No place like home – Basalt harriers roll to win |

No place like home – Basalt harriers roll to win

Paul Conrad/The Aspen Times

Seniors Brennan Roper and Casey Weaver broke in Basalt’s new cross-country course at El Jebel’s Crown Mountain Park in impressive fashion Saturday. The duo finished 1-2 for a second consecutive week, four Basalt boys finished in the top 10, and the team cruised to an impressive victory in the first Longhorn Invitational.

Basalt’s 18 total points was 26 better than Hotchkiss. Aspen (47) and Rifle (58) finished third and fourth, respectively.Annette Stenstadvold took second, and Chiara Del Piccolo finished fourth for the Longhorns girls, who also finished fourth out of five scoring teams, with 47 points. Hotchkiss (35), Crested Butte (38) and Aspen (45) took the top three spots.”I’m glad they had good results,” Basalt coach Ron Lund said. “I think they can take some confidence into regionals next month.”

Roper, who took first at last week’s Holy Family Invitational in Broomfield, jumped out to the front early Saturday on a Crown Mountain Park course that included grass, pavement, dirt and loose gravel. The moved proved advantageous – the course’s tight section of singletrack made passing unfeasible. “He led from the beginning, but it wasn’t insurmountable,” Lund said. “The lead he had at the mile over Casey was the same he had at the finish. He got out in front and held his pace, and nobody really challenged him.” Roper crossed the line in 17 minutes, 52 seconds – 17 seconds ahead of Weaver. Tyler Wilson (19:25) and Connor Roper (20:08) finished sixth and ninth, respectively. Andy Delany (22:37) took 17th and Jason Ingram (22:51) finished 19th.

Scott Lacy (18:46) finished fourth for the Skiers, who had five runners crack the top 20. Jesse Hoffman (20:23) was 12th, Morgan Broyles (22:07) and Taylor Preusch (22:25) finished 15th and 16th, and Whit Parker (23:15) took 20th. Aspen coach Chris Keleher was not available for comment.Stenstadvold finished in 21:25, 26 seconds off the pace of winner Joanna Reed of Hotchkiss. Longhorns teammates Nuala Del Piccolo and Lyss Reuseve finished 20th and 21st, respectively.

“[Reed] took it out hard. Nettie was more conservative, and was sixth or seventh at the midway point,” Lund said. “We’ve got a good 1-2 punch. We just need to get the third and fourth girls to close the gap.”Nathalie Obermeyer led the way for the Aspen girls, finishing seventh. Brittany Marrs (23:16), Lindsey Wilkinson (23:29) and Brianna Morse (24:13) finished 11th, 12th and 15th, respectively. Both teams will compete Friday in Denver’s Liberty Bell Invite. The Basalt girls won there in 2005.

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