A sports nut could get even nuttier trying to figure out where to be during each day of the second National Sports Festival in Colorado Springs. For six days beginning Friday, competition will be held in 31 sports and the paricipants will include many of America's outstanding amateur athletes.
The most difficult choice arises on Sunday afternoon. While world champion Linda Fratianne skates her freestyle routine at Broadmoor Arena, record-breaking hurdler Renaldo Nehemiah of Maryland will pursue a sub-13-second clocking at the Air Force Academy track.
For Nehemiah, this is a relative cakewalk against inferior opposition, but the fact that it will take place at an altitude of 6,440 feet lends the possibility of world-record frosting.
Reduced air density, at high altitude, is an obvious benefit to sprinters and horizontal jumpers, as evidenced by the world records set during the 7,000 - foot Mexico City Olympics in 1968 that have withstood all assaults for 11 years - 100 meters, 200 meters, 400 meter, 1,600 meter relay and long jump.
Nehemiah has run at a distinctive altitude only once, clocking 13.23 for his fastes time of 1978 at Zurich. He confesses curiosity as to whether "the ultimate time" is possible in thin air and said, "I was in Colorado Springs last year for a development camp and I really liked the setup, I like running out there."
Nehemiah makes no the "the ultimate time" will come Sunday, however. He has been resting since returning sick and weary from his Pan American Games success San Juan. Additionally, his opposition is mediocre, with only Kerry Bethel affering much of a challenge.
"I'd be a little surprised if he set a world record by himself," said Maryland Coach Frank Costello. "He doesn't hurdle well by himself. He really has to be psyched. But after what he's accomplished, nothing else he did would shock me."
For overall competition, another Sunday track event, the men's 400 meters, has no challenger. Included in the field are Tony Darden, who beat Alberto Juantorena in the Pan Am Games; Willie Smith, who defeated Juantorena earlier and has the year's best time of 45.10; Olympian Herman Frazier; Maurice Peoples of D. C. International, and Stan Vincent.
Harvey Glance, Steve Riddick, Eric Brown and Rich Edwards, along with D.C. International,'s John Christian, are entered in the 100 meters. That sports-festival event produced four of the world's nine fastes times of 1978, heade by Eddie Hart's world-leading 10.07.
In most sports, athletes have been divided among teams representing East Midwest, South and West and point totals will be compiled to determine the area winner. However, geographical lines have been stretched where necessary to stimulate competition. Accordingly, Jackie Cassello of Silver Spring and Jeannine Creek of Great Falls, Mont., the Pan Am gold-medal gymnasts, find themselves on the Midwest team.
Ice hockey, to avoid the absurdity of a South without southerners, has been classified according to New England, Great Lakes, Midwest and Central. Following the tournament - a round robin followed by championship playoffs - 26 men will be selected so represent the United States in the Lake Placid Olympic.
For those 20-years-olds whose Olympian ideas concern money rather than medals, this will offer one last chance to display ability before the National Hockey Placid Olympics.
"Some of them will be walking on eggs," said General Manager Max McNab of the Washington Capitals, who will be in Colorado Springs, watching closely. "We have a couple we want to take a pretty good look at and this offers a final assessment on abilities. Anybody who comes in a little out of shape might hurt his chances."
Some sports feature Americah's best, while others offer a look at some of the stars of the future.
Gymnastics lists all the top Americans who passed up the Pam Am Games and its questionable compulsory exercises - Kurt Thomas, world champion in floor exercise; Marcia Frederick, uneven parallel bars specialist who became America's first womenhs world shmpion, and Kathy Johnson, 1978 all-around national champ.
Diving boasts Olympic champion Phil Boggs and Greg Louganis, a double winner in San Juan. Archery highlights Olympic gold medalists Darrel Pace and LuAnn Ryon.
Basketball, on the other hand, is dominated by youngsters either just out of high school or one year away. Eric Floyd of Georgetown will represent the East, along with 7-foot Sam Bowie of Lebanon, Pa., who is headed for Kentucky.
The East women's squad includes Debbie Lytle, the 5 - foot - 11 All-America from Philadelphia who is enrolling at Maryland.
The festival spotlights some sports that are not on the Olympic program. One is softball, with the top four men's and women's teams from the Amateur Softball Association championships. Baseball, tennis and roller skating are others.
Perhaps the outstanding facet of the festival is the price of tickets. Nothing costs more than $5 and track tickets are only $3. Transportation to Colorado Springs, of course, figures to boost expenses for the dedicated fan.