Kylie Kenny paves the way for AHS girls cross country team in home meet
2019 RACE RESULTS
1. Kylie Kenny, Aspen (22:09.2)
2. Maggi Congdon, Steamboat (22:36.9)
3. Kendall Clark, Aspen (22:49.9)
4. Mandy Moran, GJ (23:12.9)
5. Hana Husmann, St. Mary’s (23:20.4)
1. Aspen, 28 points
2. Grand Junction, 63
3. Steamboat, 64
1. Jaydon Fryer, Steamboat (19:02.2)
2. Bowden Tumminello, Steamboat (19:46.6)
3. Jonathan Bennett, Kent Denver (19:50.1)
4. Sumner Cotton, Steamboat (19:59.4)
5. Jack Gottsegen, CRMS (20:03.3)BOYS TEAM 1. Steamboat, 36 points 2. Grand Junction, 76 points 3. Kent Denver, 79 points
Kylie Kenny has found another gear in recent weeks. The Aspen High School junior ran her way to a third straight win on Saturday when the AHS cross country team hosted its annual Chris Severy Invitational, outdistancing Steamboat Springs senior Maggi Congdon over the final stretch.
“After Ouray, I guess the two of us realized we could try and hang with the front of the packs and were just like, ‘Let’s see what happens,’” Kenny said while standing next to junior teammate Kendall Clark, who finished third. “It feels really good. I think going into this as a team we were really nervous and then to see everyone pull through and support each other throughout the way was pretty cool.”
Kenny’s winning time of 22 minutes, 9.2 seconds helped carry the AHS girls to the team title for the third year in a row in their lone home meet of the season. Congdon was second in 22:36.9 and Clark third in 22:49.9. Aspen had seven place in the top 15 on Saturday, part of a dominant team performance. AHS finished with 28 points, well ahead of runner-up Grand Junction (63 points) and third place Steamboat (64 points).
Complete results can be found here.
“Kylie I thought ran a great race. She ran very smart. It helps to have run the course five or six times this year. Home-field advantage, but we’ll take it,” AHS coach Chris Keleher said. “That was another good confidence builder. They were a little shaky at the beginning of the season and maybe even midway through the season, but they got a wake-up call and I think it worked.”
The team looks back to the Sept. 20 Ramble at the Reservoir, hosted by Ouray High School in Ridgway, as being the spark. Kenny and Clark finished 1-2 in that race, two of the Skiers to finish in the top 11 that day. The duo then finished 1-2 yet again last weekend at the Moffat County Invitational in Craig, with AHS freshman Elsie Weiss coming in third.
Not only does the team’s depth give it a point advantage in races, but it pushes the athletes in practice and is allowing them to be part of the discussion with regionals and state so close.
“What we are focused on is more getting the team back to state this year instead of the individuals, because it’s only really fun with the team,” Kenny said. “It definitely pushes everyone to go faster or go harder when you see your teammate right behind you or see them ahead of you.”
Also finishing top 10 for the Aspen girls on Saturday were Weiss (7th, 23:56.2), junior Eva McDonough (8th, 24:04) and junior Bronwyn Chesner (10th, 24:17.8). AHS freshman Michaela Kenny (12th, 24:33.1) and junior Macy Hopkinson (15th, 25:20) also landed on the 15-runner podium.
“It’s super great to win our home race again. Really fun,” Clark said. “It’s competitive within each other, but that keeps us closer because when we are doing hard workouts we will cheer each other on and we will try and stick together. It just really helps us run better as a whole.”
Steamboat won the boys team title on Saturday with 36 points, followed by Grand Junction (76 points) and Kent Denver (79 points). Aspen was sixth, with sophomore Brenon Reed’s 16th-place finish leading the Skiers. Steamboat junior Jaydon Fryer won with a time of 19:02.2, while his sophomore teammate, Bowden Tumminello, was second in 19:46.6.
Aspen next is scheduled to compete Oct. 12 at the Montrose Relays. The following week, Basalt High School will host the regional meet at Crown Mountain Park.
“We know it fairly well. (BHS coach Ron Lund) does a great job setting up the course,” Keleher said of the regional course. “It’s a fair course. I’m looking forward to running on it. We are going to try and get down there and see if we can take a couple of laps on it and get a little bit more knowledge.”
The BHS cross country team, which often competes in Aspen’s home meet, did not take part on Saturday and competed Friday at a meet in Delta. Basalt junior Sierra Bower continued her breakthrough season by winning the girls race in 17:40.25, nearly 40 seconds faster than runner-up finisher Sophia Connerton-Nevin of Glenwood Springs. Bower will be among the Class 3A favorites at the Oct. 26 state meet in Colorado Springs.
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Spectators can still cheer on Aspen School District athletes so long as they wear a mask and follow current pandemic health and safety protocols, Superintendent David Baugh wrote in a Jan. 18 update on COVID-19 policies and school sports.