The first practice date for the Colorado prep track season is Feb. 27. But Mead High School junior Alex Mead is already exceeding the state championship form he showed last season.
Mead won the 200-meter dash at the Simplot Games at Idaho State University in Pocatello on Saturday in a personal-best time of 22.02 seconds.
The Simplot meet is annually one of the biggest indoor events in the country, and Mead’s time places him among the top 20 in the nation so far this season, according to the Dyestat Elite 100 rankings.
“It pumps me up pretty good,” Mead, the Colorado Class 3A champ last spring in the 100 and 200, said in a phone interview. “You run faster times outdoors, so I’m excited to try and get in the 21s.”
Racing for his Colorado Flyers club team, Mead — who also took seventh in the 60 on Saturday in a time of 7.01 — said he expected to have a better weekend in that event.
But after posting a time of 22.64 in the 200 prelims on Friday, he blazed in finals, out-pacing his winning time of 22.34 from state last year. He beat Glen Taylor of Grandview High in Aurora, who finished in 22.11 for second place.
“I just pulled something out in finals,” said Mead, who figured he’d be doing good with a top-10 finish in the 134-racer field. “Couldn’t believe it.”
Mead wasn’t the only area athlete at the Simplot Games competing at a high level.
Monarch’s Kirk Webb took third in the 800 in a time of 1:55.8 in a race that featured two of the fastest preps on the continent. Tyler Smith of Canada won in a time of 1:49.5 to set a new meet record. Strymar Livingston of New York, meanwhile, took second, posting the second-fastest time in the country this season at 1:51.5
“It was a huge meet overall,” Webb said.