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Glenwood boys swimmers dominate conference championships; track athletes improve state marks

The Glenwood Springs Demons boys swim team won 11 of 12 events and swept the top-3 positions in four of the events to score a dominating team win at the Southwest Conference Championships on Friday.

Glenwood, which combines swimmers from six different area high schools this season, won the conference championship with 288 points. The combined Grand Junction/Central/Palisade/Fruita Monument team was second with 91 points, and Montrose was third with 78.

Individual wins for the Demons swimmers were recorded by Max Bradbury in the 50 free (23.32) and 100 breast (1:00.48), Ross Bradbury in the 100 free (51.25), Shea Card in the 100 back (51.58) and 200 IM (1:58.08), Quinn MacPherson in the 500 free (5:05.17), and Charlie Kiddoo in the 100 fly (53.02) and 200 free (1:48.43).

Also standing atop the championship podium were the Demons’ three relay teams, the 200 free (1:34.90), 200 medley (1:38.65) and 400 free (3:20.93).

The only event that didn’t have a Glenwood competitor was 1-meter diving, which was won by Gabe Woodland of Montrose.

Glenwood Springs will now send a strong contingent of swimmers to the 4A State Championships Friday in Thornton.

Area track athletes compete at Tiger Invite

Several area boys and girls track and field athletes improved their state qualifying marks at the Thursday-Friday Tiger Invitational in Grand Junction.

The meet served as the final opportunity for 4A Glenwood Springs and 3A Coal Ridge, Roaring Fork, Basalt and Rifle to establish a top-18 ranking to qualify ahead of this week’s State Track and Field Championships in Lakewood.

For the Glenwood Springs girls, junior Ella Johnson and sophomore Sophia Connerton-Nevin moved into the 13th and 18th qualifying spots in the 1600 meters.

Johnson ran 5:11.62 to place second at the Tiger meet, while Connerton-Nevin ran 5:15.30 to place fifth.

Senior Sophia Vigil also lowered her time in the 100-meter hurdles, running a 16.96 to place second and move into the 17th qualifying position.

The Lady Demons’ 4×200 relay team also improved its ranking, running a 1:49.57 and placing second to move into the 16th qualifying spot.

Other area athletes improving their qualifying mark at the Tiger Invite included, for the girls (qualifying mark and state ranking):

Roaring Fork Lily Nieslanik, 1st long jump (17-1, 5th). Coal Ridge Phoebe Young, 1st pole vault (11-5, 5th); Mikayla Cheney, 1st 400 meters (58.73, 7th), 3rd 1600 meters (5:05, 3rd); Taylor Wiescamp, 1st shot put, (39-2.5, 3rd); 4×200 relay, 1st (1:46.51, 3rd); 4×400 relay, 1st (4:05.17, 3rd). Rifle Abigaile Pinkerton-Sparkman, 4th pole vault (8-2, 12th). Basalt Katelyn Maley, 1st 800 meters, (2:15.53, 1st); Ava Lane, 2nd 3200 meters (11:39.76, 11th); Katie Bohannan, 3rd pole vault (8-8, 8th); 800 medley relay, 2nd (1:52.49, 4th);

And, for the boys:

Coal Ridge Shayne Sandblom, 2nd pole vault (11-8, 4th); 1st 4×200 relay (1:33.84, 11th), 1st 4×400 relay (3:33.60, 7th). Rifle Kade Bishop, 1st long jump (20-1.75, 16th); Patrick Whitt, 3rd pole vault (10-2, 12th).

Senior Reporter/Managing Editor John Stroud can be reached at 970-384-9160 or jstroud@postindependent.com.

Seasons come to an end for Aspen girls lacrosse, girls soccer, Basalt baseball

Aspen High School girls lacrosse players Kylie Kenny, right, and Georgia Hollander hug while walking off the field after a loss to Castle View in the Class 4A state quarterfinals on Saturday, June 19, 2021, on the AHS turf. The Sabercats won, 10-9. Photo by Austin Colbert/The Aspen Times.

The Castle View girls lacrosse team made the most of its tiring trek into the mountains by knocking off undefeated Aspen, 10-9, on Saturday in the quarterfinal round of the Class 4A state tournament.

