Basalt runners pick up four wins on home track
The Aspen Times
Aspen, CO Colorado
BASALT ” Local athletes made themselves right at home in Saturday’s Roaring Fork Valley Invitational.
Basalt runners shined on a drizzly day at their home track, picking up four wins. Aspen picked up two wins and was well represented on the leaderboard, too, in a final tune-up before the regional meet at Grand Junction’s Stocker Stadium in Grand Junction on Friday and Saturday.
Leading the way for the Longhorns was Taylor Allmon, who won both the 100 (12.72 seconds) and 200 (26.94).
“She’s been a little dinged up, but she’s getting healthy and is peaking at the right time,” Basalt head coach Ron Lund said Sunday. “Despite being injured, she’s putting in the work to get in shape and be where she needs to be.”
Chiara Del Piccolo was kept out of her best event, the 3,200, in order to prepare for regionals. That didn’t keep the junior from picking up an unlikely victory in the 800. She finished in 2:35, nearly three seconds ahead of Aspen’s Lindsey Wilkinson.
Del Piccolo also took second in the 1,600. Grand Valley’s Brandi Krieg out-sprinted her in the final lap ” just as she did April 18 at the Rifle Invitational ” and crossed the line seven seconds ahead in 5:26.
Krieg also won Saturday’s 400.
“She’s right there, and you know we’re 2,000 feet lower in Grand Junction and the weather’s supposed to be nice,” Lund said of Del Piccolo. “She’s [pre-qualified for state] in the 3,200 and is looking solid for the top three [in the 1,600].”
Erin Ericson turned in he surprise of the day in the 200, where she finished second to teammate Allmon with a time of 28.66. It was the first time she had ever broken 30 seconds.
“I think there was a tailwind, but that’s a great improvement,” Lund said of the junior.
Kelsey Tofany paced the Aspen girls with a win in the 300 hurdles. She also took second in the high jump with a leap of 4-feet-8. Skiers head coach Chris Keleher did not return calls seeking comment.
On the boys’ side, Basalt’s Conner Roper followed Del Piccolo’s lead with a win in the 800, finishing in 2:07. Roper surged in front just 300 yards into the race and led for the duration, Lund said.
Basalt’s boys and girls also took second and third, respectively, in the distance medley, which features a 1,200, 400, 800 and a 1,600.
“We’ve got some kids that really have to step up to have any type of chance [at regionals],” Lund said. “The kids that I know have a realistic chance, I like where they are at this point.”
Aspen’s Luke Hemming won the 100 with a time of 11.7, soared 5-feet-10 to take second in the high jump and wound up third in the 200. Teammate Nick Codd was third in both the 200 (22.52) and the high jump. The two were also part of Aspen’s 4×200 team that finished fourth.
David Stapleton is the development officer for the Aspen Valley Ski & Snowboard Club. A product of the club, AVSC sat down with Stapleton for a Q&A session in this week’s Clubhouse Chronicles.