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Event of the week: Many of the track and field's best expected at Boulder County Championships

Apr. 10—When and where: Saturday, starting at 8:30 a.m. at Centaurus High School

The scouting report: There are 16 local track and field teams ---- currently holding seven of the state's best marks in an event — registered into the 47th-running of the Boulder County Championships on Saturday.

None more touted than the girls' team at Niwot, which has won the meet every year (outside of the cancelled 2020 season) since 2010.

And no one is more well known than its superstar distance runner, Addison Ritzenhein.

The reigning Gatorade national cross country runner of the year — just a sophomore — ran this spring's fastest 1,600-meter run inside state lines at the Niwot Invitational last month, clocking in at 4 minutes and 44.30 seconds.

Last weekend, she went even lower at sea level, finishing a personal-best 4:40.78 at the 500-plus team Arcadia Invitational in California. She told BoCoPreps correspondent Charlie Strella afterward that she is still figuring out how to best attack the mile but was happy with her fifth-place finish at Arcadia.

"I haven't really raced the mile that often and I just got into it this year," said Ritzenhein, who finished third in the 4A 1,600 while winning the 3,200 at the state meet as a freshman. "It was a pretty loose race plan."

Even without Ritzenhein, the Cougars are loaded on the girls' side.

Junior Jade West won the 4A shot put last year and is tied for the state's longest throw this spring (42 feet and 11 inches).

Their 4×800 smashed the meet record at the Murray Kula Invitational last month (9:11.76), a time that is 30 seconds faster than any other relay in the state and seventh-best in the nation.

On the boys' side, Erie won the town championships last year, ending a run of three straight wins by Niwot.

Jackson and Mason Cowgill — respectively committed to Washington State and the University of South Dakota for football — won the throwing events at last year's meet for the Tigers.

Jackson won the shot put then and hasn't lost in three tries this season, with his best throw coming last week at the Birds of Prey Invitational at Everly-Montgomery Field (53 feet and 3 1/2 inches). Mason, meanwhile, keeps winning in discus after his 2023 town gold, which includes a personal-best toss (152-4) at the Lyons Unlimited meet last month.

Elsewhere, for boys, Monarch's Tyler Rowan is the state leader in the pole vault (16-1) after winning the event at the town and 5A state championships last season. Skyline's JJ Davis is best in the javelin (173-2) but that event isn't slated among the town championships' events.

For girls, Peak to Peak's Kourtney Rathke, who is looking to three-peat in the 3A long jump and pole vault, has the state's longest leap in the TJ (35-10.5) and third-best mark in the PV (12-10) this season.

She could once again end up going toe-to-toe in the pole vault with Broomfield's Lilly Nichols, the 2022 5A champ who has the state's highest mark of the year (13-4). Nichols won the PV at the championships in 2023. Rathke was credited with the win in 2022 despite both having leapt 12-8. And as freshman, Nichols was second and Rathke third to Silver Creek grad Megan Kelleghan.

Other 2023 Boulder County winners who could return include Broomfield's Baylor Baessler (100) and Centaurus' Jacoby Ennis (800) on the boys' side. Silver Creek's Cloe Ruth (400), Niwot's Olivia Alessandrini (3,200) and Longmont's Ella Pears (triple jump) for the girls.

Schedule of events per MileSplit

MORNING FIELD EVENTS

8:30 a.m. Girls: Pole Vault, Triple Jump, and Shot Put

8:30 a.m. Boys: High Jump, Long Jump, and Discus

MORNING RUNNING EVENTS: all heats are finals against time

8:45 a.m. Girls 800 Medley Relay (2 heats)

8:55 a.m. Girls 3200 M Relay (1 heat)

9:10 a.m. Boys 3200 M Relay (1 heat)

9:20 a.m. Girls 100 M Hurdles (7 heats)

9:40 a.m. Boys 110 M Hurdles (7 heats)

10:00 a.m. Girls 100 M Dash (7 heats)

10:15 a.m. Boys 100 M Dash (7 heats)

10:30 a.m. Girls 4 X 200 M Relay (2 heats)

10:40 a.m. Boys 4 X 200 M Relay (2 heats)

10:50 a.m. Girls 1600 M Run (2/3 heats)

11:00 a.m. Boys 1600 M Run (2/3 heats)

11:20-11:25 a.m. Opening Ceremonies, Flag Ceremony and National Anthem

11:35-11:45 Awarding of Scholarships

11:45 Unified 100 (possibly 2 heats)

11:55-12:05 Morning Field Event Awards

12:05-12:35 LUNCH BREAK

12:10-12:30 Shot and Discus weigh-in at the pump house.

AFTERNOON FIELD EVENTS

12:30 p.m. Girls: Discus, High Jump, and Long Jump

12:30 p.m. Boys: Pole Vault, Triple Jump, and Shot Put

AFTERNOON RUNNING EVENTS

12:35 pm Girls 4 X 100 M Relay (2 heats)

12:40 pm Boys 4 X 100 M Relay (2 heats)

12:45 pm Girls 400 M Dash (7 heats)

1:05 p.m. Boys 400 M Dash (7 heats)

1:25 p.m. Girls 300 M Hurdles (7 heats)

1:45 p.m. Boys 300 M Hurdles (7 heats)

2:05 p.m. Girls 800 M Run (3/4 heats)

2:25 p.m. Boys 800 M Run (3/4 heats)

2:45 p.m. Girls 200 M Dash (7 heats)

3:05 p.m. Boys 200 M Dash (7 heats)

3:25 p.m. Girls 3200 M Run (1 heat)

3:45 p.m. Boys 3200 M Run (1/2 heats)

4:15 — 4:30 Afternoon Field Event Awards

4:40 p.m. Girls 4 X 400 M Relay (2 heats)

4:55 p.m. Boys 4 X 400 M Relay (2 heats)

5:15 p.m. Awards — First and Second place team awards, MVA, Outstanding Performance,

Lonnie Nixon Awards, and Bob Charles Awards