The Sabercats, seeded No. 10 in the inaugural 4A state bracket — girls lacrosse had still been one single classification the last time a season was held in 2019 — held off a late AHS rally to advance.

“It feels so good. Long trip to the mountains, and we made it worth it,” Castle View coach Samantha Silverman said. “So we are really excited. We kind of put everything together that we’ve been doing throughout the season and put it together in this game, and that’s what we like to see. Working together — had lots of assisted goals. It was fun.”

Aspen High School senior Kylie Kenny brings the ball upfield in the girls lacrosse game against Castle View in the Class 4A state quarterfinals on Saturday, June 19, 2021, on the AHS turf. The Sabercats won, 10-9. Photo by Austin Colbert/The Aspen Times.

Castle View led 1-0 not even a minute into the game, but Aspen’s Kylie Kenny answered back with her own goal barely 30 seconds later and it was 1-1 just like that. That led to a 3-1 lead for the Skiers, with another goal by Kylie Kenny and one from her sophomore sister, Michaela Kenny, but the Sabercats finished the half strong and led 4-3 at the midway point.

After taking a 5-4 lead early in the second half thanks to goals by Kylie Kenny and Lindsey Heinecken, Aspen started to see things slip away. The Sabercats scored four straight goals to take an 8-5 lead with about 18 minutes to go, but Aspen rallied to tie the game at 9-all with less than four minutes remaining.

Castle View scored what would be the game-winner with 2:38 on the clock. Aspen had one more good shot on goal, but Georgia Hollander’s attempt was blocked with about 90 seconds to go and AHS never got possession back.

It was the first and only loss of the season for Aspen, which was seeded No. 2 in the tournament, and finishes 10-1 overall. It was the second straight undefeated regular season for the Skiers, who also won the league championship.

The team only has one senior, that being future University of Denver lacrosse player Kylie Kenny, so the Skiers should be in a good position to make a return to the top of the state’s hierarchy next spring.

Castle View improved to 7-5 overall and will play No. 3 seed Grand Junction in Monday’s semifinal game. Grand Junction was a 14-10 winner over No. 11 Northfield on Saturday.

The Sabercats also beat Aspen in the 2017 playoffs, winning 12-8 on the AHS turf.

“It was fun to come back and play them again, and win again,” Silverman said, noting they rarely play any of the mountain teams outside of the playoffs. “We are excited. And really that’s better for us. It’s good to just come out and play our game and that’s what we did today.”

Aspen girls soccer loses in state quarterfinals

The Aspen High School girls soccer team’s season came to an end Saturday with a 5-0 loss to No. 10 seed Colorado Academy in the quarterfinal round of the Class 3A state playoffs.

The Mustangs (9-2-1) move on to face No. 3 Vail Mountain in the semifinals on Wednesday. VMS beat No. 6 The Academy on Saturday, 2-1.

Aspen finishes the season, the first played under coach Chris Ellis, 7-4-1 overall. The Skiers, seeded only No. 15 in the 16-team 3A tournament, had knocked off No. 2 Manitou Springs in the first round, 5-1.

Basalt baseball goes 0-2 at state tournament

The Basalt High School baseball team’s run through the postseason ended Saturday with its second loss in the Class 3A state tournament.

The Longhorns opened the double-elimination tournament on Friday with an 11-3 loss to The Classical Academy, sending them into the loser’s bracket. Saturday morning, BHS lost 9-4 to Colorado Academy to eliminate them from the tournament.

The Longhorns finish the season 13-7 overall. BHS had upset higher-seeded Alamosa and Gunnison in the regional tournament last week to make the surprise trip to the Front Range for the state tournament.

Still standing for the conclusion of the 3A tournament next weekend are TCA and Eaton (both undefeated in tourney play), as well as Faith Christian and Lutheran, both with one loss.


Rams lacrosse falls 15-8 to Green Mountain in 4A girls state playoffs opener

Roaring Fork’s Sophie Hodgson, No. 22, works the field in the Rams’ 4A state playoff game against Green Mountain Thursday in Lakewood.
Melissa Goodman photo

The Roaring Fork girls lacrosse team kept it close with the higher-seeded team through the first half of the 4A state tournament opener at Lakewood Thursday. But, it wasn’t meant to be for the combined Roaring Fork District team that calls Carbondale home, as the No. 9 Roaring Fork Rams fell to the No. 8 Green Mountain Rams, 15-8.

