Basalt High track and field team back at state meet strong in numbers

Basalt High School senior Miles Levy practices at the high jump Monday in Basalt.
Austin Colbert/The Aspen Times |

Apparently two days of practice and only informal training from teammates Morgan Ash and Kaylin Williams was enough to get Basalt High School’s Miles Levy into the state track and field meet last season.

“Morgan and Kaylin Williams helped me out a lot,” Levy said. “On my first jump I jumped over and off the mat, straight to the grass. So we’ve come a long way since then.”

Levy, a baseball player in the spring who had never competed in track, only attended one regular-season meet last season. It was the final meet of the year, after the baseball season had ended, and he only went because two of his best friends were on the team and talked him into it.

On limited practice, he tried his luck at the high jump, cleared 5 feet, 11 inches, and qualified for state.

“It was so much fun just watching some of the best athletes in the state compete,” Levy said. “I didn’t do too well last year (at state), but it’s a new year.”

Levy finished 15th in Class 3A a year ago as a junior with a height of 5-07. It was almost rinse and repeat as a senior. He again played baseball, and when the Longhorns didn’t make the postseason, decided to see if he could qualify for state in track again. He did, again qualifying in the last meet of the season, and will head to this week’s state meet in Lakewood tied with the 14th best seed mark in 3A at 5-11.

“I didn’t really come to a whole lot of practices just because baseball was at the same time, but I just kind of came out on the free period that I had and tried to get it down,” Levy said. “I’m going to try and clear 6-1. That’s our school record right now. I’m going to try and clear that and hopefully get it up to 6-3 so I can have that one.”

The 3A boys’ high jump finals are scheduled for 11 a.m. Saturday, weather permitting.

From the slopes to the track

Levy is one of two BHS boys headed to the state meet this week. The other is junior Noah Williams, a former ski racer who moved to the Roaring Fork Valley in December after spending the previous nine years in Truckee, California.

His track and field experience before this season was similar to that of Levy’s, as in not much.

“He showed up on Day 1 and had never been in the starting blocks,” Basalt coach Allyson Decatur said. “To come from there to qualifying for state, which it’s pretty steep to get into state in an individual event, so it took a lot of hard work and a lot of dedication to doing the hard work at practice, to hone those skills so he’s not just raw sprinter.”

Williams, whose primary sport is football, qualified in both the 100- and 200-meter dashes. He is seeded 15th in the 100 (11.31 seconds) and 17th in the 200 (23.01). The top 18 in the state made the field.

Among the favorites to win both of those races is Aspen High School senior Sunday Abarca, the two-time reigning state champion in the 400-meter dash.

“He was actually one of my good buddies before I even started track,” Williams said of Abarca. “He kind of showed me the ropes around Aspen and turns out he’s one of my biggest competitors.”

Williams expects to be a running back and linebacker for the Longhorns’ football team next fall as a senior. And while that remains his No. 1, his success on the track this spring has certainly elevated the sport in his mind.

“It was a huge surprise. First year of track you are not expecting state,” Williams said of qualifying. “I’m going to do what they’ve taught me this last season. Obviously it’s going to be the best I can do.”

Prelims for the 3A boys’ 100-meter dash are scheduled for 2:40 p.m. Thursday, while the 200 prelims are scheduled for 6:05 p.m. The finals for both are scheduled for Saturday.

Basalt girls load up on relays

The BHS girls are sending a large contingent to the state meet his week, including junior Morgan Ash, who will compete in the high jump, 100-meter hurdles and two relays.

The other individual qualifier for the Longhorn girls is sophomore Megan Maley, who will compete in all three qualified relays as well as the 400-meter dash. While she knew she was headed to state for the relays, Maley didn’t think she had done enough to make it in the 400.

“It was crazy. I was actually in the middle of a math test and one of my good friends came in and said, ‘Round of applause for Megan!’ Maley said. “My whole math class was clapping for me and I really didn’t know what was going on.”

Maley also qualified for state last season as a freshman, but did not compete as it conflicted with a ballet recital. She decided to forgo ballet this year to focus on running.

“Just to be able to compete with those girls is really an honor. I’m just beyond happy,” Maley said.

She is seeded 16th in the 400 with a seed time of 1 minute, 1.35 seconds. The prelims are at 7:05 p.m. Thursday.

The bulk of the Basalt girls going are in the relays. The Longhorns are qualified to compete in the 4×100-meter relay, 4×800-meter relay and 800-meter sprint medley. Maley, a distance runner who also competes in cross country, will run the 400-meter portion of the medley.

The rest of the 4×800 relay team includes Carly Robinson, Jenna Curnow and Lily Gillis.

Both the 4×100 and medley teams are comprised of Maley, Ash, Michell Cabrera and Alyssa Maniscalchi.

The sprint medley prelim is scheduled for 2:10 p.m. Thursday, while the 4×800 prelim is scheduled for 4:45 p.m. The 4×100 prelim is scheduled for 9:35 a.m. Friday.

“It’s definitely pressure with all these relays, but I’m hoping to get a podium on the 4×8 with those girls,” Maley said. “In the medley we are really close to breaking the school record right now, so that’s a big goal of ours.”

The 4×100 relay is seeded 15th (52.41), the 4×800 relay seeded ninth (10:17.72) and the sprint medley seeded 13th (1:55.06).

Ash will compete at 4 p.m. Thursday in the high jump finals, where she is seeded 11th. Her 100-meter hurdles prelims are Thursday at 3:50 p.m.