Basalt’s Del Piccolo fourth at XC state championships | AspenTimes.com

Basalt’s Del Piccolo fourth at XC state championships

Jon Maletz
The Aspen Times
Aspen, CO Colorado

AURORA, Colo. – Basalt’s Giulio Del Piccolo triumphed on a flat Confluence Park course at last week’s regionals in Delta. Saturday, he attacked the hills at the Arapahoe County Fairgrounds in Aurora and distinguished himself as one of the state’s top runners.

The Longhorns senior worked his way through the pack early and held on late to preserve a fourth-place finish in the 3A boys race at the Colorado High School Activities Association’s State Cross Country Championships. In the process, Del Piccolo recorded the best finish in the program’s eight-year history.

“After the way he ran last week, I told him for sure he could be in the top 10, and top five was definitely realistic,” Basalt head coach Ron Lund said. “I wasn’t real surprised. I think he ran as well as he could.

“He was in the top 10 after the first mile and had some company through two miles. He got into fourth with a half mile to go and on the uphill finish he held his place. … What a good way to finish his cross country career.”

Del Piccolo’s time of 17 minutes was 16 seconds off the pace set by winner Evan Fortney of Faith Christian. The Classical Academy’s Conner Wilburn (16:47) and Joshua George (16:48) finished second and third, helping the Titans run away with the team title with 36 points. University (117) and Alamosa (144) rounded out the top three.

The gap was even wider in the girls race. Shelby Stableford (18:45), Regan Mullen (18:56), Lauren Hamilton (19:37) and Megan Brunette (19:47) finished second, third, seventh and eighth for the Classical Academy, which finished with 20 points – 86 fewer than second-place Salida. Hotchkiss (133) took third and Aspen (136), the regional champions last week in Delta, wound up fourth.

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Lily Isaacson (21:15) paced the Skiers in 30th, while Ellie Parker (21:19), Tayler Quist (21:31) and Ryley Sutton (21:31) took 32nd, 36th and 38th.

“Another good showing for the Skiers,” head coach Chris Keleher said. “I think everybody ran a PR from earlier in the season on this course, so they saved one of their best races for last. I have no complaints, but it would’ve been great to get an extra three [points].

“There was really no hope we were going to win – Classical is just crazy strong. They only scored 20 points. That’s kind of impossible to go up against.”

In other action Saturday, Basalt’s Jacob Besser (18:04) and Aspen’s Egbert Ospina (18:06) – The Skiers’ lone boys state representative – finished 35th and 37th.

jmaletz@aspentimes.com