Basalt girls and boys finish fourth at state
The Basalt boys cross country team finished fourth at the 3A state meet Saturday in Colorado Springs – a first in the program’s history.The Basalt girls team also had another impressive state showing with a fourth-place finish. In 2001 and 2004, the team finished third overall.”I thought we ran well,” Basalt coach Ron Lund said. “From a team standpoint, I couldn’t be happier with two top-10 finishes. Every year we go to state, there are more and more teams that are capable of finishing in the top three, so I was pleased with how well we ran.”The Aspen boys and girls teams didn’t fare as well. Aspen senior Christy Severy finished a disappointing 12th – her first finish out of the top three in four years. Junior Noah Hoffman was ninth one week after winning the 3A Western Slope regional at the Aspen Golf Club.”The conditions were fine for running,” Aspen coach Chris Keleher said. “Typically, you have one or two bad races a season. Unfortunately, their bad races came at the state championship.”The five-kilometer course at the El Pomar Youth Complex didn’t necessarily suit the strengths of both Aspen teams, Keleher said.The Skiers ran the course at an earlier meet this season to get a mental blueprint for state, but that didn’t seem to help much Saturday.”It’s a course which typically we have not run very strong on,” Keleher said. “It favors foot speed. It’s almost a road race. A really flat course. There was also more grass this time. Our kids are better with courses that have more hills.”Teamwise, the Skiers boys finished 11th. Keleher didn’t have the official times for all of his runners, nor the team results for the girls. Official results were not available on the CHSAA (Colorado High School Activities Association) website at press time.For the Basalt girls, senior Kate Wilson led the way in 20th place with a finishing time of 20 minutes, 48 seconds. Junior Amy Lund was 32nd (21:07), followed by senior Emily Taets (39th, 21:18), sophomore Annie Tempest (65th, 21:54) and sophomore Nuala Del Piccolo (75th, 22:07).The Classical Academy, a charter school in Colorado Springs, ran away with the state championship with 79 points. Brush was second with 126 points. Machebauf, a private school in Denver, was third with 140. Basalt was fourth with 156.Gunnison, which edged out Basalt for first place in the 3A regional on Saturday, finished eighth. Lund said his girls team was the highest school to place that hadn’t won a regional championship the week before.”In this race we had our closest time between our first and fifth runner,” Lund said. “My third, fourth and fifth girls really ran good race and that kept us in it. Our pack time was 1 minute, six seconds, which was the best we’ve run all year.”In the boys race, Senior Collin Stewart saved his best state finish for last, crossing the line in 10th with a time of 17:20.Junior Casey Weaver was nine seconds off Stewart’s pace, finishing in 15th (17:29). Junior Duncan McDaniel was 61st (18:24), sophomore Andrew Galemore was 81st (18:44) and senior Theo Pulver was 99th (18:59) in the field of 162 runners.Teamwise, Bayfield upset heavily favored Colorado Springs Christian for the 3A state title with 72 points, one point lower than the Lions’ 73.The Classical Academy was third with 95 points. Basalt was fourth with 162.Lund said Saturday marked the culmination of an unforgettable season – one where his boys team proved it was better than he initially expected when the team officially began training in August.”They came on toward the end of the season,” Lund said. “Obviously, winning regionals was real impressive.”Nate Peterson’s e-mail address is email@example.com.
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