“Our girls lost a tough game to an experienced team with great defensive and stick skills,” Roaring Fork coach Chelsea Robson said in a text message afterwards. “Still, we fought hard to the last minute.”

Green Mountain held an 8-3 advantage after one half of play at Trailblazer Stadium in Lakewood. Roaring Fork hung tough with five goals in the second, to Green Mountain’s seven.

The Roaring Fork team, which combines players from Roaring Fork, Glenwood Springs and Basalt high schools, made the playoffs by virtue of an impressive 8-2 season record, finishing second in the 4A Mountain East behind undefeated Aspen.

“These girls never once gave up in the regular season, and they put everything they had out on the field today,” Robson said. “I am incredibly proud of every single one of them.”

Roaring Forks goals came from senior co-captain Riley Dolan (3), sophomore Sophie Hodgson (2) and one goal each from freshman Grace Garcia, sophomore Addie Nolan and senior co-captain Libby Claassen.

Roaring Fork sophomore Maisie Smith, in blue, works the field against Green Mountain in the Rams’ 4A girls lacrosse state playoff first-round game Thursday in Lakewood.
Melissa Goodman photo

The game marked the high school sports finale for Claassen, Dolan and fellow graduated seniors Mikayla Corgan, Samantha Ferry, Samantha Limongelli and Lyndsey Lizotte.

Robson said she looks forward to returning a core group of players next spring, and with some good experience behind them now.

“We are a young team and I am so excited to see what they are going to bring to the field next year,” she said, noting the expected return of Hodgson, Nolan and key defensive players Yahjairi Castillon, Gracie Pratt and Hailey Bledsaw.

The Rams close out the season at 8-3, while Green Mountain (8-3) will go on to play No. 1 seed Evergreen (8-2) in Saturday’s quarterfinal round.

Aspen, at 10-0 and the No. 2 seed in the 12-team 4A tournament field, was awaiting the winner of the No. 7 Golden vs. No. 10 Castle Valley game Thursday night.

Senior Reporter/Managing Editor John Stroud can be reached at 970-384-9160 or jstroud@postindependent.com.

Cross-valley ‘rivalry’ fuels two junior track stars

With an 800 league title on the line, Mikayla Cheney and Katelyn Maley take to the starting line — each hold one arm outstretched in front of their bodies, poised, ready to beat the other, and everyone else, to the finish.

From the start, the two runners remain shoulder to shoulder, allowing only a step or two to separate them. As the athletes turn onto the homestretch, Cheney pushes ahead for a brief moment before Maley regains it.

In the last few strides of the race, the runners grit their teeth, lower their heads, continue to pump their arms, close their eyes and hope when they open them that they have come across the finish line first.

This is just one snapshot of a little-known rivalry taking place in our own Roaring Fork and Colorado river valleys between two rising track athletes. Contrary to most sports rivalries, these two go beyond giving the post race handshake or pat on the back — instead, they overflow with praise for the other competitor.

Mikayla Cheney of Coal Ridge High School and Katelyn Maley from Basalt High School both specialize in distance events ranging from the 800 meter run to the 3200 meters. For the majority of the track season they have been battling against one another in these events, trying to cement their reign as the top runner — not only in the Western Slope League but ultimately as the best in the 3A state classification.

At the Multi-League Championship meet in Grand Junction June 10-11, the two girls faced off in all three of the main distance events. In the 800 detailed above, the two crossed the line separated by a little over a tenth of a second, with Maley edging out Cheney in a time of 2:16.27.

“It was truly one of the most competitive and exciting 800s I’ve ever seen. There was no more than maybe 5 feet of separation between them in half a mile of running.” Cheney’s coach Ben Kirk said after the race. “The exciting thing is that we get a rematch in a week.”

Katelyn Maley sprints to the finish line in the 1600 meter final at the Multi-League Championship Meet on June 11.

The same narrative played out in the 1600 meter and 3200 meter races, with both finishing within seconds of one another, with Maley narrowly beating Cheney. As both darted across the finish line in the 1600 meter race at the Multi-League Championships, both runners put their friendly rivalry on display by both cordially embracing while leaning on each other for support after their intense effort.

“Mikayla will always be the first person to give you a hug after a race. She is so sweet and an awesome person to be able to race against as often as I do,” Maley said.

