AHS, BHS qualify for state meet | AspenTimes.com

AHS, BHS qualify for state meet

Tim Mutrie

Aspen High junior Christy Severy ran away with her third consecutive Class 3A Western Slope Regional cross-country title in Delta Saturday, leading the charge for the Aspen and Basalt girls and boys teams, which all qualified for the state meet in Colorado Springs this Saturday.Severy won the girls 5K race handily in 18 minutes, 47 seconds, but the Basalt High girls, not far behind, won the team calculation. Basalt’s Kate Wilson and Amy Lund finished second and third, respectively (with the same time of 19:35), followed by Longhorn teammates Sofie Stenstadvold in fifth (20:04) and Annie Tempest in 16th to round out Basalt’s four scoring runners.”It was pretty obvious that Christy [Severy] had control of the race, but we had three behind in the next pack and they looked really strong,” said Basalt coach Ron Lund.The Aspen girls finished second behind the performances of Severy, Laura Hatanaka (12th), Abby Mickey (19th) and Jessica Andrews (20th).”Christy [Severy] told us afterward she was comfortable the whole time – just out there running,” said Aspen coach Chris Keleher. “Laura [Hatanaka] really stood out. She’d been up and down all season long. But Christy had talked to her during the week about how we all thought she could run, and I think when they hear something like that from a teammate, it seems to mean more. And Abby [Mickey] had a great race as a freshman.”In the boys race, Aspen’s Noah Hoffman battled with Hotchkiss’ Garrett Marquardt for much of the race, with Marquardt winning in the last 200 yards. Marquardt finished in 16:18, with Hoffman following in 16:26.”It was side by side at the front the whole way,” said Keleher. “Just a great, good ol’ fashioned race.”Basalt’s Collin Stewart finished a strong fourth in 17:04.Hotchkiss won the boys team calculation with 37 points, followed by Aspen (44) and Basalt (48).At the meet, the top four boys and girls teams (of six) qualified to race in the Class 3A state meet Saturday.Aspen’s team finish was solidified by Hoffman, Barton Tofany (7th), Jacob O’Connor (14th) and Joseph Oppenheimer (23rd), while Basalt secured third on the efforts of Stewart, Duncan McDaniel (13th), Casey Weaver (14th) and Theo Pulver (19th).”Theo [Pulver] had an exceptional race,” said Lund. “He was within 20 seconds of Casey and he hadn’t been within a minute and 20 seconds of Casey all year. He ran the way he needed to get us that trip.”Keleher, for one, was ecstatic with the overall results.”The kids ran at a level that I didn’t think a lot of them were ready for yet, so they shocked me and I’m so excited I can barely speak. Now, I’m just very excited to see them run at state,” he said.It marks the sixth year in Keleher’s tenure that both Aspen teams will be competing at the state meet. “But I never thought we’d get second place at regionals for both teams. The guys, especially, just shocked everybody. Other coaches were saying, ‘Who are these guys,'” Keleher said.For Basalt, the former Alpine Christian Academy team until this season, it marks the third girls team victory at regionals in five years (including the Alpine squads).”But only once in the previous four years have we had a boys team qualify for states,” said coach Lund, who also guided the Alpine teams. “So to have two teams going, we’re excited. That was the goal all year and we’re very happy.”As for the week ahead, Lund said his runners have already done the necessary legwork.”We’ll still run a little, but there’s nothing we can do in the last week from a training standpoint that’s going to make us better,” he said. “Either you’ve got it by now, or you don’t. The main thing is to make sure they’re rested, and good and nervous when they get to the line.”