In addition to name change, Fountain-Fort Carson splits meet into two divisions

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Photo - Colorado Springs Christian School’s Katelyn Sage wins the 1A-3A girls 300 hurdles race Saturday, April 22, 2017, during the Fountain-Fort Carson Track and Field Invitational at the Fountain-Fort Carson High School. (The Gazette, Christian Murdock)
Colorado Springs Christian School’s Katelyn Sage wins the 1A-3A girls 300 hurdles race Saturday, April 22, 2017, during the Fountain-Fort Carson Track and Field Invitational at the Fountain-Fort Carson High School. (The Gazette, Christian Murdock)

FOUNTAIN - First came a name change. Then came a decision to split schools into divisions based on enrollment size at this weekend's Fountain-Fort Carson Invitational track and field meet - formerly the Ray Campbell Invitational - at Guy R. Barickman Stadium.

Well, the name will be the same next year. The two divisions? Maybe not.

Sierra's Lindsey Little jump 13 feet, 1 inch in the 1A-3A girls long jump Saturday, April 22, 2017, during the Fountain-Fort Carson Track and Field Invitational at the Fountain-Fort Carson High School. (The Gazette, Christian Murdock)  

"We just thought it would be something different," Fountain-Fort Carson coach Ben Montoya said. "A lot of invitationals don't have two divisions, but to be honest, it was difficult and a little confusing. We might go back to having one division next year. We'll evaluate everything and see what happens."

Contestants in smaller schools didn't exactly embrace the idea of not having the chance to compete against the big dogs.

"I'd much rather lose to a bunch of future Olympians than win," said The Vanguard School senior Harley Morgan, who won titles in the 400- and 800-meter races in the 1A-3A division but her times would have placed seventh and 13th, respectively, had the event been reduced to one division. "I like good competition. That improves my standing because it brings out the best in me. I like having all the schools together. Just because you're up against bigger schools doesn't mean you can't place very well."

Vanguard claimed both boys' and girls' team title in the small-schools division, the small southwest Colorado Springs school with an enrollment of just 282 - the smallest in 3A - knocking off competitors with much larger figures, such as Sierra (787) and Woodland Park (772), for example.

Still, no matter how you slice it, it's still runners against clocks and tape measures, regardless of opposition.

"I thought it was different, but you have to push yourself either way," said Sierra's Briyana Bunson, who won 1A-3A sprinting titles in the 100 and 200. "When you run against bigger teams, you have more athletes to run against. You have to push yourself, but when you're chasing someone, that motivates you to go so much faster."