Top Events for 2011: Boys 400 Meters

Brandon Parson moved away, leaving the mantle of "Top Returning 400 Meter Runner" to Nolan Mayhew of Cheyenne Mountain. Photo by Alan Versaw.


A few statistics will tell the story here. There are two returning sub-48 400 meter runners from last spring and summer. There are seven sub-49s. There are 15 sub-50s. And there are 26 sub 51s.


Those 25 break out across classifications as: 5A - 16, 4A - 6 (but the six all rank high on the list), 3A - 2, 2A - 1, and 1A -1.


For the small schools, it appears to actually be something of a down year for the 400, although it doesn't take many suddenly fast guys to change that picture.


The Browning brothers, Taylor and Zach, from Roaring Fork give the Rams a good shot at going 1-2 in the 3A 400. Sam Yeager of Faith Christian had the next fastest 3A time last spring, but Yeager will have to make some event choices this spring as he is also the top 3A returner in the 800. The state schedule allows for someone to run both the 400 and 800 well (just ask Boris Berian), but there may or may not be other points of emphasis for Yeager and his team that figures to be seriously in the state title hunt.


At the 2A level, it is shaping up as a very local battle between Coley David of Burlington and Jarret Cure of Wray. Rocky Ford's Kyle Moore finished last season well behind these two.


In the 1A ranks, the initial nod seems to go to Jotrayl Campbell of Hilltop Baptist. He appears to be well ahead of the competition coming out of last spring.


It's at the 4A level that things start looking very, very interesting. Nolan Mayhew. Boris Berian. Carzell Vickers. Chris Sterling. Trent Ireland. If you're playing hunches, Falcon's Jade Gale belongs here, too, although he started posting great times late in the season last spring.


Although the seasons didn't end equally well for these six last spring, each of the six is capable of winning it all when healthy. If they all come to state healthy, we should all be witness to a zinger of a 4A 400 meter final.


Berian and, especially, Mayhew are endurance types who happen to be blessed with a good bit of speed. They also happen to be the two in the group who've run sub-48. Vickers, Sterling, and, especially, Ireland all have true sprint speed that extends to 400 meters. Mayhew had a couple of outstanding indoor performances this winter, but it's no given that great indoor marks in January translate into great outdoor marks in May. Berian won it all--pretty convincingly--last spring. Ireland qualified but didn't make the trip to finals.


So, do you care to pick a favorite? I don't, but I do hope to see the race.


5A should be very interesting as well but, as it appears at this moment, with just slightly less top-end talent that you find in the 4A ranks.


As mentioned in the caption of the cover photo, Brandon Parson has moved away, leaving this year's championship a wide open affair.


Palmer's Ben Goodman has all of the credentials, but nothing like this is ever easy. There's always someone who comes in to confound expectations.


Last season's results would appear to put Goodman (48.27) and Montbello's Kordell Deffebaugh (48.84) in the driver's seat. Back-seat drivers would include Rex Quartarone (Boulder), Lance Loken (Arapahoe), Tevin Tyson (Littleton), Marcus Moody (Montbello), and Tim Schmuhl (Legacy), Erik Gaytan (Chatfield), and TJ Dennis (Pine Creek). Getting to finals at the state meet should prove interesting. There is a bevy of guys behind these names who should keep everyone honest.