Maley also said that even though she and Cheney may be from two schools that are battling against one another in the league and 3A classification Cheney ultimately “pushes me to fight for fast times alongside her.”

“She’s a fantastic runner,” Cheney said of Maley. “She’s been training a lot more than I, so to be able to line up next to her and for her to push me like no one else has been able to before has been great.

“(June 10th) in the 3200 meter run, she helped me get a 40-second personal best in only my second time running the event, which is more than I could ever ask for,” she added. “And in the 800 she helped us both post times that are one and two in the state for the 800. I think it’s really amazing for two Western Slope public school girls to post times that high in the state track rankings. I am super grateful to have her [Maley] to compete against.”

Both also share the strong desire to place high at state and someday run at the collegiate level, a goal within reach if they both continue to motivate one another to fast times.

“Top-end athletes like that can become complacent when they are so far ahead of the rest of their competition. Knowing that there is a girl just down or up the road who is getting ready for the next match-up just ratchets up the training intensity for both girls.” Coal Ridge head coach Ben Kirk spoke of what he thinks drives Maley and Cheney in their friendly rivalry.

Both Maley and Cheney will continue to put their friendly rivalry on display at the Colorado State Championship meet June 24-26 in Lakewood. It won’t come as a shock to anyone who knows about the rivalry to see both runners congratulate one another with a warm hug moments after their fervorous duel.


Girls lacrosse state brackets set; Roaring Fork seeded No. 9, Aspen earns bye as 2 seed

The brackets are set for the 12-team 4A girls lacrosse state championships, and the Roaring Fork Rams are dancing as the No. 9 seed.

Roaring Fork, which improved to 8-2 with a final regular season win over Battle Mountain on Tuesday, will be on the road in the opening round Thursday against No. 8 Green Mountain. Game time is set for 5:30 p.m. at Trailblazer Stadium in Lakewood.

The winner will advance to Saturday’s quarterfinal round against No. 1 seed Evergreen.

Two other 4A Mountain East League teams are also in the playoffs. League champion Aspen, at 10-0, is the No. 2 seed and earned a bye to the quarterfinals against the winner of the No. 7 Golden/No. 10 Castle View match.

Eagle Valley also enters the state tournament as the No. 12 seed, playing No. 5 Thompson Valley in the opening round Thursday.

The Rams, playing in just their second season as a program after the 2020 season was canceled, draw players from three Roaring Fork School District communities — Glenwood Springs, Carbondale and Basalt.

Originally, the state lacrosse tournament was to include only eight teams. The field was expanded to 12 teams at the start of the Colorado High School Activities Association’s revamped Season D in April.

Senior Reporter/Managing Editor John Stroud can be reached at 970-384-9160 or jstroud@postindependent.com.

Roaring Fork girls lacrosse tops Battle Mountain, awaits 4A state tourney selections

The Roaring Fork girls lacrosse team in action earlier this season against Summit.
John Stroud/Post Independent

Note: This story has been updated from the original version to reflect that the state tournament is a 12-team, single-elimination format.

The multi-school Roaring Fork girls lacrosse team took care of its end of the deal to secure a bid in the 12-team 4A state playoffs with a 13-8 win over Battle Mountain in Edwards on Tuesday.

Now, the Rams await their postseason fate as the Colorado High School Activities Association prepares to announce bracket seedings on Wednesday. The top four seeds will earn a bye, while the other eight are to play Thursday for the right to advance to the quarterfinal round of the single-elimination tournament.

Roaring Fork ends the regular season at 8-2, finishing second in the 4A Mountain East League behind undefeated and top-ranked Aspen (9-0). The Skiers handed the Rams both of their losses on the season.

The Rams came into the final week of play as the eighth-ranked team in the state in the 4A division, as of June 7.

However, teams just ahead of or behind Roaring Fork in the rankings also scored wins this past week, including a 15-14 win by No. 9 Golden over No. 3 Rocky Mountain on June 10. Whether that was enough to shake up the final rankings remains to be seen.

The Roaring Fork team combines players from three district high schools, including Glenwood Springs, Roaring Fork High of Carbondale and Basalt.

Senior Reporter/Managing Editor John Stroud can be reached at 970-384-9160 or jstroud@postindependent.com.

