Let’s hold an all-class state meet in one location
PUEBLO, Colorado – The story couldn’t have been scripted much better.Tyler Thompson saves his best long jump for last and then sweats a little as officials measure out a big leap by Olathe’s Wesley Byers. Byers’ jump falls a hair shy and Thompson wins the 3A state long jump title.Too bad we had to hear about it over the phone.Curse the inability of humans to be two places at once!See, fellow sports scribe Joelle Milholm and I were busy tracking the seemingly countless Glenwood Springs and Rifle track and field athletes competing at the Class 5A/4A state track and field meet at Lakewood’s Jefferson County Stadium. (Seriously, just about every other Demon was there, a credit to Glenwood’s ridiculous depth.)Too bad the Class 3A and 2A kids from Grand Valley, Roaring Fork and Coal Ridge were down in Pueblo.Much goes into coverage decisions, like finances, travel distance or the likelihood of a given team or athlete’s success. And, with gas prices the way they are, finances have taken center stage of late.Needless to say, a trip to Pueblo isn’t all that cheap with gasoline at nearly $4 a gallon.Taking all that into account, Joelle and I tag-teamed Lakewood and missed covering a state champion in Pueblo.Oops.Luckily, it’ll be the last year that happens, and why I’m now a huge proponent of Colorado High School Activities Association’s decision to hold an all-class state meet in Lakewood beginning next year.We won’t have to miss anything, nor will any of the other newspapers in the state that aren’t running with big sports staffs or massive legions of freelance writers.Not only would we not have missed out on Thompson’s golden leap, but we would have been able to catch Buena Vista throwing phenom Mason Finley top 200 in the discus and launch the shot put 60-something feet.A centralized, all-class state meet is good for all parties involved.Schools on the Western Slope won’t have to haul their track and field stars quite as far for state appearances.Track enthusiasts can catch the state’s best with one trip.And us here at the Glenwood Springs Post Independent will be present for any and all state championships produced by a kid from our coverage area.Thank you, CHSAA. Your playoff format for all other sports makes about as much sense as a complex calculus problem, but this latest move is crystal clear.Contact Jeff Caspersen: email@example.com
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