Aspen girls fourth at state cross-country meet | AspenTimes.com

Aspen girls fourth at state cross-country meet

Jon Maletz
The Aspen Times
Aspen, CO Colorado

Aspen Cross Country team at the State Meet in Denver.

AURORA, Colo. – Basalt cross-country coach Ron Lund likened the state course to the one at Aspen High, only 3,000 feet lower.

The Skiers girls sure looked right at home Saturday at Aurora’s hilly Arapahoe County Fairgrounds. Freshman Kylie Davis and junior Ellie Parker crossed the finish line in 17th and 18th, respectively, helping propel Aspen to a fourth-place finish.

Lamont Gross’ 30th-place finish paced the Skiers boys, who wound up 10th – four spots behind rival Basalt.

“We were hoping for a Top 5 but were only 11 points out of fifth,” Longhorns head coach Ron Lund said. “We had a couple guys run their best race of the year, and some that didn’t. All in all, we’re very satisfied with the way the team finished.”

Raleigh Burleigh led the way for the Basalt boys, winding up 20th in 17 minutes, 29 seconds. Giulio Del Piccolo (17:41), Conner Roper (17:43) and Jacob Besser (18:22) finished 31st, 33rd and 56th, respectively.

Roper, who was second at last week’s regionals, appeared primed for a Top 5 finish Saturday. The senior, who has been battling a shin injury, was leading at the midway point and was second with about 1 mile to go.

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“The wheels came off pretty quickly,” Lund admitted. “[The shin] wasn’t so much the problem. He took it a little too aggressively – he was puking in the last 100 yards. He lost a few places right there.

“The course was definitely the hilliest state course we’ve run. I think it helped our team.”

And helped Aspen. Freshman Ryley Sutton and junior Molly Rosenstein finished 39th and 57th, respectively, for the Skiers girls, whose 131 points were just 16 more than third-place Estes Park.

The Classical Academy (39), who had four runners finish in the Top 12, ran away with the girls title. Hotchkiss (95) was a distant second.

Middle Park senior Samantha Berggren captured the individual victory with a time of 19:19.07.

Josh Simkins (16:44.65) and Adam Avischious (16:49) helped Classical dominate the boys race, too, finishing second and third, respectively. Alamosa (51) was second, 11 points behind Classical, and Salida (110), led by race winner Josh Noriega (16:03.80) was third.

Skiers seniors Luke Smith (17:53.15) and Madison Coia (18:12.45) and junior Kellan Kremer (19:19.90) wound up 39th, 53rd and 86th, respectively, in a field of 118.

Aspen head coach Chris Keleher did not return a call seeking comment.

jmaletz@aspentimes.com

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