Skiers boys run away with title at Steamboat
Aspen’s boys all coated their faces in mud Saturday before they set off on a soggy, hilly course at Steamboat Springs. According to assistant coach Jason Kruger, the Skiers looked like a pack of rugged warriors. They ran like one, too.In his first race of the season, Aspen senior Noah Hoffman blew away the field, completing the 5-kilometer course in 17 minutes, 40 seconds. Hoffman broke away from the rest of the pack immediately after the gun went off and never looked back.When he reached the finish, Hoffman stood and watched as four of his teammates finished in the top 10, a performance that pushed the Skiers to a dominating team win.Runner-up Glenwood Springs had 48 points next to Aspen’s 26. Senior Barton Tofany was the second-fastest of the Skiers, finishing fourth overall with a time of 19:07. Seniors Nate Marrs (19:31) and Jake O’Connor (19:57) were sixth and seventh overall, followed by sophomore Scott Lacy (20:21) in ninth.”The boys ran really well,” Kruger said. “I think we would have won even without Noah. It was a pretty small meet, but they cleaned up.”Hoffman, who missed Aspen’s opening race at Delta, won two races last season, including the regional championship on Aspen’s home course.Kruger noted that Hoffman runs well on any course but excels on hills.As for the other three seniors, Marrs and Tofany ran together for most of the race, while O’Connor started at a slower pace, then tried to catch up to his teammates near the finish.Aspen’s girls finished third among the four other teams at the meet. Glenwood Springs’ girls team dominated in the same fashion as Aspen’s boys, with 5A Regis finishing second in front of Aspen.Junior Natalie Obermeyer again was the Skiers’ top finisher, with a fifth-place time of 22:45. Sophomore Lindsey Wilkinson (24:35) was 13th, freshman Brittany Marrs (25:25) was 15th, and senior Haylen Gregory (25:26) was 16th. Sophomore Abby Mickey rounded out Aspen’s top five with a 17th-place finish in 25:34.Senior Laura Hatanaka sat out the race because of nagging calf injuries.Kruger praised Obermeyer for how well she has run thus far this season.”She ran a great race today,” he said. “Just started really strong and really held on. She was smiling all the way to the car. … She worked really hard this offseason. I just think it’s going to get better and better.”Basalt girls fifth at Warrior InviteBasalt senior Amy Lund came from as far back as 40th to finish fifth Saturday among a field of 99 runners at the Warrior Invite in Grand Junction.Lund completed the wet 3.1-mile course in 21 minutes, 27 seconds to help the Longhorns girls to fifth-place team finish and the top finish for a 3A school. Basalt finished behind 5A schools Durango, Fruita Monument and Grand Junction Central, as well as 4A Moffat County.Saturday’s race was delayed 15 minutes because of rain, a storm that proceeded a previous downpour the night before. Junior Annie Tempest was Basalt’s next runner to cross the line in 13th (23:12), followed by freshman Chiara Del Piccolo (19th, 23:33), sophomore Lyss Rousseve (43rd, 25:15) and junior Annie Belinski (70th, 27:01). Basalt junior Nuala Del Piccolo didn’t run because of another commitment.”I wasn’t expecting much from a team standpoint, so seeing how we ran, I was very pleased,” Basalt coach Ron Lund said. Basalt again didn’t have enough boys runners to score as a team, but Lund was encouraged by the individual performances from his three runners.Junior Brennan Roper had his best race of the season, finishing 11th in 18:38. Fellow junior Tyler Wilson wasn’t far behind in 17th, completing the course in 19:27. Lund also entered freshman Jason Ingram into his first varsity race. Ingram finished 108th out of 119 runners, in 25:09.”He ran like a veteran,” Lund said of Roper, who was competing in only his third cross-country race. “He went out smart, didn’t get in over his head and basically ran very consistently the whole race. … Just to see him put it together than quickly, it’s just a sign that the training is starting to kick in and he’s learning from the previous races.” The Skiers and Longhorns next run Friday at the Liberty Bell Invite in Denver.Nate Peterson’s e-mail address is email@example.com
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Had Hailey Swirbul decided against going to Europe, she would not have finished with a career-best result in Friday’s World Cup opener. Yes, there was a time, and not long ago, when the U.S. ski team member and Roaring Fork Valley native questioned her desire to put on a race bib.