Walsh, Swirbul lead area prep runners at state
A pair of runners from Basalt led the area qualifiers Saturday in the annual State High School Cross Country Championships in Colorado Springs.
Junior Zach Walsh, of Basalt, finished fourth in the boys 3A state championship race on the 5-kilometer course surrounding the Penrose Equestrian Center.
He finished in 17 minutes, 10.4 seconds to earn a trip to the podium at the state meet.
Jacob Benson, a senior from Platte Canyon (Bailey), won the 3A boys race in 16:46.0.
Taylor Stack, a sophomore from Salida, was second (16:50.2).
Lamar’s Josh Davis, a senior, was third in 16:59.2.
Hailey Swirbul, of Basalt, led the local girls with her ninth-place finish Saturday on the hilly state cross country course that finished in the main arena at the equestrian center.
Swirbul, who won the Chris Severy Invitational in Aspen earlier this year, finished in 20:36. She’s a sophomore at Basalt High School and a top Nordic ski racer with the Aspen Valley Ski Club.
The 3A girls race was won, in dominating fashion, by defending state champion Eva-Lou Edwards, a senior from Bayfield.
Edwards won in 18:41.6 for her second consecutive state cross country title.
Frontier Academy’s Makayla Santos, a senior, finished second in 20:07.3.
Sydney Fesenmeyer, a sophomore from Salida, was third (20:16.8).
Edwards also is one of the state’s top tennis players.
The left-hander plays No. 1 singles for Durango High School because Bayfield does not field a tennis team.
For Aspen, Ryley Sutton led the Skiers with a 36th-place finish in the girls state race in 21:58.9.
Megan Woodrow was the Skiers’ No. 2 finisher in 43rd place (20:10).
Tierney Sutton, an Aspen sophomore, finished 61st at state.
Shayla DeYoung, an Aspen junior, finished 84th.
Taggart Solomon, a junior, led the Aspen boys with his 61st place finish (18:58) on Saturday. The AHS boys were coming off a regional team championship last weeknd in Delta.
Seamus Crowley finished 69th for Aspen.
Alex Wells, of the Skiers, was 82nd.
Reece Johnson, a junior, finished 92nd.
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