Skiers claim double-distance titles
GRAND JUNCTION – Double, double.
And that means trouble, trouble for Class 3A runners all across Colorado.
Aspen’s Elizabeth Mitchell and Jon Severy ran for double-double titles last weekend in the Regional Track and Field Championships at Stocker Stadium.
Falling in step with an AHS tradition of distance running excellence, Mitchell extended her season’s methodical progress with a Regional title in the 1600 (5:29.85) on Friday and a Regional title in the 3200 (12:05.8) on a windy Saturday.
Severy matched Mitchell’s victories in the boys 1600 (4:29.86) and the 3200 (9:39.90).
The two double-Regional champions will lead a large contingent of Skiers who qualified for next weekend’s State Championships at Fountain-Fort Carson. Triple duty Multi-event standout Clay Shipp, a senior, qualified to return to state in the high jump, 110-meter high hurdles and 300-meter hurdles. He finished second at Regionals in all three events, trailing Evan Kennedy of Gunnison in the 110 hurdles, Chris McElry of Gunnison in the 300 hurdles and Olathe’s Randy Williams, who cleared 6-10 to take the high jump.
Shipp was second at 6-5, setting an Aspen High School record.
Shipp added an AHS school-record time of 41.91 in the 300 hurdles on Saturday.
The Skiers also broke a longstanding school record in the 4×200 relay for boys (1:40.15), qualifying another foursome for state. Matt Daniel, Tim Ingerick, Shannon Robinson and Jeff Anderson turned in the school-record time and earned the trip to the Fountain-Fort Carson Sports Complex for the two-day State Championships May 14-15.
Strong runs in the boys 3200 also qualified Michael Otte and Connor Flynn for state. They finished third and fourth, respectively, in the 3A Regionals.
The Skiers also qualified the girls 4×800 relay team. The AHS girls picked up a fourth-place finish on Friday, when conditions were excellent with clear skies, moderate temperatures and no wind.
Conditions changed significantly on Saturday with occasionally gusty winds.
The AHS boys finished fourth in the team standings with 66 points, behind champion Gunnison (115), Hotchkiss (102), Battle Mountain (71).
In the girls scoring, Aspen finished ninth. Hotchkiss, a strong contender for another state championship, won with 148.5 points. Gunnison was second, followed by Rangely, Battle Mountain, Eagle Valley, Paonia, Olathe and Basalt.
Aspen finished ahead of Roaring Fork, Meeker and Cedaredge.
The Basalt Longhorns also qualified a bevy of athletes for the State Championships next weekend. Basalt sprinter Individually, Will Loushin sprinted to state with a third-place finish in the 100 (11.94). Woodie Witt of Meeker won in 11.72. Klayton Burns of Cedaredge was second.
Drew Schiller of the Longhorns set a fast early pace and then finished second to Aspen’s Jon Severy in the 1600.
And Basalt’s Jake Lutzeier finished behind the Aspen runner in the 3200.
Michael Palmer also leaped his way to state. He finished second in the triple jump with a leap of 38-9 1/4. Chris Gamble of Eagle Valley won at 39-4.
Kate Lamaster of Basalt earned her trip to state with a third-place finish in the 800. Teammate Lindsey Browder was sixth.
And Megan Lund, a freshman, also qualified for state for the Longhorns.
She finished third in the all-valley 3200-meter run on Saturday.
Aspen’s Mitchell, another double winner, won the 3200 for girls with freshman Caroline Cretti of Roaring Fork third.
Basalt freshman Megan Lund and early race leader Eleanor Cleverly, also of Basalt, were third and fourth, both qualifying for state.
Yet another Roaring Fork Valley runner was sixth (Sami Boyle of Roaring Fork).
The Basalt girls also qualified the 4×400 relay team, following a third-place finish on Saturday.
The 3A State Track and Field Championships will open Friday morning at the Fountain-Fort Carson Sports Complex, located south of Colorado Springs.
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