AHS, BHS send 24 track & field athletes to state
The Aspen High track and field team qualified 14 athletes for the state championships and Basalt High qualified another 10 at the Class 3A West Regional Track and Field Meet last Friday and Saturday at Mesa State in Grand Junction.At the seven-team regional meet, where the top three finishers in each event qualify for the Class 3A state championship meet in Pueblo Friday and Saturday, Aspen’s Hardy Andersen posted top results in four events to earn four starts at states.Andersen took second in the 100 meters and 200 meters, first in the long jump and, with teammates Tucker Eason, Jon Cavaleri and Jyace Stutsman, second in the 4×100 meter relay.”He sorta has the sprinter attitude of, bring it on, let’s see who’s fastest,” said Aspen coach Chris Keleher. “Hardy’s a real competitor.” (See page 15 for local results.)But Keleher, a longtime Aspen High coach, said both the girls and boys 4×800 meter relays rivaled the best races he’s witnessed, ever.In the girls 4×800, Aspen’s foursome of Christy Severy, Natalie Obermeyer, Cornelia Carpenter and Brittany Fortier edged Basalt’s Amy Lund, Emily Taets, Kate Wilson and Sofie Stenstadvold by less than a second – 10 minutes, 15.45 seconds to 10:16.52.On the boys side, Roaring Fork took first place (8:32.39) while Aspen’s Jacob O’Connor, Adam Huber, Whit Fuller and Barton Tofany fought to take third, and the final state qualifying spot, in 8:33.83.”The girls race was the best race of the day, probably the best race of the weekend,” said Keleher. “There were probably five lead changes. I actually hurt myself sprinting to the other side of the track trying to watch it.””In the boys race, my guys were fourth last year and that didn’t sit well. So they stepped up huge. Their best time was 9:10 going into this, so basically each kid dropped eight seconds. It ranked with the top three high school races I’ve ever seen – the boys 4×800 and the girls 4×800 were top two. Just tooth and nail the whole way.”Severy also took second in the 1600 meters, and first in the 3200 meters, meaning she’s qualified for three events at states. Fortier also qualified in the 800 meters with a second place showing.Basalt’s Haley Stumpus finished second in the 100 meter hurdles (.01 seconds behind Roaring Fork’s Molly Honan), and she also qualified for states in the 800 meter sprint medley along with Natalie Barr, Emily Gustafson and Nicole Wagner. The same relay team also qualified in the 4×100 with a second-place finish.Rounding out the girl qualifiers, Aspen’s Sophie Ben-Hamoo earned a berth at states with a high jump of four feet, 10 inches, good enough for second.Behind Andersen on the boys side, Aspen’s Whit Fuller took third in the 400 meters with a time of 53.63. Meanwhile, in the 800 meters, Basalt’s Duncan McDaniel dashed to second in 2:03.84.Aspen’s David Porter leapt into the state meet with a high jump of five feet, 11 inches, for third place. And in the long jump, Andersen was the only leaper to beat Basalt’s Frank Howard (20 feet, 8 inches to 19 feet, 8 1/2 inches), so the two will duel again at states.In the team standings, the Basalt girls took fifth with 69 points, one point ahead of Aspen. Gunnison won the girls and boys titles, with the Aspen boys fourth and Basalt sixth.”Now it’s off to states,” said Keleher. “All the kids are really excited, especially the boys 4×800 team. They were really frustrated last year, having narrowly missed going, but they worked their tails off and it paid off.””Everyone’s psyched to run and now we’ll have to see what happens.”
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Vail and Beaver Creek resorts Senior Communications Manager John Plack said the company agrees with the state’s assessment that the ski industry must be out-front in its approach to ensure a safe and successful season in Colorado.