Basalt packs bus for state track meet |

Basalt packs bus for state track meet

Dale Strode
The Aspen Times

Pack up the bus — a big bus. The Longhorns are headed to the state track meet.

The Basalt High School track and field team, with some 15 state qualifiers, will compete in the CHSAA State Track and Field Championships starting today at Jeffco Stadium in Lakewood, just west of Denver.

The state track championships, which feature all the different school classifications together at one venue, will continue Friday and Saturday at the track complex in suburban west Denver.

The Longhorns will compete in Class 3A, led by a pair of four-event state qualifiers — Sean Ryan and Willy Salamanca.

Ryan has qualified for state in the 100-meter dash and the 200-meter dash as well as the relays for the Basalt boys.

Teammate Salamanca has qualified in the 800 as well as the Basalt relays.

“We have been fortunate enough to excel in many events this year,” Basalt head coach Ben Blaeser said in an email interview with The Aspen Times. “Our boys sprinting group is fantastic (100, 200, 4×100 and 4×200).”

Blaeser also had praise for the Basalt distance runners.

“The distance group is led by Zach Walsh in the 1,600 and the 3,200,” Blaeser said.

Ivano Del Piccolo, of the Longhorns, qualified in the hurdle events and the high jump.

Other relay sprinters include Brandon Henriquez, Alejandro Talavera and David Salguero.

Cody Rewinkel, of the Longhorns, will race at state in the 300-meter hurdles.

Basalt’s distance relay qualifiers include Josue Vigil and Adrian Jujan.

Dylan Rakowski will compete in the boys high jump at the state championships his week.

The Basalt girls will be led by school record-holder Hunter Ash.

She qualified in the 100 hurdles and the high jump for the 3A girls.

Ash broke the Basalt school record in the 100-meter hurdles when she ran 16.55 seconds on May 3.

“Sean Ryan, Josh Andrade and Alejandro Tavera are our senior leaders,” Blaeser said.

The Basalt captains this year are Rewinkel, Kerry Reynolds, Salamanca, Gordon Murphy, Ash and Del Piccolo.

The Basalt boys 4×100 and 4×200 relays are on the verge of breaking both school records, Blaeser said.

They could fall this week with the fast fields at the high school state championships.

“This has been one of the beast coaching year’s I have had,” Blaeser said. “My two assistant coaches (Kelsie Goodman and Justin Kovach) are fantastic. And the kids are amazing.”

The annual State Track and Field Championships form one of the largest prep championship events in Colorado, along with the State Wrestling Championships at the Pepsi Center.

Finals in most sprinting events and hurdles will be Saturday.

Qualifying will dominate the schedule today and Friday at Jeffco Stadium.

Basalt’s Ash is coming off a second-place finish in the girls high jump last week. She cleared 4-8 at the league meet in Grand Junction.

She also finished fourth in the 100 hurdles and fifth in the 300 hurdles at the league championships.

Walsh is coming off a pair of league titles last weekend in Grand Junction.

The Basalt distance runner won the 1,600 in 4:48.28.

He doubled to win the 3,200 in 10:34.13.

Ryan finished third in the 200 meters at Grand Junction (23:43). He also was fourth in the 100 (11.58).

Del Piccolo was third in the 110 hurdles last week. Rewinkel, who finished fifth in the 300 hurdle finals, was second in the long jump (20-2.75).

Salamanca’s 2:01.95 was good for second place in the 800-meter run at the league championships.

Rakowski finished fifth in the high jump and fourth in the long jump.

The Basalt boys sprint relays finished second (4×200) and third (4×100).

The 4×200 team featured Ryan, Salamanca, Salguero and Talavera.

The 4×100 team featured Henriquez, Rewinkel, Ryan and Salamanca.

In 3A Western Slope League scoring last week, the Basalt boys finished fourth (99 points). Coal Ridge won with 195 points. Cedaredge (123) was second. Gunnison (100) finished third.

The Basalt girls finished eighth in a meet won by Cedaredge (187 points).