DeMoor, Stookesberry win Emma-to-Carbondale 14-mile Sopris Runoff
An early-morning blanket of smoke was an unwelcome guest to the 68 runners who showed up to participate in Saturday’s annual Mount Sopris Runoff 14-mile race, and the shorter 4-mile Fair Run.
This year’s event, which is held in conjunction with the Carbondale Mountain Fair, was the 40th edition of the race that was started many years ago by Bruce Gabow, and has been carried on by Independence Run and Hike owner Brion After.
“Right before the start of the race today the smoke rolled in, so our numbers were down a bit from last year,” After said. “There are also some other races in the area this weekend, but it’s always fun to do this and come out here and see everybody.”
With the help of the built-in smoke haze, and his record setting pace, a person who wasn’t seen by anyone for very long was Joseph DeMoor of Carbondale, who emerged as the champion of the 14-miler with a blistering time of 1 hour, 25 minutes, 22 seconds. DeMoor — who was a state 3A cross country champion at Buena Vista High School, and ran collegiately for the Colorado Buffaloes — bested the course record time, which was set in 2014 by Carbondale’s Casey Weaver by a mere two ticks of the second clock.
Former Rifle High School standout Brendan Wagler posted a time of 1:27:20 to claim runner-up honors in the long race from the Emma Schoolhouse to Sopris Park. Wagler, who won last year’s 14-miler, and is currently prepping for his senior year running cross country and track at Grand Canyon University in Phoenix, used the race primarily to gauge his fitness for the upcoming college season.
“The conditions today were OK, but I felt a little bit tired coming into this week,” Wagler said. “I did an 18-mile training run last Sunday, and had a busy week at work. I still have some work to do on my fitness before I go back to college, but it was fun today.”
New Castle’s Wesley Toews took the final podium spot in the overall race standings. Ironically enough, in chasing Wagler to the finish line, he was in fact trying to catch up with his summer training partner.
“It’s tough trying to stay with Joseph. I’m happy for Brendan. We’ve been training together for most of the summer,” Toews said.
Basalt’s Katie Stookesberry was the women’s winner, and also finished in 8th place overall. Stookesberry, a St. Louis native who moved to the valley five years ago to work at the Aspen Music Festival, was the winner of the 4-mile Fair Run in 2016, but decided to give the longer distance a go the last couple times out.
“This is a good local race and I wanted to do the longer one today because I am going to the Imogene Pass Run in September (17 mountain miles long) and I needed a longer training run,” Stookesberry, who finished with a time of 1:56:38, said.
Sandra Hyda was second place for the ladies (2:03:48), and Emily Lyons-Nachtieb was third at 2:05:57. Stephanie Miller came across the finish line with her friend (Nachtieb) and posted an identical time of 2:05:57.
The overall winner of the 4-mile Fair Run was Basalt’s Enrique Palomares with a finishing time of 23 minutes, 54 seconds. Riverside Middle School 8th grader Tyler Parker continued his hot racing summer, as the young phenom came in behind Palomares with a time of 26:28. Third for the men, and fourth place overall was Dan Berg with a time posted at 27:24.
A familiar young face was crowned the women’s champion as Glenwood High School senior Emily Worline hit the finish line tape at 26:57, placing her third overall.
Worline has put in a good summer body of running work in hopes of making her senior season for the Demons one to remember.
“I’m just trying to get ready for what I hope will be a good senior season,” Worline, who won a Wimbledon-like champion’s plate for her efforts, said. “I’ve been fortunate to have a good summer.”
The breakdown totals in the two races saw 40 runners in the 14-miler, and 28 in the Fair Run.
The Rifle Mountain Park will host next Saturday’s August 4 race, as the Cheatin’ Woodchuck Chase 5-miler will take center stage on the local running circuit.
Mount Sopris Runoff 14-mile top 15 overall. *Female: 1. Joseph DeMoor, 1 hour, 25 minutes, 22 seconds; 2. Brendan Wagler, 1:27:20; 3. Wesley Toews, 1:28:02; 4. Watkins Fulk-Gray, 1:34:47; 5. Ryan Wilch, 1:42:08; 6. Stan Nesbitt, 1:43:09; 7. Pete Fowler, 1:50:00; 8. Katie Stookesberry*, 1:56:38; 9. Joseph Mruk, 1:58:28; 10. James Parker, 1:59:28; 11. Sandra Hyda*, 2:03:48; 12. Emily Lyons-Nachtieb*, 2:05:57; 13. Stephanie Miller*, 2:05:57; 14. Tim Morgan, 2:07:54; 15. Mitch Hyda, 2:08:46.
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Local teams just missed out on qualifying for state as teams but will be sending individual representatives following Friday’s regional meets.