Hilly course awaits at state cross country
The Aspen Times
Get ready to go up.
The best high school cross country runners in Colorado qualified for the annual State Cross Country Championships on Saturday in Colorado Springs.
Their reward for qualifying?
A tough, hilly 5-kilometer course that will challenge the best of the best with state titles on the line.
The field will include local runners from Aspen and Basalt high schools.
All school classifications will convene at the Penrose Equestrian Center in Colorado Springs where the state championship course takes runners up, down, around and ultimately finishing in the main arena — with a traditionally large and loud crowd for the 5A, 4A, 3A and 2A classifications.
This year will mark the 72nd annual state high school championships in Colorado.
Two regional champions from Basalt High School will lead the local charge in the 3A races in Colorado Springs.
Zach Walsh and Hailey Swirbul, BHS seniors, won their regional titles last weekend at Delta.
Walsh is scheduled to race at 10 a.m. Saturday in the second race of the day. The 2A girls will kick off the state championships at 9:20 a.m. Saturday.
Swirbul and the 3A girls are scheduled to start at noon Saturday.
That field will include the Aspen High School girls cross country team, which qualified as a team at the Delta regional event.
Kelsey Fitzgerald led the Aspen state qualifiers with an 11th-place finish last weekend.
Sophie Dasaro of Aspen was 14th with teammate Nina Beidleman right behind in 15th place.
McKenna Woodrow finished 20th with teammate Dara Schenck 22nd.
At No. 26 was Aspen’s Tierney Sutton (22:26) with teammate Megan Hanson in 27th (22:30) as the Skiers grouped their times together.
Mackenzie Conner of Aspen was 35th with Jozie Wille 37th.
They will represent the Skiers in Saturday’s state championships.
The Aspen cross country runners are coached by Chris Keleher.
The Basalt runners are coached by Ron Lund.
1st: Hailey Swirbul, Basalt, 19:19
11 Kelsey Fitzgerald, Aspen, 21:21
14 Sophie Dasaro, Aspen, 21:27
15 Nina Beidleman, Aspen, 21:30
20 McKenna Woodrow, Aspen, 21:53
22 Dara Schenck, Aspen, 22:08
26 Tierney Sutton, Aspen, 22:6
27 Megan Hanson, Aspen, 22:30
35 Mackenzie Conner, Aspen, 23:40
37 Jozie Wille, Aspen, 23:51
9:20 a.m. 2A girls
10 a.m. 3A boys
10:30 a.m. 4A boys
11 a.m. 5A girls
11:30 a.m. 2A boys
12 p.m. 3A girls
12:30 p.m. 4A girls
1 p.m. 5A boys
Ella Johnson gave thought to the risk when she decided to close out her senior year at Glenwood Springs High School playing soccer and make a bid for another shot at the Class 4A state track meet podium finish.
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