Basalt’s Bower wins at Glenwood Springs cross country invite
Glenwood Springs seniors Henry Barth and Gavin Harden held the one-two spots from beginning to end in the annual Demons Invitational on Saturday, chased by a large pack of Heritage harriers from Denver.
Barth claimed the home meet title, covering the 5-kilometer course at the riverfront park below the high school building, with a time of 16 minutes, 15 seconds. He was followed not too far behind by teammate Harden, who came across the line at 16:36.
From there, the Heritage Eagles claimed the next eight positions to run away with the boys team title.
The story was much the same in the high school girls race, where Heritage took four of the top five spots to win the girls team title, as well. The lone exception was Basalt sophomore Sierra Bower, who took top honors, winning the meet title with a time of 20 minutes, 14 seconds.
Barth and Harden, running in their last home cross country meet as high school athletes, said it hit them as they were traversing the trails of their usual after-school training grounds.
“It’s always nice running with family here, cheering you on,” Harden said. “We were just trying to run for place today, but kind of taking it easy for the Delta meet next week.”
Glenwood will compete at the Delta Pantherfest meet on Friday, followed by the Rifle Invitational on Oct. 11 and then the 4A Regionals the week after that.
“The season’s going really well for us two right now,” Barth added, saying he feels like the duo will be at peak performance at the right time.
Glenwood coach Justin Baum said Barth, in particular, does well on what serves as the Demons practice course. The meet was moved this year from the Glenwood Springs Golf Course, where it had been the past few years, to the riverfront meadow course, so that they could have the meet on a Saturday. The golf course is not available on weekends for outside events.
“It has a little bit of pavement, but it’s also got some good uphill for the single-track section,” Baum said of the alternative course. “We wondered if Heritage was going to try to challenge, but I think they held back more for a workout today.
“And, Gavin ran an awesome race,” Baum said.
Another top-20 finisher from the area was Rifle High sophomore Jonathan Hernandez, who placed 14th overall with a time of 18:04.
Glenwood Springs had two additional runners in the top-20, as well, led by freshman Quinn MacPherson (16th, 18:32) and sophomore Dalton Deter (20th, 18:42). Grand Valley senior Kellen Jansen was 19th overall with a time of 18:41, and Basalt junior Tucker Bruce was 21st with a time of 18:52.
BOWER HANGS TOUGH
In the girls race, Basalt’s Bower also held the lead from beginning to end.
“I started the race feeling pretty slow, actually, but then I realized I needed to pick it up a little bit,” she said. “I just kind of pushed at a hard pace, and tried my best to stay with that. It ended up working in my favor.”
Bower said she preferred the meadow course over the golf course venue for the meet.
“It felt a little bit faster to me,” Bower said. “I started out the season injured, so this is really nice to have a win.”
Glenwood Springs freshman Alexa Helms was the top Glenwood finisher for the girls, placing seventh with a time of 21:16.
She was followed by Demon teammates Emma Barsness, also a freshman, in 11th place, 21:44; sophomore Sophia Vigil, 13th, 21:59; freshman Maria Carlson, 15th, 22:16; and freshman Alicia Lowe, 20th, 22:40.
Other area finishers in the top 20 included Basalt senior Natasha Kotz (12th, 21:53); Rifle senior Ashley Manera (14th, 22:14); and Basalt senior Megan Maley (19th, 22:35).
Aspen did not compete at the meet in Glenwood Springs.
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The dual-sport student-athlete was named to the Class 3A Western Slope League all-conference first team for softball as one of two Carbondale players on the Basalt High School softball team team last fall.