Cross country runners take on state meet
With autumn giving way to winter, fall high school sports are heading into championship mode.
Area cross country runners, in fact, will compete in the annual State High School Cross Country Championships on Saturday at the Penrose Equestrian Center in suburban Colorado Springs.
The field will include the regional champion Aspen High School boys cross country team. They won the regional team title last weekend at Confluence Park in Delta.
The Skiers, coached by Chris Keleher, totaled 46 points to win the boys division over eight other teams. Olathe was second with 49 points. Bayfield finished third with 56, one better than Gunnison. Pagosa Springs was fifth with 68 points. Basalt had 106. The top five teams advanced to state.
Zach Walsh led the Basalt Longhorns with his third-place individual finish on the 5K course at regionals.
Trevor Gabbard, of Bayfield, won in 16:12.10.
Hudson McNamee led Aspen with his fourth-place individual finish. Taggart Soloman, of Aspen finished sixth.
Mikey George was No. 16 for Aspen (17:47.40). Alex Wells finished 20th in 17:55.20.
Lyle Luckett was Basalt’s No. 2 finisher in 26th place (18:09.10).
Basalt’s Hailey Swirbul finished third in the girls race at regionals. Swirbul won the Chris Severy Invitational in Aspen last month.
Defending Class 3A state champion Eva-Lou Edwards, of Bayfield, won the regional title for the second consecutive year.
Moffat County (Craig) won the girls team title with 39 points, one point better than Pagosa Springs.
Bayfield was a close third with 42 points. Gunnison (52) was fourth with Aspen fifth (60), earning a trip to state.
Aspen was paced by Megan Woodrow, who finished seventh. Ryley Sutton, of the Skiers, finished 10th.
Tierney Sutton was 17th for Aspen; Leigh Sanbach was 27th.
State soccer playoffs for Class 3A begin today at locations around Colorado.
The Basalt High School boys team qualified for state again this year, earning a No. 14 seed in the 32-team Class 3A field.
The Longhorns (9-5-1) will take on No. 19-seed Denver Christian (9-6-0) in a first-round playoff match set for 3 p.m. today at The Classical Academy in Colorado Springs.
“We can’t be displeased with the seedings,” Basalt head coach Brent Hayes said, calling the overall bracket a tribute to the success of the Western Slope League in recent seasons. “I think we got a fair seed.”
He said it was encouraging to see four teams from the conference in the top 16 for the playoffs.
“Sunday (seeding day) was a good day for our league,” Hayes said.
The Longhorns defeated Denver Christian, 2-1, in the first match of the season.
“They’ve certainly been on a roll,” Hayes said of a five-match win streak for Denver Christian.
“The key for us is getting that first goal,” the Basalt head coach said. “It think it’s always key to get that first goal.”
He said the Longhorns will be in a tough position if they fall behind today.
“Denver Christian is more well balanced than a lot of teams we play,” Hayes said.”They are similar to us that way.”
He said he is hoping for strong performances from all of the area teams this weekend.
The winner of the Basalt-Denver Christian match will play the winner of Classical Academy (14-0-1) versus No. 30 Vanguard Charter School (10-4-1) in the second round at 1 p.m. Saturday at Classical Academy.
Defending state champion Colorado Academy (Denver) is the No. 1 overall seed at 14-0-1.
Salida, the only team to beat The Classical Academy this year, is the No. 2 seed at 15-0-0.
Classical Academy is No. 3 with Frontier Academy (Greeley) seeded No. 4. Kent Denver (11-2-2) is the No. 5 seed.
Coal Ridge High School (New Castle) earned a host bid for the first and second rounds as the No. 6 overall seed. The Titans are 12-2-1.
Roaring Fork High School (Carbondale) also earned a 3A host site designation as the No. 8 seed (11-2-2).
Coal Ridge will take on No. 27 Alexander Dawson (Lafayette) at 1 p.m. today at New Castle.
The Coal Ridge-Alexander Dawson winner will take on the winner of No. 11 Manitou Springs (12-3-0) vs. No. 22 Sheridan (8-5-2) in the second round.
Manitou and Sheridan will play at 3:30 p.m. today at Coal Ridge High School.
The winners will play Saturday at 1 p.m.
No. 8 Roaring Fork will take on No. 25 Fountain Valley (8-6-1) at 6 p.m, today in Carbondale.
No. 9 Faith Christian (8-6-1) will take on No. 24 Telluride (11-2-0) in the other first-round game at 4 p.m. today in Carbondale.
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