Skiers, ‘Horns send 21 to state
Aspen and Basalt names dominated the standings in this weekend’s regional meet in Grand Junction.There were the usual suspects – perennial Aspen long-distance power Christy Severy won the 3,200 meters for a fourth consecutive year to mirror her four regional cross-country crowns, and Basalt senior Felipe Sanchez finished first in both the 100- and 200-meter dashes.There were also some newcomers, chief among them Skiers distance runner Lindsey Wilkenson, who led the mile with 80 meters to go before Gunnison senior Jessica Fairless outkicked her by .21 seconds. Regardless, Wilkenson’s finish guaranteed a trip to this weekend’s state meet in Pueblo – a lofty accomplishment for a freshman. The Skiers will send 12 competitors to state; nine will represent the Longhorns.”We had an extremely successful weekend,” Aspen coach Chris Keleher said Monday. “A bunch of kids posted personal bests. It was fun to watch.”Aspen’s 4×400 relay team of Jacob O’Connor, Whit Fuller, Barton Tofany and Jackson Davis – running for the first time as a unit – bested a school record by more than a second en route to a third-place finish. O’Connor, Fuller and Tofany returned in the 4×800 with Adam Huber and finished 2 seconds behind Gunnison. The girls 4×800 team of Severy, Wilkenson, Brittany Fortier and Natalie Obermeyer matched the boys’ second-place.Basalt junior Duncan McDaniel joined Sanchez atop the podium when he posted a 2:04.10 to win the 800 meters. McDaniel, who prequalified in the 800 at the Tiger Invitational on April 6 in Grand Junction, took third in the mile.”I knew off his 800 speed that he was going to be a factor,” Basalt coach Ron Lund said. “With 150 to go, he used that speed. The top two guys just caught him.”Basalt’s Brennan Roper, a 9-second winner in the 3,200 at the Aspen Invitational on May 6, responded with yet another consistent showing. He posted a personal best of 10:52.68, finishing second. Aspen junior Nate Marrs was 6 seconds behind in third.Longhorns senior Allison Brumet bested her school record in the shot put, launching a 34-foot, 3-inch throw to finish third. Aspen’s Tucker Eason took second in the long jump; his 19-foot, 1 3/4-inch jump was 6 inches farther than any of his previous efforts in 2006. Basalt junior Amy Lund, who prequalified at the Tiger in the 3,200, made a run at a state berth in the mile; she posted a 5:36.69 and finished fourth – .34 seconds out of third. She did, however, set a school record, breaking older sister Megan’s mark by .2 seconds.”She took the lead with 500 meters to go, which was what she had to do to have a chance,” Ron Lund said. “She held the lead until they came off the last turn, but the others caught up. But she did run a 14-second PR.” Amy Lund and Brumet are heading to Pueblo, along with Basalt’s third-place 4×200 relay team of Emily Taets, Emily Gustafson, Taylor Allmon and Kate Wilson. Gustafson, a senior who was competing in her third race Saturday and fifth of the weekend, qualified with her third-place in the 400 meters. Allmon, a freshman, posted the third-best time in the 100-meter dash. She ran a 13.09 – .46 quicker than the state’s prequalifying benchmark – and would have advanced regardless of her final position. She is one of many Longhorns Ron Lund hopes can make an impact this weekend.”I think we have some kids than can be in the top eight, that’s the goal I set for them,” he said. “We’ve got two or three that can be in the top three or five.”The Basalt coach pinpointed Sanchez and McDaniel as the two Longhorns that have the best chance of climbing the podium. McDaniel has additional motivation – he was sick this week last year and posted a disappointing time.Finishing in the top 10 would be great for any of his athletes, Keleher said. He is, however, pushing for one runner in particular.”Christy has been such a great competitor, and I want to see her run well in her final meet,” Keleher said. “We’ll see what happens. There’s nothing out of question for all our kids this weekend.”Jon Maletz’s e-mail address is email@example.com
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When mountain culture enthusiasts and athletes descend on Vail for the 20th annual Mountain Games from June 7-12, they will carry on a tradition that dates back to the 1970s in Eagle County and was once deemed illegal.