Aspen girls surprise by taking second at Longhorn XC invite
longhorn invite results
1. Glenwood, 47
2. Aspen, 52
3. Rifle, 95
4. Basalt, 107
1. Sarah Wagler, Rifle 19:46
2. Chloe Veilleux, Soroco, 20:17
3. Sophia Vigil, Glenwood 20:21
4. Erica Diemoz, Glenwood, 20:49
5. Kendall Clark, Aspen 21:37
6. Kylie Kenny, Aspen 21:37
1. Glenwood, 27
2. Paonia, 92
3. Aspen, 201
6. Basalt 143
1. Patrick Scoggins, Rangely, 16:51
2. Henry Barth, Glenwood 17:03
3. Gavin Harden, Glenwood 17:23
4. Ian Richardson, Glenwood 18:43
5. William Berkheimer, Glenwood 18:45
The best thing about having a group comprised mostly of freshmen on Saturday in the season-opening Longhorn Invitational cross country meet was none of them missed the race because they were taking the SAT.
With some veteran leadership missing for numerous teams because of the important college-entrance exam, the younger races were given the chance to shine in the meet hosted by Basalt High School at Crown Mountain Park in El Jebel.
Among the biggest surprises was the Aspen High School girls taking second as a team. The Skiers finished with 52 points, with only Glenwood Springs’ 47 points being ahead of them. The Rifle girls were third with 95 points, Basalt fourth with 107 points and Grand Valley fifth with 151 points.
“Just a really good showing. It was fun,” Aspen coach Chris Keleher said. “The girls team doesn’t have a lot of experience. The most experience anybody has is this is their second year. They are at the bottom of a really long learning curve and doing a great job figuring it out. It’s really fun to work with them.”
Aspen had three girls finish in the top 10, lead by Kendall Clark’s fifth-place time of 21 minutes, 37 seconds. Aspen’s Kylie Kenny was sixth in 21:37, finishing at the same time as Clark, while Jane Marolt was ninth in 22:26.
Edie Sherlock (13th, 22:58), and Macy Hopkinson (19th, 23:40) also took top 20 for the Skiers.
Rifle’s Sarah Wagler won the race with a time of 19:46, followed in second by Soroco’s Chloe Veilleux in 20:17.
Glenwood Springs had three girls in the top eight en route to the team title. Sophia Vigil led the Demons by taking third in 20:21, followed by Erica Diemoz in fourth (20:49) and Emily Worline in seventh (22:06).
Basalt’s top finishers on the girls’ side included Megan Maley (14th, 23:04), Lilly Gillis (15th, 23:11) and Sierra Bower (18th, 23:38). Among the missing for Basalt was Carly Robinson, arguably its top runner alongside Maley. She was taking the SAT.
“I was real pleased. We had good, tight grouping and with some kids that came in with basically no mileage,” Basalt coach Ron Lund said. “We have some new blood in, and if they can get up to where our other girls were last year, I like our chances at regionals.”
Glenwood pulled the sweep Saturday by also winning the boys’ team title with 27 points. Paonia was a distant second with 92 points and Aspen third with 102 points. Rounding out the team scoring was Rifle (112), Grand Valley (140), Basalt (143) and Coal Ridge (147).
Rangely’s Patrick Scoggins — who took third in Class 2A at state in 2016 — won the boys’ race with a time of 16:51, holding off Glenwood’s Henry Barth (17:03) and Gavin Harden (17:23). Glenwood’s Ian Richardson (fourth, 17:23) and William Berkheimer (fifth, 18:45) helped give the Demons four runners in the top five.
Aspen’s lone top-10 finisher was Everett Olson, who took eighth in 19:17. Will Chesner was 11th in 19:44 for the Skiers.
“The boys team has a lot of experience just up front,” Keleher said, noting one of the top boys was also missing because of the SAT. “It’s a good mix of kids who have some experience and some kids who don’t have a lot of experience but are eager to learn and willing to work hard.”
Tucker Bruce led the Basalt boys by taking 14th in 19:52, the only Longhorn in the top 20.
“Good to know where they are at so we can work them from here on out as far as pacing and stuff,” Lund said. “But I was real happy with the way the kids ran today.”
Aspen will compete at Battle Mountain next week, while Basalt is off until competing in the Liberty Bell Invitational on Sept. 8 in Littleton. The Skiers host their annual home meet on Oct. 7.
Aspen and Basalt will both have their Class 3A regional on Oct. 20 in Delta.
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Amid hundreds of cleat-footed little leaguers casually gathered along the first baseline, the glare of parents’ sunglasses deflecting the early morning sun, coach Troy Phillips began a trip down memory lane.