Basalt girls podium at states; Severy 3rd

Tim Mutrie

Buoyed by three top-25 finishes at the Class 3A state cross-country championships in Colorado Springs Saturday, the Basalt High girls team at one point held the overall lead.And while they missed snatching the team title by 15 points, the Basalt girls took third to mark their third podium performance in the five-year history of the midvalley team. (Until this season, it was an Alpine Christian Academy squad.)Meanwhile, Aspen dasher Christy Severy – the 2002 state champ as a freshman and fifth-place finisher last fall – placed third individually, leading the Aspen girls to an 11th-place finish in a field of 22 teams. (See page A15 for results.)Severy, a junior, completed the flat, gravel cart-path 5K course at the El Pomar Recreation Complex/The Vineyards Golf Course in 19 minutes, 6 seconds. Repeat champion Rachel Gioscia of Buena Vista won in 18:27, followed by runner-up Kristen McGlynn of Platte Canyon (18:56).In the boys race, Noah Hoffman led Aspen with an eighth-place finish (16:47) and Collin Stewart paced Basalt with a 17th-place effort (17:04). The Basalt and Aspen boys finished 17th and 18th, respectively, among 30 boys teams.Kate Wilson led the Longhorn girls in 10th in 19:46. Amy Lund trailed in 17th (20:03), followed by Sofie Stenstadvold in 24th (29:18).”We were leading when Sofie came in,” said Basalt coach Ron Lund. “We had the first three in.”Basalt’s Annie Tempest finished in 21:17 for 65th as the fourth scoring Basalt runner; Emily Taets followed in 88th (21:55).In the girls team standings, The Classical Academy won with 101 points, followed by Pagosa Springs (107) and Basalt (116). (The scores reflect the sum of the placements, 1st or 13th for example, of each teams’ four scoring runners.)”It was close. They were right in it. And I think they should all be very happy,” said Lund. “Overall, everybody felt like we ran as well as we can run, but we’re just not quite there yet. But I think if somebody told us before the race we’d be top three, we would’ve been ecstatic.”I’m amazed at the consistency we’ve shown every year at state,” Lund continued. “It’s really rewarding to have kids that can just perform on that day, because the unexpected usually happens at states.”Aspen’s Severy ran with the leaders until about a mile and a third into the race, when Gioscia and McGlynn pulled away. In the last mile, Gioscia made her winning move past McGlynn, according to Aspen coach Chris Keleher.”I think it was a good feeling for Christy to be back near the front again,” said Keleher. “But I don’t think she ran her best race either, and she’s frustrated. She wants to be state champion again.”And I don’t think this is a course that favors her running style – or any Aspen runner’s style – just because it’s so flat. We’re built to run uphill,” said Keleher.Severy won her state title on a comparatively hilly course at Kent Denver in 2002; the last two state meets have been held on the same course in Colorado Springs. In the coming weeks, Keleher, for one, is hoping state officials shift the state meet back to the hills somewhere. “Something to make it less of a road race,” he said.As for Aspen’s team finishes, Keleher was proud, considering the gutsy efforts made by both the girls and boys team at the regional state-qualifier in Delta one week before.”Since we began our season, the main goal was to get to state,” Keleher said. “Next year, we’ll say our goal isn’t just to get there, but to do well there.”And there’s a big difference between the two. I thought we were going to have a tough enough time getting to state, but they ran great. They kept getting better and better and better and I’m proud of them.”And Aspen, like Basalt, will have most runners back next season. “The biggest difference,” said Lund, “is we’ll have that much more experience.”