Three Basalt track athletes, one from Aspen qualify for state
The Aspen Times
Aspen, CO Colorado
GRAND JUNCTION ” The Basalt track team is sending three familiar faces to next weekend’s state meet. Distance runners Chiara Del Piccolo and Conner Roper and sprinter Taylor Allmon all booked trips to Denver with strong showings at Friday’s and Saturday’s regional meet at Grand Junction’s Stocker Stadium.
Allmon led the way, repeating as regional champion in the 100 meters with a time of 13.10 seconds. She came back to take third in the 200, finishing in 27.50.
Allmon won both the 100 (12.72) and 200 (26.94) at last week’s Roaring Fork Valley Invitational on her home track.
“She ran faster in the final than she did in the prelims,” Longhorns head coach Ron Lund said. “She ran well.”
Del Piccolo opened the meet Friday with a third-place finish in the 1,600, crossing the line in 5:26. The time equals her state and school-record time, which was originally set in 2008.
The junior matched that finish in the 800 (2:28.46). She didn’t compete in her best event, the 3,200, because she had already pre-qualified.
“I knew going in based on who the competition was [in the 800] that she had a really good chance,” Lund said. “I knew she hadn’t run her best 800 yet this year. She ran a six-second [personal best], so it was a good move putting her in there.”
Roper also set some personal high marks in Grand Junction. The sophomore took second in Friday’s 1,600, finishing in 4:40.25 ” a five-second personal best. He came back Saturday and qualified in the 800. He ran a 2:02.52, nearly three-and-a-half seconds faster than his previous best.
Roper ran 2:07 at last week’s home meet, where both he and Del Piccolo picked up 800 wins.
“He has peaked at the right time,” Lund said. “You know, we tend to see improvements in times down in Grand Junction, and it happened again this time.”
Lund said Roper will likely have to finish the 800 in 2:00 to crack the top eight at the state meet, which will be held at Jefferson County Stadium. In the 1,600, Roper is aiming to break the school record of 4:37, which likely would earn him a top-10 finish.
Del Piccolo is also setting her sights high. She was second in the 3,200 last year, when she ran 11:30.
“I think this year, you have to run 11:30 just to be in the top five ” it’s really competitive,” Lund said. “Chiara has a good chance of getting on the podium in at least one of those races.”
Joining the Basalt trio in Denver will be Aspen’s Luke Hemming, who took second in the 200 and third in the 100 in Grand Junction. The sophomore led the 200 with 30 meters to go before being nipped at the line.
Hemming will be making his first state appearance. He narrowly missed out on qualifying last season after finishing fourth in the 100 at regionals.
“He’s our lone representative, but he’s a good one to send,” Skiers head coach Chris Keleher said. “It should be fun to go down and see what the rest of the state looks like.”
In other action for Aspen in Grand Junction, Nick Codd took fifth in the 400 and sixth in the high jump. The Skiers boys’ 4×200 relay team wound up seventh, while their 4×800, 4×400 and 4×100 squads were eighth.
On the girls side, Lindsey Wilkinson finished fourth in the 800, Taylor Quist was fifth in the high jump, Rachel True was fifth in the 100 and Kelsey Tofany was sixth in the 300 hurdles and eighth in the 200. Madison Murdoch took sixth in the triple jump, Brianna Morse was seventh in the 800 and Katie Ryan finished eighth in the 100.
The Skiers girls’ sprint medley finished fifth and their 4×200 team wound up seventh.
“We were really hoping to send a few more people,” Keleher said, “but it was a really good meet as far s some of those performances.”
In other action for Basalt, David Hammond finished sixth in the high hurdles (43.88). Teammate Tyler Wilson, who had knee surgery in the winter, finished fifth in the 800 (2:05.65). It was the first time he posted a time less than 2:10 this season.