Erin Michaelis didn't win the discus on Saturday, but her shot put was good enough to win the Boulder Invitational. Photo by Jeff McCoy.
Last Week in Review
Don't tell anyone, but this is my favorite article to write every week. By the day after a Saturday meet, I'm usually ready to blow off a little steam and this serves as a pretty nice outlet to do that.
Big kudos go out to Raymond Bozmans and Jake Schneeberger for their performances in this one. Bozman's season went a little south last year after a brilliant start, so it's nice to see the train back on the tracks this spring.
Valentina Pauna parlayed her winter pole vault work into an early lead in the pole vault sweepstakes.
Legacy's Camren McWee had a very nice day, winning the high jump at 6-4 and the long jump at a mere 22-6.
Outside of that, though, this meet did pretty much exactly what it was supposed to do--provide an opportunity for some strong programs to shake off the cobwebs.
National Elite Performances
They ran this one on the Mondo surface of the CU track. No more Recht Field for this meet apparently.
And let me take this opportunity to reintroduce you all to the track team in green--George Washington. GW did their own introduction to me last night as I pored over the day's results. Chyna Ries, Takara Reed, Brittany Lewis, and some depth back up the front line, hmmmm..... I think I'll add GW to my list of 5A girls contenders.I don't know how any team sweeps places 1-4 in the long jump in any meet this big, but GW did exactly that. Too bad those marks didn't count for want of a wind gauge.
And, it's not like GW has nothing on the boys' side, either. Trey Richardson and Enyinna Isiguzo are going to make some noise this spring. But perhaps the Patriots aren't quite as deep on the boys' side. At least indications aren't pointing that direction yet.
National Elite Performances
As a big fan of the 4x800, I make it a point to mark the first girls' team of the year below 10:00 and the first boys' team of the year below 8:00. The standards aren't exactly equal, but they are nice round numbers.
It didn't take long for the 10:00 mark to bite the dust this spring. And the honor goes to a familiar group--the Thompson Valley girls. 9:50.94? That gets my attention.
Also getting my attention were the Loveland girls. I had them pegged as a 5A title favorite this winter and they did nothing on Saturday to downgrade the expectations. As good as GW is (see Boulder Invitational I), Loveland is also an extremely good team and still--to my eyes--the most balanced team in the battle.
I'm also beginning to wonder about things at Berthoud High School. Attending BHS must feel a little like going to school with a bunch of people auditioning for role of Tigger in the next Winnie the Pooh movie. Let's get this clear right now, Berthoud is going to put up a bunch of points in the jumps at the 3A state meet. I hope, however, they find some wind readings for the marks posted at this meet. You never know when you're going to need a great mark.
For the boys, big news came in the form of Gus Waneka running a very strong season-opening 3200 and some solid showings from the Northridge sprint crew. Jeff Richmond very nearly pulled off the amazing 100/Javelin double. If only he could have squeezed another eight inches out of that throw....
Mostly what we learned out of this is that most of the Continental League teams have enough bodies to fill several relays on opening weekend. The ThunderRidge Invitational next weekend should reveal a lot more about these teams.
Hands down, this meet turned up the biggest set of state-qualifying level of performances from the weekend. That may have something to do with the fact that the weather was likely a bit more pleasant in Pueblo than the rest of the state. Or, it could have something to do with the fact that you can have fairly steady breeze blowing over the top of Dutch Clark stadium and virtually no air movement down on the track (what's a blessing in March, however, is a curse in May).
In any case, the article linked below will divulge more of the detail of this meet. Fountain-Fort Carson is a definite contender among 5A boys. Keep checking back on Cheyenne Mountain (boys and girls), Vista Ridge (boys), Doherty (girls), and Pueblo South (girls). You'll be glad you did.
National Elite Performances
Back before track and field started the last Monday in February (meaning we had an extra weekend of meets), this was a bigger meet. Now, with competition from Fossil Ridge and Greeley Central, this meet drew a few less teams.
As it is, this meet has turned into something a little like the preseason championships for northeastern Colorado.
I was hoping to see some jump results from CJ Kukus (Brush) out of this meet. I was disappointed. But hope springs eternal, so I'll keep looking.
I thought this one over for a while and landed on Dylan Cunningham's 6-2 in the high jump as the performance of the meet. I'm guessing that conditions weren't entirely pleasant for this one.
This is normally a pretty high-caliber early-season meet. Winds that wiped out most of the short sprint and hurdle marks kind of took the luster off of this meet.
Some highlights? Kiah Hicks dominating the shot put and discus would count as a highlight. I'm sure Ms. Hicks isn't pleased with her best discus mark on the day, but different winds do different things with the flight of the discs. Ben Goodman's 50.60 is a good 400 mark for a windy day. And, Lewis-Palmer's Alex Inzer wins the 200 in 23.61. That one's personally significant because Alex Inzer ran for TCA his freshman and sophomore years. One that got away....
Chris Ashe of Widefield is back long jumping, posting a mark of 21-9 into a -1.7 wind. This is good news for Widefield's title hopes.
Liberty pounded some people for the girls team title. Palmer had a more subdued victory on the boys' side of things.
The folks around Longmont got their district meet out of the way early this year. It was a little windy.
Windy doesn't stop Rachel Hinker. It just slows her down a little. Hinker came home with four firsts, counting one relay. We've sort of come to expect that, I guess.
Lyons also got a nice look-ahead for the season with the pole vault performance of Corbette Tschanz.
In case this isn't a typo, please take note of Valerie Allman's (Silver Creek) discus throw of 132-2. That's a good mark on any day, but when second is 87-1, you take a little more notice. This is a new name on my radar screen, making this one doubly fun.
Alex Mead of Mead (yes, you read that correctly) won the district titles at both 100 and 200 meters. Young Mr. Mead should be careful about answering the question, "Who do you run for?" It would be easy to leave the wrong impression.
Ryan Schuler of Niwot posted a noteworthy mark of 21-10.5 to win the long jump. That one was wind legal, probably because the winds were blowing across the long jump runway at Longmont High School on Saturday.
Niwot, who has a habit of loading up for this meet, won the girls' title. Longmont, who appeared from a quick view of the results, to be running a big short-handed, came out on top of the boys' standings.
And, yes, there was also an opening-weekend meet scheduled for Elizabeth. I assume that meet took place, but I got no results. I'll post results if I get them.