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On track for state

Basalt track coach Ron Lund, well aware of the importance of this weekend’s regionals in Grand Junction, saw Saturday’s Aspen Invitational as a time to rest his team.He shuffled his relay teams to give athletes a chance to compete in unfamiliar disciplines and rested other athletes. He said it was important to keep things fun. The loose atmosphere translated into success, yielding 14 top-3s, including six Basalt wins.”The kids got a chance to compete and do well in a small meet,” Lund said Tuesday. “It was one of those meets where you can do something different and make it fun.”Perhaps no one had as much fun – or success – as Emily Taets. She competed in four events, finishing in the top three each time. She finished first in the 800 meters, clocking a 2:39.54 in the finals, which was nearly 4 seconds faster than Aspen senior Brittany Fortier, who was also second in the high jump.Taets was a member of 4×400 team, which included Kate Wilson, Amy Lund and Alyss Rouseve, which took first place with a combined time of 5 minutes, 03.09 seconds. Lund competed with a handful of teammates in Friday’s Tiger Invitational in Grand Junction, and was one of two Longhorns to pre-qualify for the state championships May 20-21 Pueblo. She posted a 12:09 in the 3,200 meters – nine seconds under the state qualifying benchmark. Duncan McDaniel qualified Saturday when he posted a 2:00.8 in the 800 in Grand Junction. While Lund is not expected to compete this weekend, McDaniel will be shooting to qualify for state in the mile, which will require a time of 4:37 – which happens to be Basalt’s school record. If he doesn’t hit that mark competitors can also qualify for states with a top-3 result.Taets and teammates Taylor Allmon, Emily Gustafson and Kate Wilson finished second in the 4×200-meter relay. She also anchored the Longhorns sprint medley team of Allmon, Gustafson and Maggie Everett, that finished third; the team was just 0.23 seconds behind second-place Olathe. Allmon was second in the 100-meter dash and the long jump.”A couple of the girls relay teams are stacking up nicely,” Lund said. “They have a good chance of being in the top three at regionals.”Lund pointed to Allmon and Felipe Sanchez as athletes he expects to shine in Grand Junction. The senior, Western Slope soccer co-player of the year last fall, left Aspen with two first-place finishes. He won the 200 meters with a time of 23.18, beating Aspen’s Whit Fuller. He also cleared 5-feet-6 in the high jump – teammate Andy Mayer cleared 5-2 to finish second.Basalt’s Brennan Roper distanced himself from the field by 9 seconds en route to win the mile. Max Harlow won the 110-meter hurdles. Aspen’s girls 4×800 relay team of Christy Severy, Natalie Obermeyer, Lindsey Wilkenson and Kyla Walter finished first with a combined time of 10:54.20. They bested their nearest competitor, Hotchkiss, by more than 25 seconds. Ryan Waldron took the 3,200-meter title. Allison Brumet posted matching second-place results in the shot put and discus. Aspen’s coach, Chris Keleher, was not available for comment. “We threw things together, and it turned out to be a good meet,” Lund said.Tuesday was the final hard speed workout for the mid-distance runners. The plan is to keep his athletes sharp and rested, Lund said. He has no doubt his competitors will be ready when that first pistol is fired Friday afternoon.”If we haven’t been working by now, there’s nothing we could do in the next three days that would make a difference,” Lund said. “Most of the team has been down this road before. They know the drill.”Jon Maletz’s e-mail address is jmaletz@aspentimes.com


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