Basalt baseball knocks off Alamosa, Gunnison to win regional, make state

Basalt High School baseball plays Aspen on Wednesday, May 12, 2021.
Kelsey Brunner/The Aspen Times

The Basalt High School baseball team will head to the Class 3A state tournament later this week after pulling off a pair of upsets in regional play on Monday in Gunnison.

Seeded No. 21 among the 24 regional teams, the Longhorns opened play by knocking off No. 12 Alamosa, 11-4. BHS senior Alonso Silva pitched a strong game, holding the Mean Moose to a single run through four innings.

Already leading 4-1 entering the top of the fifth inning, Basalt broke the game open with a seven-run frame and held on from there.

In the regional championship game later Monday afternoon, Basalt faced host Gunnison, the No. 5 seed and a Western Slope League foe. It was an offensive affair, with BHS leading 5-3 after only an inning. A nine-run fifth inning by Basalt made the difference in the 19-10 victory.

The win also avenged a pair of losses to the Cowboys from early on in the regular season.

Now, Basalt will join the seven other regional champions in the double-elimination state tournament that starts Friday. Those teams include No. 1 Lutheran, No. 2 Eaton and No. 3 Faith Christian.

The upsets began after that, with No. 4 Bayfield losing to No. 20 The Classical Academy. No. 8 Colorado Academy, No. 7 Lamar and No. 6 University also advanced.

Late start for Aspen girls soccer playoff game

The Aspen High School girls soccer team’s first-round playoff game at No. 2 Manitou Springs on Wednesday has been scheduled for an 8 p.m. start.

The Skiers (6-3-1) are the No. 15 seed in the 16-team Class 3A state tournament. Manitou Springs is undefeated at 10-0 and has only conceded a single goal this season.

The winner will move on to face either No. 7 Liberty Common or No. 10 Colorado Academy in the state quarterfinals on Saturday, with the highest remaining seed hosting.

Aspen girls lacrosse hosts Steamboat in finale

The Aspen High School girls lacrosse team is scheduled to host Steamboat Springs (2-7) at 5 p.m. Tuesday in its regular-season finale on the AHS turf.

The Skiers, who have already locked up the league title, are looking to finish 10-0 in this shortened spring season. They also went undefeated in the regular season in 2019, with the 2020 season having been canceled because of the pandemic.

The Class 4A state tournament is scheduled to get underway Thursday, where barring any surprises Aspen should have a first-round bye. This would put AHS directly into the state quarterfinals, where the team would likely host a playoff game on Saturday.


Demons swim team overcomes scheduling challenges, preps for league championships

Demons senior Shea Card swims the breaststroke leg of his 200 Individual Medley event in a recent dual meet with District 51 schools at Colorado Mesa University.
Provided photo

Flying under the radar in this elongated high school sports Season D in the shadow of baseball, lacrosse, girls soccer, track and the like has been the Glenwood Springs High School boys swimming team.

But that doesn’t mean the Demons program, which draws athletes from multiple area high schools, hasn’t been turning some heads.

Despite an abbreviated meet schedule complicated by lingering pandemic impacts, the Demons enter Friday’s 4A Western Slope League Championships in Grand Junction as the heavy favorites to win their first league title in nearly a decade.

Glenwood boasts a 4-0 meet record, with wins over all of the teams that will be represented at the league meet, including Grand Junction, Fruita Monument and Montrose.

“After missing the 2020 season last year due to COVID, our team has been very focused on trying to make this season as normal as possible,” head coach Steve Vanderhoof said.

Still, the team encountered some challenges, as two of the usual league high schools were not able to organize teams, thus limiting the Demons’ ability to compete, he said.

Glenwood Springs originally scheduled a triangle meet in Thornton versus two 5A teams to try to round things out.

“Unfortunately, at the last minute we were uninvited due to some lingering COVID restrictions at that host pool,” Vanderhoof said.

In spite of it all, the Demons anticipate qualifying 10 of their 18 team members for the June 25 4A State Championships in Thornton, including representatives in all eight individual events and three relays.

Fourteen of the Glenwood swim team members come from six different area high schools in both the Roaring Fork and Eagle river valleys. The other four team members are being home-schooled, Vanderhoof noted.

