Basalt girls use teamwork to hit state podium

Dale Strode
The Aspen Times
Aspen High School's Mckenna Woodrow eases through the finish line in the Class 3A girls 4x400 relay Friday afternoon at Jeffco Stadium in Lakewood. Basalt's Nicole Alvarado (in purple) finishes just behind. Both Aspen and Basalt qualified for the finals.
Dale Strode / The Aspen Times |

LAKEWOOD ­— Nicole Alvarado has a new term to describe her Basalt High School relay teammates at the State Track and Field Championships.

She calls them her “sisters.”

Alvarado ran the anchor leg for the Longhorns in the girls 800 sprint medley relay Friday morning at a packed Jeffco Stadium, helping the Basalt girls finish seventh and climb onto the podium in the 3A state meet.

Later Friday afternoon, Alvarado ran the anchor leg in the girls 4×400 relay preliminaries as the Basalt girls advanced to today’s finals with the eighth-fastest qualifying time.

“These girls are my best friends, “ Alvarado said after the podium performance in the medley relay with teammates Morgan Ash, Alyssa Maniscalchi and Michell Cabrera – all sophomores. “No. They’re more than my like my sisters.”

She said their support for each other helps out in the races.

“We’re really close,” she said after the Longhorns posted a time of 1:54.43 for Basalt’s second podium finish at state. The Basalt 4×800 relay team finished ninth on Thursday.

Eaton won the girls medley Friday in 1:49.84.

In the 4×400 late Friday afternoon, Alvarado teamed with Maniscalchi, Carly Robinson and Jenna Curnow and the Longhorns clocked a 4:15.92 to earn a lane in today’s relay finals in suburban Denver.

Thursday and Friday results boost momentum for Saturday’s races, she said.

“It motivates me,” she said, fresh from a school-record performance in the prelims of the 400 meters Thursday.

Alvarado advanced to today’s 400 finals with a PR of 1:01.28 in the qualifying round, shattering a Basalt record set back in 1987.

“I felt so proud of myself,” Alvarado said of her PR. “Finally, I was able to break (the previous PR).”

She has the fourth-fastest qualifying time of the nine runners in the final.


The Aspen High School girls 4×400 relay team rallied for a third-place finish in the qualifying heat and earned a trip to Saturday’s Class 3A finals in the event.

The Skiers finished with the sixth-best preliminary time of 4:15.08.

Julia Jungquist, in her first appearance at the state track championships, led off the relay team under the guidance of Aspen head coach James Aldridge.

Jungquist ran a strong opening leg in the far outside line, setting the Skiers up to advance.

Adair Pattillo ran the second leg and handed the baton to Dara Schenck. Both raced at state last year.

Mckenna Woodrow of the Skiers ran the anchor leg and ensured the Aspen girls would advance to Saturday’s medal round.

“I just tried to kick and finish strong,” said Woodrow, who crossed the finish line a few yards ahead of Nicole Alvarado of the Basalt Longhorns, who also qualified for the finals. “My teammates are so amazing.”

Jungquist said she enjoyed her first race at state.

“I felt really good about the race,” Jungquist said. “I had struggled this year with … pacing in the 400. But today I was happy.”

The Skiers and the Longhorns will take to the starting line at 4:40 p.m. today in the 4×400 finals in Class 3A.

Cheering on the Aspen High School girls relay team was sprinter Sunday Abarca, who will race in the 3A finals in all three sprint events Saturday.

Abarca, a junior and the defending state champion at 400 meters, will start his day with the 100 finals at 10:40 a.m..

An hour later and Abarca will race in the 400 finals.

His 200 final is set for 1:22 p.m. Saturday.

Basalt senior Caleb Rewinkel also will hit the runway today as the top-qualifying long jumper in Class 3A. He jumped 21-7.25 top top the 18 state qualifiers. He will jump this morning for the Longhorns.