The Aspen Times
Aspen, CO Colorado
Aspen tennis coach Sherril Kerr could hardly contain her excitement Saturday afternoon. With Good reason.
Her Skiers made the finals in six of seven positions at Friday’s and Saturday’s Delta County Invitational, and finished first in five. The showing came on the heels of Thursday’s 5-2 dual-match win over Montrose.
“We swept up,” Kerr said. “It was a win-win-win. The weather was great, and everyone played well.”
Leading the way at Delta County were singles players Brian Mehall, Michael Willsky and Kyle Feuer, who won all three of their matches in straight sets.
The No. 1 doubles tandem of Luke Pratte and Brett Gordon faced a familiar foe in Saturday’s final. Thursday, they outlasted Montrose in three tight sets. Two days later, they clashed with Montrose once more, this time winning in straight sets.
Stevie Anderson and Bridger Dawson mounted a comeback in the third set to drop 5A Grand Junction Central in No. 3 doubles. Devon Cardamone and Brian DeRosa were ousted in the No. 4 doubles finals.
The No. 2 doubles team of Nic Broeking and Italian exchange student Michael d’Simone failed to make it out of Friday’s preliminaries. They regrouped Saturday, however, dropping Central to secure a third-place finish.”
“We’re very happy campers,” Kerr said.
The Skiers, who are 6-2 in duals and 1-1 in tournament play, host Fruita Monument at 3:30 p.m. Wednesday.
Conner Roper crossed the line in fifth in Saturday’s Glenwood Springs Invitational, helping lead the Basalt boys to a third-place finish.
Roper, a junior, recorded a time of 17 minutes, 31 seconds – 45 seconds off the pace set by overall winner Matt Zitzmann of Heritage. Zitzmann’s teammates Garrett Lee (16:51) and Cameron Delphia (16:59) finished second and third for the Eagles (17 points), who coasted to the team title. Glenwood Springs (66) wound up second.
sophomore Giulio Del Piccolo (18:49) Jacob Besser (19:26) and Jason Ingram (19:32) finished 14th, 19th and 24th, respectively, for the Longhorns.
On the girls side, Basalt senior Chiara Del Piccolo (21:08) wound up fourth. Heritage runners once again ruled the podium, with Jenna Pinto (20:41), Kaitlyn Biever (20:48) and Sophie Vukovich (20:49) finishing first, second and third, respectively. Heritage (17), Glenwood (82) and Legend (93) rounded out the Top 3 in the team title chase.
Aspen head softball coach Jeremy Haack paused while trying to pinpoint some positives from Saturday’s doubleheader against visiting Gunnison. There were few to speak of on this day.
The Cowboys outscored the Skiers, 39-7, in two lopsided wins.
“They hit the ball really well,” Haack said. “In the first game we gave them too many outs. The second was close for a while, but they busted things open in the fourth. It was 6-3 Gunnison at the time.”
The doubleheader sweep comes on the heels of Aspen’s 13-0, mercy-rule loss to rival Basalt on Sept. 17. The Skiers are now 3-12.
Things get no easier from here on out. Before a trip to Cedaredge next weekend to play a team it has already beaten twice, Aspen will first visit Basalt at 4 p.m. Thursday. The Longhorns, the reigning league champions, are 9-3 and have won nine of 10 since their 0-2 showing in the Aspen Invitational in late August.
The Skiers were held scoreless for a second straight time at home, falling 2-0 Saturday to Coal Ridge.
Aspen (2-5-2 overall, 1-3-2 3A Western Slope) was routed, 5-0, by rival Basalt on Tuesday. The Skiers have scored just two goals in the four games (two losses and two draws) since their 3-2 win over Vail Mountain School on Sept. 17.
Aspen head coach Junior Sutherland did not return calls seeking comment.
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Katelyn Maley was the first across the finish line on Saturday at the Norris-Penrose Event Center, winning the Class 3A girls state championship in 18 minutes, 39 seconds. She came in more than 34 seconds ahead of second place.