Watching the action under the lights at our premier home invite is always entertaining, but seeing the national leader rip up the course record by nine seconds, followed by possibly the greatest field ever assembled in Desert Twilight meet history, was a mid-season treat for us in the copper state.
At the 2017 Desert Twilight Festival, Kashon Harrison (Kirtland Central, Sr.) defeated Cole Sprout (Valor Christian, Jr.) by a mere tenth-of-a-second to clinch the Boys Sweepstakes Title. Over the course of the next year, Sprout ran PRs of 3:55.48 for 1500m and 8:49.46 for two-miles as the fastest sophomore in the country. He of course would return to Grande Sports World, with his eyes set not only on a victory, but also a national leading time along with several top returners from the previous year.
After much anticipation for the Boys Sweepstakes race that evening, the junior from Highlands Ranch, Colorado cut loose along the Francisco Grande Golf Course. True to his style, he led from the front and averaged 4:41 for along the pancake flat course. "Kashon edged me out last year, and that's why I want to take it out faster this year," said Sprout. "The second mile was a little slower and I could tell the other guys were starting to feel it. I threw in a surge after that and from there I tried to keep that gap and kick the last 400m."
After the two-mile mark, he dropped the rest of the field with a quick surge and maintained his pace. With the finish line in sight, he unleashed an unrelenting kick and powered through to secure the victory in 14:32.9 over ten seconds ahead of the chasers and a 16-second improvement from the year before.
Following Sprout, five other boys cleared 15-minutes for 5km that night in Casa Grande. Sprout's Colorado rival, Cruz Culpepper (Niwot, Jr.) finished second. Harrison, the previous year's Sweepstakes Champion, finished third and Michael Abeyta (El Paso Hanks, Jr.) finished 4th. Then came our very own Leo Daschbach (Highland, Jr.) outkicking Ares Reading (Niwot, Sr.) for 5th place and a 5km school record of 14:52.6.