Preps: Weiss wins, AHS cross country teams place second in home races

Runners take off from the start of the varsity girls high school cross country race of the Chris Severy Invitational on Saturday, Oct. 9, 2021, near Aspen High School.
Photo by Austin Colbert/The Aspen Times

A dedicated cross-country skier, Anders Weiss took to the non-snow version of the sport on Saturday and Aspen High School cross country coach Chris Keleher hopes the AHS senior sticks it out through the rest of the fall, before skiing pulls him back in.

It was Weiss, competing for the first time this season as an AHS runner, who stood out by winning the boys’ race of the Chris Severy Invitational, hosted by the Skiers near the high school.

“Anders, he is just incredibly fit,” Keleher said. “That was really good to see him out there. He ran a smartly paced race, especially for not having a ton of running experience. He did a great job.”

Weiss finished with a time of 19 minutes, 56.2 seconds, easily outdistancing Battle Mountain juniors Alessandro Cantele (20:11.2) and Bergen Drummet (20:14.2), who finished second and third, respectively. AHS sophomore Edwin Ryerson was sixth (20:28.1) and junior Eske Roennau was 10th (20:57.3) for a trio of Skiers in the top 10.

The Aspen boys finished second as a team with 123 points. Battle Mountain easily won with 41 points, while North Fork was third with 133 points.

The Aspen girls also finished second, their 61 points not quite enough to get by Glenwood Springs, who won with 56 points. Kent Denver was third with 62 points.

The Skiers had four in the top 15 of the girls’ race, led by junior Michaela Kenny’s fourth-place finish in 22:57.6. Junior Elsie Weiss, Anders’ sister, was eighth in 23:22; freshman Julia Diaz was 11th in 24:03.2; and freshman Darienne Kenny, Michaela’s sister, was 15th in 24:38.10.

“They just ran so solidly,” Keleher said. “Elsie didn’t have her greatest day today, but Michaela stepped right up. Julia ran an excellent race.”

Junior Natalie Wesner (34th, 27:33.3) and sophomore Yasmine Khan-Farooqi (35th, 27:39.3) stood out to Keleher and were key in helping the AHS girls finish second.

“They filled a gap,” Keleher said. “We’ve got a couple of injured girls and they jumped right in and did not let off the gas. That was a lot of fun to watch them move throughout the race.”

Gallery caption: Photos: Aspen XC Invite

Glenwood Springs finished 1-2 in the girls’ race, with senior Ella Johnson winning in 22:07.3 and junior Sophia Connerton-Nevin placing second in 22:25.9. Coal Ridge junior standout Mikayla Cheney was third in 22:52.6.

Basalt High School and its reigning state champion Katelyn Maley did not compete Saturday in Aspen. The Longhorns have a Wednesday trip to Rifle next on their schedule. Aspen will head to the laid-back Montrose Relays next weekend, the final event before the Oct. 22 regional race in New Castle.

“The kids ran well and it was a good, hard course. It was fun,” Keleher said. “It seems things are coming together pretty well. We’ve got a couple of pieces to put together over the next couple of weeks and hope some kids get back healthy.”

Basalt tennis qualifies first players for state

The Basalt High School boys tennis team qualified a pair of players to the Class 4A state tournament, a first for the program that started as a club in 2017. Taylor Hays and Elias Schendler finished second at No. 4 doubles on Friday in their Region 8 tournament in Grand Junction and will be the first BHS tennis players to represent at state this coming week in Pueblo.

Aspen, normally a dominant force in regional play, did not have any players qualify. However, the No. 1 doubles team of Robert Holton and Micky Terkun, and the No. 2 doubles team of Alex Schlosser and Beckett Brennan, each finished third at regionals and will be state alternates.

Aspen volleyball falls in five sets to Huskies

The Aspen High School volleyball team had its three-match win streak snapped on Saturday in a five-set loss to visiting Battle Mountain inside the AHS gymnasium.

After losing the first set, 27-25, the Skiers answered back by winning the second set, 25-18. Battle Mountain won the third, 25-20, and AHS the fourth, 29-27, before the Huskies won the deciding fifth set, 15-10, for the non-league win.

Battle Mountain, which plays in the larger Class 4A, improved to 3-8 overall. Aspen, a 3A team, dropped to 7-4 overall. The Skiers next host Coal Ridge on Tuesday in a critical league match.

Basalt (8-4) was off this past weekend and next plays Tuesday at league-leading Delta.

Aspen soccer loses to Ridgway

The Aspen High School boys soccer team played a non-league game on Saturday against Ridgway, losing 2-1. The game was played in Grand Junction. The Demons, No. 5 in Class 2A, improved to 8-2 overall, their only losses both coming against 2A No. 1 Crested Butte.

Aspen fell to 5-5-1 overall and will host Roaring Fork on Tuesday. The Rams are No. 6 in 3A. Basalt (2-9) was off this past weekend and plays Tuesday at Moffat County.