Valor Christian's Cole Sprout will open up his season of *racing* at Desert Twilight.
There's a rumble in the desert going down this weekend...
Some of Colorado's best are headed south this weekend for fast times, and good competition. As a distance runner in high school it was always a joy to race under the lights, and while night-racing during cross country is rare, the Nike Desert Twilight Festival gives every runner that chance to chase their shadows.
With a slew of Colorado schools on the start list, we'll break down what to expect in some of the bigger matchups.
Let's start with perhaps the most anticipated battle...
Cruz Culpepper vs Cole Sprout
We've seen Culpepper three times this season, and he's won each outing with a furious kick. He's won each race he's competed in by a few seconds, but each time he's run well within himself. What this tells me is that we haven't seen what he's truly capable yet.
His biggest win, of the three, was a 15:28 kick-to-win season best at Liberty Bell.
If there's anyone who could push Culpepper to his limits, it'd be Sprout, the Colorado 3,200 record holder, and owner of a shiny 14:48 PR, which was run at Desert Twilight last year.
By contrast, Culpepper ran 15:23 as Desert Twilight last year, though he's made huge gains over the past year.
Sprout enters the meet from the other side of the spectrum. He's raced sparingly, though his one time on the line was a very controlled 15:33 win in the Division 1 race at Liberty Bell. He has spoken about really opening up at Desert Twilight, and chasing a new PR.
Adding to the aura of this matchup is the fact that Culpepper and Sprout have opposing racing styles. Culpepper has shown to be more comfortable kicking in tight situations, while Sprout is more comfortable racing from the front.
A year ago Sprout was part of a Kick Of The Week at this very meet, finishing second by a tenth of a second. If we're looking at the stats, and analyzing the racing styles of each runner, we could see another exciting finish, and perhaps a Colorado win.