Runners on new Basalt team find stride in Grand Junction |

Runners on new Basalt team find stride in Grand Junction

Aspen Times Staff

Three Basalt runners finished in the top 25 and the new BHS girls cross-country team finished fourth at the Warrior Invitational in Grand Junction Saturday.Moffat County won the girls meet, followed by Durango and Fruita.Basalt sophomore Amy Lund was 10th in the field of 82 girls in 22 minutes, 24 seconds. Junior Kate Wilson was 16th (23:12) and senior Sophie Stenstadvold was 24th (24:28). Junior Emily Taets finished 29th (24:53) and freshman Annie Tempest was 39th (25:10) to round out Basalt’s five scoring runners.The race marked Basalt’s second-ever cross-country meet, as BHS has overtaken the Alpine Christian Academy team as the only cross-country program in the midvalley. Alpine Christian Academy launched the team four years ago – and the girls had great success at the state level – but didn’t have the numbers to justify keeping the program.Ron Lund remains the head coach.”It’s a lot of the same kids who ran at Alpine, which was a lot of kids from Basalt High School,” said Lund. “It just didn’t make sense for Alpine to have the team anymore when it looked like it was only going to be one student from Alpine.”Now we’ve a lot more Basalt students out, and seven of the 18 are Roaring Fork kids,” said Lund.”I think the girls are looking pretty strong. We lost some good runners [to graduation] but we’ve got some kids coming in. Amy and Kate are running strong and the others are bunched pretty closely behind. I’d say their chances of getting to state are very good; I’d say the boys’ chances are pretty good.”In the boys race in Grand Junction, Basalt was eighth. Junior Collin Stewart was 10th in the field of 109 boys in 18:40. Sophomore Duncan McDaniel was 41st (20:35). Freshman Casey Weaver finished in 21:38, followed by junior Theo Pulver in 22:14 and senior Jesse Regan in 23:56 (places were unavailable).Fruita won the boys race, followed by Moffat County and Grand Junction.”It’s still early in the season and we haven’t seen everybody out there, so you never know at this point,” said Lund. “But we’ll keep working at it.”The Basalt teams travel to Denver for the huge Liberty Bell Invitational meet on Friday.Other Basalt finishers included senior Molly Honan (40th in 25:20), senior Deanna Spracher (52nd in 26:07), freshman Nuala DelPiccolo (57th in 27:12) and junior Brittany Guglielmo (60th in 27:27).Aspen’s Severy wins openerThe Aspen High boys and girls cross-country teams opened their season Sept. 4 at the Delta Invitational.Junior Christy Severy, the former state champion, won the girls race in about 19 minutes, though Aspen didn’t have enough finishers to record a team score.”She pretty much ran away with it, and ran very well,” said Aspen coach Chris Keleher.Freshman Abby Mickey was 34th and sophomore C.C. Carpenter was 54th.The AHS boys finished eighth with sophomore Barton Tofany in the top 20. (To escape a downpour, the AHS fled from the finish area so complete results were not available, Keleher said.)Other AHS runners included freshman Keeffe Carvelli (“And he was up there,” said Keleher), German exchange student Alexander Gündermann, sophomore Jake O’Conner and freshman Nate Marrs.”Delta is where the regional meet is going to be held, and I have a bunch of kids who’ve never run before,” said Keleher. “So we decided to go low-key – versus the meet at the state course in Colorado Springs. We’ve got a good-looking team. It’s gonna be a fun year.”The Aspen teams, off last weekend for the school’s Experiential Education program, travel to Snow Mountain Ranch in Granby for a meet Saturday.