kayla Wein. Blink and you miss this one. Hit a hurdle and you drop out of contention. This is prime time.
Girls 4x200 - Windsor has the stellar seed time coming in, but don't take Mullen and Glenwood Springs lightly. Thompson Valley is a huge dark horse here, but the Eagles seem to thrive on this relay. In any case, this race will match up the best relay programs in the state. Still, it's a shocker if anyone can take down Windsor this year.
Girls Triple Jump - This one is becoming a bit of a rivalry. It helps that the schools are about 10 miles apart. The old guard vs. the new guard. Amy Medina vs. Courtney Mills. 3A folks might want to watch this one as Courtney Mills and company join the 3A ranks next year.