The Demons are led by three seniors, including recent Glenwood Springs High School graduate Aeson Akins, who plans to continue swimming competitively at Augustana College in Sioux Falls, S.D., following state championships.

Akins is currently ranked eighth in the state among 4A swimmers in the 100 backstroke with a qualifying time of 54.51 seconds, and is 26th in the 100 butterfly at 56.85 seconds.

The top 30 competitors in each individual event or relay qualify for the state meet.

Also meeting the qualifying standard for the Demons headed into the final weekend of competition before state is Basalt High School graduate Shea Card, who plans to go on to swim for Division III National Champion Denison University.

Card is currently ranked fourth in the 100 backstroke with a season-best time of 53.76, and is 15th in the 100 fly at 55.18 seconds. He will also swim the 200 IM (ninth, 2:02.05). Teammate Charlie Kiddoo, who just graduated from Battle Mountain High School, will be swimming for Gettysburg College. Kiddoo is set to swim the 100 butterfly (ninth, 53.85) at state, and possibly the 100 backstroke and 200 freestyle if he can lower his times this weekend.

Glenwood Springs has several other swimmers meeting the state qualifying standard, including junior Quinn MacPherson in multiple events.

The Demons expect to take all three of their relay teams to the state championship meet.

Glenwood is currently ranked second in the 200 Medley Relay (Akins, Card, Kiddoo and Max Bradbury), 1:39.67; fifth in the 200 Free Relay (Kiddoo, MacPherson, Bradbury, Card), 1:32.93; and fifth in the 400 Free Relay (Kiddoo, MacPherson, Card and Tanner Esty), 3:24.68.

Senior Reporter/Managing Editor John Stroud can be reached at 970-384-9160 or jstroud@postindependent.com.

Preps: Glenwood tennis duo of Henderson-DeMoraes makes it to state semifinals

Glenwood Springs lacrosse senior Davis Barill, left, sets for the face-off against Montrose in the Demons’ 13-9 win June 10 at Stubler Memorial Field.

The Glenwood Springs High School girls tennis No. 1 doubles team of Ella Henderson and Emily DeMoraes won two matches at the 3A State Tennis Championships in Colorado Springs before bowing out in the Saturday semifinals.

The lone state qualifiers for the Lady Demons out of last week’s 3A Regionals finished the season with a 9-3 record.

At the state meet on Friday, Henderson and DeMoraes defeated the St. Mary’s team of Elizabeth Brodeur and Roni Hennessey by scores of 6-0, 6-4, and dispatched Aspen’s Sadie Bayko and Sonya Tralins, 6-3, 6-0, to advance to the Saturday semifinals.

There, they fell to the eventual runner-up team of Sarah Preston and Bella Vogl of the Colorado Academy, 1-6, 4-6.

Demons lacrosse just misses playoffs

The Glenwood Springs High School boys lacrosse team wrapped up the regular season Friday with a disappointing 13-6 defeat to top-ranked Telluride at Stubler Memorial Field.

The Demons finished just out of the running for the 4A playoffs at No. 15, as brackets for the 12-team tournament were announced Sunday. Glenwood concludes with a record of 5-4.

Against Telluride, Glenwood senior goalie Peter Zimmer recorded 24 saves, attackman Connor Powell had three goals and one assist, midfielder Cody Thompson had two goals, and defenseman Teegan Card had an end-to-end dash, scoring his first goal of the season when the Demons got to within four in the third quarter.

Despite winning the ground-ball battle 44-28, the Demons were challenged to clear the ball successfully in the second half and turnovers led to Telluride pulling away.

“Not how we wanted to finish, but we’re so proud of our boys this season. Despite not reaching the post-season, we accomplished plenty and are excited for the future of this program,” head coach Joe Lang said.

The loss came following a sound victory Thursday against visiting Montrose, 13-9, off of a six-point effort from Powell (three goals, three assists).

Jamie Dolan also had three goals and two assists, Thompson had three goals, and Demons Owen Mangeot, Dylan Madden, Tyler Johnson and Davis Barill each had a goal. The Demons won the ground ball battle 44-30.

