Barth leads young pack of Demon runners
Glenwood Springs High School’s cross country youth movement had a strong showing at the home meet Friday afternoon, as several Demon underclassmen posted top-20 finishes.
Led by freshman Henry Barth in fourth place overall and sophomore teammate Matthew Thrun close behind in fifth, the Glenwood boys took second among seven teams behind Class 5A Heritage High of Littleton.
Barth finished the 5-kilometer course next to the Roaring Fork River in 18 minutes even, just a second off the pace of Basalt’s Lyle Luckett.
Thrun was four seconds back in 18:03.
Heritage senior Jeremy Romero took honors in 17:09 on an unusually hot late September afternoon. Arturo Toro Luna, a sophomore from Greeley Central, was second in 17:38.
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In the girls race, another Heritage senior, Audrey Cordova, was the top finisher in 20:58, followed by Greeley Central junior Denisse Ojeda in 21:09. Heritage also won the girls team title.
“I kind of knew Lyle would take it, but that’s fine,” Barth said of his finish. “I feel like our team is coming along. A lot of us ran together in middle school, and we just keep getting better.”
Glenwood coach Mike Schneiter also credited a strong middle school program, which is offered locally through the Access Roaring Fork after school programs, with introducing cross country to younger runners.
“These kids have been running a lot already, so they come to our program with that experience,” Schneiter said, noting that several Glenwood middle schoolers, including Barth, made the trip to the state middle school cross country championships in Denver a couple of years ago.
More than 50 middle school boys and girls from Glenwood Springs, Carbondale and Eagle ran in a separate middle school race that was part of Friday’s meet.
“This freshman class in particular is hard-working, and have come in with a good work ethic,” Schneiter said.
Also finishing in the top 20 out of more than 80 runners for the Demon boys were freshman Gavin Harden, 11th in 18:50; sophomore Jacob Barsness in 15th, 19:00; and sophomore Austin Hawkins, 20th, 19:23.
Another area runner, junior Allen Justin from Coal Ridge High, placed 14th with a time of 18:59.
In the high school girls race, a pair of Glenwood sophomores also finished in the top-10. Claudia Hirons hung on for eighth place with a home course personal best time of 22:16. Payton Bonsack was 11th in 22:51.
“It was pretty hot out there, but I just tried to stay with the pack,” said Hirons, who also posted a sixth-place finish at the Eagle Valley Invitational last Saturday with a time of 20:47.
Other area runners finishing in the top 20 at the Glenwood meet Friday were Coal Ridge sophomore Paige Harlow in 17th, 23:45, at Glenwood freshman Emily Worline in 20th, 24:27.
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The teams aren’t vying to one up the other in the rankings or looking to get a leg up in the league standings this fall, but that will hardly make the stakes any less meaningful for Basalt and Glenwood Springs high schools when they meet on the football field Friday night.