Niwot (CO) High School graduate Cruz Culpepper lined up with an accomplished field of professional men on Saturday at Colorado Mesa University at the Team Boss Colorado Mile -- at roughly 4,583 feet of altitude.
The group was looking to cross the never-been-done-in-Colorado-before sub-4 minute mile, which, at altitude, is often an incredible task.
And the field came darn close.
Culpepper, a University of Washington recruit who had run 4:00.10 indoors, stuck to the back of the lead pack throughout the 4-lap effort.
But in the end, with one lap to go, it wasn't meant to be. Culpepper hung on for as long as he could and finished third overall with a time of 4:08.80. Under Armour pro and 4-time NCAA champ Morgan McDonald won the field in 4:02.07, coming closest to the Colorado record of 4:01. Tripp Hurt was second in 4:05.36.
And now here's where statistical records get complicated.
Technically, because this race was official, Culpepper set the new Colorado state 1,600 meter record with his performance. His effort converts down to a 4:07.36.
The 39-year-old state record was held previous to this year by Rich Martinez, who ran 4:10.98 in 1981.
But really, it depends on how we'll view times trials past this season.
In April, Valor Christian's Cole Sprout ran just a tad faster at 5,100-feet of elevation, in 4:07.2, breaking the record first ... unofficially.