Severy takes two titles at regionals |

Severy takes two titles at regionals

Aspen High sophomore Christy Severy won the 1,600-meter and 3,200-meter titles at the Class 3A Western Slope regional track meet in Grand Junction on Saturday, prepping for what promises to be another showdown at this weekend’s state championships in Pueblo.

Aspen’s boys and girls teams, which feature only five upperclassmen between them, qualified five athletes for the Class 3A state championships this Friday and Saturday, including Severy who will compete in the mile and two-mile races.

The predominantly freshman and sophomore teams also set numerous personal bests in Grand Junction. “It was a good showing for a very young Aspen team,” said coach Chris Keleher said.

The AHS girls team finished fourth among eight teams at regionals, bolstered by the state-qualifying 4×800-meter relay team, which included Severy.

Severy dusted the competition in the two-mile event, finishing with a school record-breaking time of 11 minutes and 43 seconds, nearly a minute ahead of the runner-up.

Keleher anticipates that the state 3,200-meter race will be “the premiere event to watch,” with three or four girls within a few seconds of each other. Severy, who won the Class 3A Cross Country State Championship in 2002 as a freshman, will be facing off with Buena Vista junior Rachel Gioscia, who took the state cross-country crown last fall.

“I am nervous,” Severy said. “But I’ll go have fun. I’m always nervous.”

The AHS girls 4×800-meter relay placed third at regionals with a time of 10 minutes, 31 seconds. For relay members sophomore Britney Fortier and freshman Sophie Ben-Hamoo, this is their first trip to the state championships. Severy and senior Erin Kiernan, the only senior, are repeat state competitors.

The relay team’s performance hinged on Fortier’s gutsy push through the last 150 meters of the race, said Keleher.

Severy, who ran the opening leg, will relinquish her spot at states to sophomore Jessica Andrews in order to focus on her individual distance races.

The AHS boys team placed eighth of eight teams, but Keleher explained that this was still a good building season for the team. Many athletes ran personal records, including senior Scott Evans who finished his high school racing career with a 14-second improvement in the mile and 25-second improvement in the two-mile. And except for Evans, the entire boys team will be back next season.

“It bodes well for next year,” Keleher said. “No boys qualified for state. They were close, but no cigar. Not this year.”

Meanwhile, Basalt High School will send 13 athletes to the state meet.

Basalt senior Hank Kindall was the Longhorns’ lone double-event champion. On Friday, Kindall won the 3A regional shot put crown with a toss of 46 feet. The following day, Kindall followed up by winning the discus with an event-best mark of 144-7.

Basalt sophomore Emily Taets posted a 2:25.71 time to win the 800-meters on Friday. Then, on Saturday, with Taets running the third leg of the Longhorn’s 4×200 relay, Basalt earned its second girls regional title in as many days. The all-underclassmen foursome of sophomore Kate Wilson, freshman Tara Thaden, Taets and Emily Gustafson, a sophomore, coasted in at 1:53.98 to squeeze by Gunnison for the title. Basalt’s 4×800 girls relay team, the runners-up at regionals, also earned a spot at the state meet.

Basalt’s 4×400 boys relay squad of Frank Howard, Chris Kemp, Clayton Peetz and Damian McDaniel ran to a second-place time of 3:39.57 in Saturday’s event finals.

Basalt’s individual-event state qualifiers include Frank Howard in the 400-meters, Emily Gustafson in the 200-meters, Amy Lund in the girls 3,200-meters and Haley Stumpus in the intermediate hurdles.

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