Area harriers set for state meet finale
How fast?That’s the question facing area prep cross country athletes as they toe the starting line at Saturday’s state finals in Colorado Springs.Runners from all four area high schools who offer the sport will be represented at the championship meet on the grounds of the Vineyard Golf Course and El Pomar Youth Sports Complex.The final answer on where each runner finishes will play out as the race unfolds on the 3.1-mile course.Glenwood Springs’ Alex Tiernan, along with Basalt runners Colin Stewart, Kate Wilson and Amy Lund have a good shot at earning a state medal.In last week’s 4A boys regional meet at Delta’s Confluence Park, Tiernan finished fourth in 16 minutes, 37 seconds. The mark is among the 20-best 4A boys times this season, according to RockyPreps.Stewart served notice by running 17:04 race last week and earning fourth place in the process. Wilson, the girls 3A regional runner-up, and Lund match up favorably against the rest of the field. The two Longhorns clocked in at 19:35.38 and 19:35.80, respectively at regionals. Both marks fall within RockyPreps’ top-10 times. Among the major challengers for the Basalt girls are runners Whitney Anderson of Summit and Aspen’s Christy Severy.Anderson ran the fastest girls time in the state this year at 16:56. Severy, a junior at AHS, turned a 18:47 mark earlier this season.Other individuals to watch are Glenwood freshman Katrina Selsor, who ran a personal-best time of 20:04 last week, along with fellow Demons Amanda Alberico and Abbey Walters.But, the talent pool of runners in contention for a medal is deeper this year.Rifle High School’s Elisabeth Strouse is the first Bears runner to make the state finals in 18 years, according to head coach Scott Winter.The sophomore took eighth place in the Western Regional 4A meet last week with a time of 19 minutes, 25 seconds at Delta.”It was a high confidence-booster for Elisabeth,” Winter said. “She ran a smart, consistent race. I’m really proud of her.”First-year Grand Valley coach Dasa Bryan is equally proud of Jonathon Thompson and the accomplishments of her daughter, Katie Bryan. “Both beat their personal-best runs by over a minute,” the coach said. “And, both are shooting to improve their times this week.”Katie Bryan completed the course in 20:22 earning the Cardinals sophomore 10th in the girls 3A regional meet. Thompson finished ninth overall in the boys 3A meet, clocking in at 17:36.It’s the first time in school history Grand Valley has qualified runners for the state championship meet.”Both of them are very strong runners and I’ve seen improvement from them all season,” Dasa Bryan said. “I think they are ready.””Both of them are very strong runners and I’ve seen improvement from them all season,” Dasa Bryan said. “I think they are ready.”
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