Aspen, Basalt harriers tune up for regional
MONTROSE – A week before the regional meet in Delta, Aspen and Basalt’s cross-country teams had a little fun at the Montrose Relays.The race, which pairs two runners together, with each runner running three one-mile laps, saw girls and boys on the course at the same time, with no team title at stake. The coed division was the most intriguing, and the most competitive, with three pairs of Durango runners notching a 1-2-5 finish.The best finish for a local duo was the fourth-place showing turned in by Aspen junior Natalie Obermeyer and senior teammate Barton Tofany, who finished behind a pair of runners from Crested Butte. Tofany had to make up ground on Basalt’s leading duo of Amy Lund and Tyler Wilson on the final lap, with Lund crossing the line sixth.Obermeyer said the objective was to increase the pace on each lap, but found herself being pulled out at the race’s start because of the fast pace.”I was surprised at how fast everyone went out, but it was because there were boys,” Obermeyer said. “My second lap probably was my slowest, just because I went out too fast in my first lap.”Aspen senior Jake O’Connor and sophomore Lindsey Wilkinson finished just behind Lund and Wilson in seventh. Aspen junior Scott Lacy and senior Laura Hatanaka finished just out of the top 10, in eleventh.The Skiers were without their top boys runner, Noah Hoffman, who is at an invite-only training camp with the national nordic ski team in Park City, Utah.Wilson noted that the race was different than any other race this season, most notably because with multiple divisions, and both girls and boys on course, it was tough to tell who was leading each division.”You don’t know who you need to stay with,” Wilson said. “It’s a faster pace than your regular [5-kilometer race], but I was probably a little too fast on my first lap. I had a lot of adrenaline, so I took off a little fast.”The Skiers and Longhorns have one more week of practice to prepare for Saturday’s regional in Delta, which will be held a on a flat course similar to the one at Montrose. “This is great training,” said Aspen coach Chris Keleher. “It’s a really great workout to run 1-mile intervals. Everybody usually comes to Montrose for a good warmup before regionals.”Nate Peterson’s e-mail address is email@example.com
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The 2020-21 Nordic combined season was supposed to be historic. This winter was going to be the first ever with women’s Nordic combined World Cup events, the first scheduled for Dec. 3-6 in Lillehammer, Norway.