Coal Ridge’s Parker 24th at 3A boys state cross country meet; Glenwood’s Connerton-Nevin 49th among 4A girls
Coal Ridge senior cross country runner Tyler Parker lined up against his stiffest competition of the season at the 3A state championships in Colorado Springs Saturday, finishing 24th overall and getting some redemption in the process.
“My past trips to state hadn’t gone real well for me, and I didn’t even qualify my sophomore year,” said the 3A regional champion of his top-25 effort, just over the 17-minute threshold at 17:03.7 for the rolling, 5-kilometer course at the Norris Penrose Event Center.
“They were saying this was the most competitive year for 3A, so I was pretty happy overall with my time and place,” said Parker, who had scored several meet wins during the regular season and breezed to a 3A Western Slope regional title in Delta last week.
It was a fast one for the state title, with The Classical Academy’s Chandler Wilburn winning it in 15:46, followed closely by Eaton’s Logan Gullett (15:52.1) and Classical teammate Matthew Edwards (16:00.4) in third. Parker was the top Western Slope runner, as 22 runners crossed the finish in under 17 minutes.
Parker’s season best of 16:33.4 — clocked on the super-fast Delta Confluence Park course in Coal Ridge school-record time — would have netted him 14th at state. But the rolling, wooded course featuring a long uphill near the end took its toll.
“I wanted to see if I could stay with the top-10 guys, and I did for about half the race,” he said. “But I couldn’t quite hold on.”
Still, “It was a great way to end my school season,” Parker said.
His Titans’ teammate, junior Dallin Karren, finished 98th overall with a time of 18:48.3, and in the girls 3A race, Coal Ridge senior Gwynn Apostolik was 71st in 21:39.
In the 4A girls race, Glenwood Springs senior Sophia Connerton-Nevin finished 49th with a time of 20:40.9, and Rifle sophomore Ana Robinson was 78th in 21:16.2.
In the 2A boys race, Carbondale’s Colorado Rocky Mountain School had two state qualifiers, led by junior Ben Oldham in 26th place overall (17:50), with junior Sawyer McLernon in 71st (19:04.9).
Basalt High School sent its full girls and boys teams to state in the 3A class.
Longhorns senior Katelyn Maley obliterated her state championship time from last season, but her primary opponent obliterated the course record in keeping Maley from a third straight state championship.
The race was won by Liberty Common junior Isabel Allori in 17 minutes, 10.3 seconds. The previous record was set in 2019 by Basalt’s own Sierra Bower, then a junior, when she won the title in 18 minutes flat. Allori was a mere fifth last season in 18:56.7.
Maley, who won the state championship as both a sophomore and junior, finished second on Saturday as a senior in 18:15.2, holding off Stargate junior Allison Pippert (18:16.8), last year’s runner-up, at the finish line. Maley’s time was well ahead of last year’s pace, when she won state in 18:37.1.
Basalt senior Ava Lane had her best finish at state, taking sixth in 18:45.4, which would have been good for second behind only Maley last year.
Third best among Longhorns was sophomore Isabella Moon, a Roaring Fork High School student who was 44th in 20:45.7. Basalt sophomore Juniper Anderson was 102nd (22:30.8), sophomore Morgan Fink was 107th (22:39.6), freshman Addison Raymond was 124th (23:26.7) and senior Payton Barill was 126th (23:32.4) in the 149-runner field. Basalt placed eighth as a team with 230 points.
In the boys race, Basalt finished 17th among 20 scoring teams. The Longhorns were led by junior Owen Lambert, who was 59th in 17:58.2, followed by freshman Towler Scott (87th, 18:31.1), senior Misha Logan (109th, 19:09.2), sophomore Ivan Babonoyaba (142nd, 20:44), freshman Emanuel Andrade (154th, 22:25.2), freshman Lucca Del Cid (155th, 23:05.5) and senior Sebastien Del Cid (156th, 26:40.8).
This was the first time the Basalt boys had qualified as a team for state since 2015.
The Aspen Times Austin Colbert contributed to this report.
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