Alpine girls win in Frisco
Aspen Times Staff Writer
The Alpine Christian Academy girls cross-country team won its first meet in a year Saturday at the Summit Invitational in Frisco.
Led by third-place overall finisher Ashley Eaton and Amy Lund in eighth, the Alpine Christian Academy girls edged Summit County High School for the team victory, Alpine’s first since the Summit Invitational last year.
“They were thrilled,” said Alpine coach Ron Lund.
Meanwhile, the Aspen High cross-country team raced at the Moffat County Invitational in Craig Saturday, where AHS sophomore Christy Severy finished third in the girls race and AHS junior Simi Hamilton took third in the boys race.
Due to the format of the Moffat County race, Aspen did not record team scores, “but it went really well for us how ever you count,” said Aspen coach Chris Keleher.
In Frisco, Alpine’s Eaton, a senior, finished the difficult 5K course in 23 minutes, 6 seconds, good for third in a field of 54. Buena Vista’s Rachel Gioscia won the race in 20:40 to remain undefeated on the season with at least five victories, according to Lund.
“It was a very, very tough course, and Ashley’s no slouch, so for [Gioscia] to beat her by two minutes – wow, she just dusted the field,” Lund said.
Alpine freshman Amy Lund was eighth (24:10), followed by sophomore Kate Wilson (12th, 25:01); senior Whitney Lund (18th, 25:37); and junior Sophie Stenstadvold (23rd, 25:51).
A total of eight schools competed in the girls race.
“They were pleased with the way they ran on that course,” said coach Lund, “because we haven’t seen anything like it this year. Running at 9,000 feet is tough enough, and they made it very challenging with the way they set the course on the hills, but I thought we handled it pretty well.”
On the boys side for Alpine, sophomore Collin Stewart was seventh in the field of 55, clocked in 19:48, and freshman Duncan McDaniel was 43rd (22:58). (The Alpine boys did not record a team score.)
Christy Severy, the sophomore defending Class 3A state cross-country champion, once again ran onto the podium at the Moffat County Invitational in Craig.
Severy finished third in 20:22, about 35 seconds behind the winner from Fruita Monument in a field of 60 to 70 runners, according to Chris Keleher, the Aspen coach. To date this season, Severy’s results include two firsts, two thirds and a fourth.
“It wasn’t the type of course that we like to run on – pretty flat and pretty fast, and she was chasing girls down pretty much the whole time,” said coach Keleher. “The first mile is really narrow and winding, and I didn’t see it, but Christy said some girl checked her off into the weeds. So there was some high jinks out of the course, but that’s all part of racing.
“And I told [Christy], `Well, you’re used to that – you’re a hockey player, too,'” Keleher continued with a chuckle.
Other Aspen girls finishers included sophomore Jessica Andrews (25th, 23:08); freshman Laura Hatanaka (26th, 23:12); and senior Merritt Gates (28th, 23:27).
In the boys race in Craig, Aspen junior Simi Hamilton made his 2003 cross-country debut in third place (17:25). Hamilton, a top nordic ski racer, hadn’t been eligible to race for the AHS cross-country team until this past weekend because he has been training elsewhere, Keleher said.
“But he ran really well,” said Keleher, “and it was good to see him back out running.”
Aspen junior Brandon Cooper was 35th (19:10) in the field of 110 boys in Craig, followed by senior Scott Evans (49th, 19:50); senior John Hatanaka (52nd, 20:09); freshman Barton Tofany (87th, 22:09); junior Geoff Walker (88th, 22:13); junior Weston Boyles (94th, 22:32); sophomore R.J. Jensen (102nd, 23:20); and freshman Jack Bethel (104th, 23:28).
The Aspen team, and Alpine for that matter, has already begun looking toward Saturday and the Chris Severy Invitational Cross Country Challenge in Aspen. A memorial race for Christy Severy’s older brother, a former standout runner at Aspen High School and the University of Colorado, Boulder, who was killed in a cycling accident, typically draws more than 20 teams from around the state.
And the course, which has yet to be finalized, promises to be challenging.
“Chris [Keleher] always makes something that’s true cross country,” said Alpine’s Lund.
“None of this Denver, fast-course stuff that we saw earlier this year,” confirmed Keleher.
“A lot of the Aspen kids had a touch of a cold Saturday, or a little nagging injury, and they were more interested in not running [Saturday in Craig] in order to be healthy to run at home. You only have one home meet in a cross-country season, and everyone’s looking forward to it.”
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