Basalt’s Del Piccolo in tune at Cedaredge Invitational |

Basalt’s Del Piccolo in tune at Cedaredge Invitational

Jon Maletz
The Aspen Times
Aspen, CO Colorado

CEDAREDGE, Colo. ” Basalt distance runner Chiara Del Piccolo is hitting all the right notes thus far this season.

The junior overwhelmed the field at Saturday’s Cedaredge Invitational, cruising to meet-record wins in both the 1,600 and 3,200. She is unbeaten in her last four races.

“Those meet records were soft to begin with, but she put them out of reach for a while,” Longhorns track coach Ron Lund said Tuesday. “At least until she runs next year.”

Del Piccolo was tested during the mile, jockeying with another competitor for the top spot with 300 meters remaining. But a late surge propelled her to a five-second finish and a time of 5 minutes, 28 seconds ” just two seconds shy of the state pre-qualifying mark.

“She’s showing a lot of late-race strength. The last lap of the 1,600 was three seconds faster than she’s ever closed before,” Lund said. “She’s doing pretty good for this time of the year.”

Del Piccolo looked strong in the 3,200, nearly lapping the entire field en route to a resounding win. She stretched her lead to 15 seconds after the first mile and cruised to the line in 11:37. She ran nearly identical splits, going out in 5:49 and finishing the final mile in 5:48.

One week earlier, Del Piccolo combated windy conditions en route to two wins in Hotchkiss. She was the lone competitor in the mile to break six minutes, finishing in 5:30. She was nearly 1:40 ahead of the second-place finisher in the 3,200.

“She’s managed to stay really consistent and focused,” Lund said. “She’s so driven, and hopefully we can keep her on track and she can get back to state and have a good result.”

Another Basalt runner who could make a splash this season is Connor Roper. The sophomore, who helped lead the Longhorn boys to an eighth-place finish at the state cross-country meet last fall in Fort Collins by finishing 22nd, had a strong showing in Cedaredge. He ran a 4:48 in the mile, good for second place and a personal best of nearly nine seconds. He ran a four-second personal best in the 800, finishing third after crossing the line in 2:09.

The lone other Basalt athlete to place was sprinter Taylor Allmon, who took fourth in the 100 with a time of 13.5 seconds.

“We only had about 12 kids out of 22 [because of Spring Break],” Lund said, “but we had some really good performances.”

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