Christy Severy wins Chris Severy’s race |

Christy Severy wins Chris Severy’s race

Christy Severy crosses the finish line with hardly a bead of seat to be seen Saturday Morning. Daniel Bayer photo.
Daniel Bayer © 2003 | Daniel Bayer © 2003

The race is named for Chris Severy, but Saturday it belonged to the late runner’s kid sister, Christy.

The 15-year-old Aspen High sophomore furthered her family’s already-distinguished legacy Saturday by winning the Chris Severy Cross Country Invitational in commanding style.

Racing on familiar ground, adjacent to the Aspen schools campus, Severy led the field of 92 in the girls varsity race by five seconds at mile 1, then by 30 seconds at mile 2 when the uphill sections of the course gave way to the first sustained downhill. In the last mile of the 5K (3.1 mile) race, Severy continued to distance her pursuers, beating feet to a 43-second win and her first win in the memorial race for her brother.

Last year, while Severy went on to claim the Class 3A state championship at Kent Denver as a freshman, she was runner-up in the Chris Severy Invitational here in Aspen.

“To win this race is better than winning any other race, just ’cause of what it stands for,” Severy said Saturday.

“But I was really just trying to do my best.”

Severy finished in 21 minutes, 32 seconds. Steamboat Springs’ Jen Hooper was second (22:15), followed by Jenny Hockman of Palmer (22:24). Alpine Christian Academy senior Ashley Eaton was eighth (22:46).

“That was impressive – just a dominating performance,” Aspen High cross country coach Chris Keleher, who has coached five Severys at AHS, said of Christy’s effort. “To go out against that competition and run the way she did has got to be a big confidence builder.”

As a team, the AHS girls finished eighth while Basalt’s Alpine Christian Academy girls were just ahead in sixth. Durango won the girls title, followed by Steamboat and Palmer. (Complete results will appear in The Aspen Times later this week.)

In the boys varsity race, Glenn Randall of Palisade sprinted to the lead at the very start – and seemingly sprinted the rest of the way en route to back-to-back victories at the Severy Invitational.

Randall, a student at Plateau Valley in Collbran who runs for Palisade because his school doesn’t have a team, finished the course in 17:24. The runnerup, Zach Gold of Palmer, was 35 seconds back.

“I just pushed it,” said Randall, who hasn’t lost a race this season. “My strategy was to go out and hold the lead from the beginning, and take ’em on the hills.”

Aspen coach Keleher said Randall’s effort was a rare beauty.

“He was leading at 105 meters at the end of the soccer and he was still fully kicking at the finish, and he did not come anywhere close to exploding,” Keleher said. “It’s not easy to run wire-to-wire like that, but he’s a really good runner.”

Randall, who was fifth at the 4A state championships last year, was asked by a reporter if the Aspen course suited him.

His reply: “I think pretty much all courses suit me.”

Another Palmer runner, Curtis Larimer, was third (18:11) in the field of 99 boys, followed by Aspen junior Simi Hamilton in fourth (18:23).

Hamilton, the defending high school state champion in both classic and freestyle Nordic skiing, told AHS coach Keleher he “wasn’t feeling so hot” prior to the start Saturday.

“But apparently he felt pretty good,” Keleher said with a chuckle Sunday. “To finish fourth in that field is pretty solid.”

Hamilton said he felt strong once he reached cruising speed.

“I’m extremely happy,” he said. “It felt good, I went hard and it turned out well.”

Palmer captured the boys team title ahead of Montrose and Steamboat Springs. The Aspen boys finished eighth, and Alpine Christian Academy posted its first team result this season, finishing 15th.

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