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Weather a major hurdle for Basalt track in Grand Valley

Jon Maletz
Aspen, CO Colorado

PARACHUTE ” Rain typically does little to slow track athletes. Snow, too, is a minor hindrance on most occasions.

But wind? It can be downright miserable. The Longhorns learned that at Wednesday’s Grand Valley Invitational, where competi­tors contended with 40 mph gusts.

“It was prob­ably the worst conditions I’ve ever seen for a meet,” Basalt head coach Ron Lund said Friday. “Unless you were running the 100 and had the wind at your back, throw the times out the window. I felt beat up after the meet, and I didn’t even run.”

How bad were conditions? Con­sider Amy Lund’s day: The senior dominated the field in the mile and two-mile, but her times were 30 sec­onds and one minute slower than average, respectively.

“She really didn’t have anyone to push her after the second lap, and there was no one to draft off of,” coach Lund said.

Amy Lund’s two top results, coupled with Taylor Allman’s 100 ­meter win, helped lead the Long­horns girls to a fourth-place finish. Alex Piken took third in both the 100 and 200, and the girls finished third in the 4 x 100 and 4 x 200 relays. Elise Jacoby and Jessy Mul­likin finished fourth in the long jump and discus, respectively.

The boys also finished fourth, in large part because of their win in the 4 x 800 relay and Brennan Roper and Jason Ingram’s one-two finish in the two-mile.

The boys were seven points behind third-place finisher Plateau Valley and 25 points behind sec­ond- place Grand Valley ” not bad considering they had just seven male competitors. Roper led the way individually, winning the two­mile easily with a time of 11 min­utes, 30.90 seconds; he finished more than three and a half minutes ahead of Ingram.

Max Harlow recorded two of the team’s 10 top- 3 finishes. He took second in the 110-meter hur­dles, finishing in 17.08 seconds, and was third in the 300 hurdles. Teammate Matt Owen took third in a tightly packed 800 field with a time of 2: 29.21 ” he was little more than a second behind winner David Roberts of Soroco.

In addition to being part of the winning 4 x 800 relay team, Dun­can McDaniel took third in the 400. Tyler Wilson finished third in the mile for the Longhorns, which had just one competitor participate in the field events.

“There were a lot of available points out there,” Lund said.

Once it became clear during the meet’s latter stages that the boys wouldn’t contend for the team title, Lund decided to rest some of his athletes ” the Longhorns are in the midst of a stretch of three meets in eight days. They travel to Eagle Valley Saturday.

Among those Lund rested was Cody Russell, who is nursing a sore hamstring. Russell, who took first in the 100 and 200 and second in the long jump at last week’s meet in Glenwood, still managed to help his team, however. His time of 11.33 in the 100 was good for second, and he anchored the 4 x 200 relay team that took second.

“I didn’t know how serious his injury is, so it wasn’t worth the risk,” Lund said. “He has much bigger meets ahead of him.”

Russell and the rest of the Long­horns are preparing for the Tiger Invitational on May 4 and 5 in Grand Junction, a state pre-qualify­ing meet. To date, no Basalt athlete has qualified for state. After Tiger, only the regional meet remains for athletes to post the times and dis­tances needed to qualify to com­pete in Pueblo this May.

“Times are starting to come down, and the work is starting to pay off. We need to keep heading in that direction,” Lund said. “Wednesday was a character builder. The weather was rough, but the kids gave a good effort. It should make everyone better when the conditions are nicer.”


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