Severy repeats in brother’s memorial race
Aspen junior Christy Severy won her second consecutive girls title in the Chris Severy Invitational Saturday in Aspen.Severy, the younger sister of the late standout runner Chris, ran with the pack up the first hill. But on the second climb, the 16-year-old began opening up a lead. She covered the 5K course through meadows and aspen groves at the Moore property above the Aspen schools campus in 21 minutes, 40 seconds.Durango’s Laura Thwett was second, 27 seconds back, in a field of 110 varsity girls.”I tried to stay with her,” said Thwett, “but she lost me on the hills. She was setting an awesome pace.”Severy, the 2002 Class 3A state champion, has three wins already this season. The one time she didn’t win the Chris Severy Invitational, as a freshman in 2002, she was runner-up.”It’s more special than other ones in the season,” she said. “It always feels good to do well here.”
And she hardly broke a sweat on Saturday, cheered on by hundreds of spectators along the way.”It was comfortable. I like to take this course out slowly and just work up to it,” she said.”It hurts while I’m running, but I recover pretty quickly, I think,” she added with a smile. “It’s been a pretty good season so far. For the end of the season, I’m just hoping to place at states [Oct. 30] and do the best I can.”Summit’s Briana Perkins was third (22:07). Basalt’s Amy Lund finished 13th (23:37) as the Longhorns’ top performer.In the team standings, Moffat County won with 45 points, followed by Palmer and Dakota Ridge. Basalt was sixth and Aspen was 11th out of 18 teams.In the boys race, Andrew Niccoli of Dakota Ridge recovered from an unplanned detour off course (he got lost briefly) to win in 18:39.Niccoli led for much of the race, though he dropped into fourth momentarily in the last mile after back-tracking to get back on route. Aspen sophomore Noah Hoffman led the chase pack, moving from third to second in the last mile to finish five seconds behind Niccoli.
Tad Elliot of Durango, a friend of Hoffman’s from nordic ski racing, was third (18:50).At the finish, Niccoli was utterly whipped.”It was pretty hard,” he said. “The hardest finish I’ve ever had.”The 16-year-old junior described the navigational error that cost him about 30 seconds.”I couldn’t really see. I get sweat in my eyes and I couldn’t see the flags. I had to figure out where I was, then get back on course.”Then I had to give it everything I had to catch those guys,” he said.
Last year at the Severy Invitational, Niccoli was second – in the junior varsity race. This season, he’s won four of six varsity races he has entered.For Hoffman, who ran cross country in middle school but took last season off as a freshman, the runner-up result marked his best career finish.”And I didn’t expect a strong finish because I was sick all week,” said Hoffman, who is also the reigning junior champion of the Inferno hiking and skiing race in Highland Bowl.Duncan McDaniel posted the top result for Basalt, finishing 43rd (21:01) in a field of 128 racers.Dakota Ridge took the team title with 39 points, followed by Cheyenne Mountain and Palmer. Aspen was ninth and Basalt was 17th.
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Buttermilk Ski Area already is scheduled to host the world’s best at ESPN’s X Games this coming week, while it was recently announced Aspen Highlands will host alpine skiing’s NorAm finals later this spring.