“There are plenty of positives to build off of,“ Lang added. ”Our graduating senior class of nine provided leadership and heart all season and have set a great tone for the underclassmen to take us to a new standard here starting the next school year.“

Graduating seniors on the combined schools team include Connor Powell (GSHS), Cody Thompson (BHS), Davis Barill (BHS), Owen Mangeot (GSHS), Jeff Lowe (GSHS), Teegan Card (BHS), Mahlon Mitzel (GSHS), Peter Zimmer (BHS) and Nolan McPherson (GSHS).

Demons baseball splits with Eagle Valley

The GSHS baseball team closed out the season with a double-header split against Eagle Valley at home on Saturday. The Demons won the opener 11-7, but fell to the Devils 15-13 in the nightcap.

Game 1 saw the Demons open a 5-0 lead after the first and tack on six more runs in the fourth to take the 11-2 lead and hold on for the win.

Glenwood junior Mims Braxton went 1-for-4 at the plate, drove in two runs and also scored a run to lead the Demons offense. RBIs also came from senior Garret Dollahan, juniors Cooper Luetke and Evan Heyl, and sophomore Avner Mangeot. Senior Wheatley Nieslanik got the pitching win, giving up five hits, five runs and striking out nine.

It was Eagle Valley that claimed the 7-4 lead through three innings of Game 2, before the host Demons uncorked for six runs in the bottom of the fourth to take a 10-7 lead.

Both teams added a run in the fifth and two each in the sixth, before Eagle Valley broke it open with a 5-0 seventh inning to earn the win.

Leading the Demon offense were seniors Mario Starszak, who went 2-for-4 with four runs batted in; Ian Cecil, who went 3-for-5 with three RBIs and a run scored; and Wheatley Nieslanik, 4-for-4, two runs and two RBIs.

Luetke also had a pair of RBIs, and senior Zach Cecil had one for the game.

The Demons conclude the season at 6-9 overall and 6-6 in the 4A Western Slope League.

It was the final game in a Demons jersey for graduated seniors Mario Starszak, Zack and Ian Cecil, Wheatley Nieslanik, Tyler Thomas, Garret Dollahan and Anthony Avilas.

Senior Reporter/Managing Editor John Stroud can be reached at 970-384-9160 or jstroud@postindependent.com.

Basalt runners shine at multi-league meet

Basalt High School’s Rulbe Alvarado, right, competes in a race earlier this season.
Photo by John Stroud/Glenwood Springs Post Independent

The Basalt High School track and field team had an impressive showing Thursday and Friday at the multi-league championship meet in Grand Junction, the last major competition ahead of state.

The Longhorns prowess was most evident with their runners, winning multiple events and showing they are to be a factor for podiums, if not state championships, later this month in Lakewood.

Among the highlights was the continued domination from senior Sierra Bower and sophomore Katelyn Maley. Bower, the 2019 state cross country champion and Furman signee, won the 3A girls 1,600-meter race in 5 minutes, 00.07 seconds, while Maley, the 2020 state cross country champion, was second in 5:03.30. Basalt’s Ava Lane even finished fourth in the race (5:26.81).

Maley impressed by winning both the 800-meter run (2:16.27) and the 3,200-meter run (11:23.93), with Lane and Bower also finishing top four in each race. Coal Ridge’s Mikayla Cheney was the fourth runner in contention in each of those races.

Basalt High School’s Sierra Bower competes at the multi-league championship meet in Grand Junction.
Courtesy photo

Bower, Maley, Lane and Kaitlin Boothe also teamed up to win the 4×800-meter relay in 10:08.09, about 40 seconds ahead of runner-up Coal Ridge.

BHS senior Katie Bohannan found plenty of success in the field events, finishing second in pole vault, second in long jump, second in triple jump and fourth in high jump.

Not to be outdone by his female teammates, Basalt senior Rulbe Alvarado had one of the better meets of any athlete. He was dominant in the sprints, winning the 100- (11.49 seconds), 200- (23.01) and 400-meter (51.27) dashes and was named the Class 3A male athlete of the year for the Western Slope League.

Aspen’s James Kelly finished second to Alvarado in the 400 in 53.10.

Basalt’s Noah Allen was runner-up in the boys 3,200-meter run (11:02.48), although well behind the 9:45.24 posted by Gunnison standout Alex Baca.

Times and distances should be posted to MaxPreps in the coming days, with the top 18 per event and gender making it to the final meet. The state championship is scheduled for June 24 to 26 at Jefferson County Stadium in Lakewood.