Chavez breaks tape first at Hogback Hustle in New Castle |

Chavez breaks tape first at Hogback Hustle in New Castle

Mike Vidakovich
Special to the Post Independent
Glenwood Springs, CO Colorado
Kelley Cox Post Independent

NEW CASTLE, Colorado – Jordan Chavez was determined to make amends for last year’s blink-of-an-eye loss to Charlie Wertheim in the Hogback Hustle 5K run. The fact that Wertheim was not present for this year’s race didn’t deter Chavez from the purpose of his day – to break the finish tape first.

“I expected Charlie to be here because we raced so close last year,” said Chavez, who will be a sophomore cross country runner this fall at Dallas Southlake Carroll High School in Texas. “I really wanted to win. I tried to push it hard up the long hill and then open my stride on the downhill and see how fast I could go.”

Chavez also had a little extra incentive to go fast on this day. Awaiting him at the finish line was his grandpa, former Glenwood basketball coaching legend Bob Chavez.

“I always want to make him proud. I know he expects a lot,” beamed the young phenom, who recorded a time of 18 minutes, 5 seconds for the race win.

Second overall was Ben Jones at a very swift 18:18 clocking. Jones gave a nice effort in chasing Chavez, but ultimately couldn’t make up enough ground to turn the trick.

“I tried, but I didn’t have a chance at him,” said Jones. “My lungs were OK during the race, but my legs were a little dead.”

Third among the men, and fourth overall, was Dustin Ross of Rifle, who ran an 18:44 on the up-and-down course through Castle Valley.

The ladies championship, and third overall, went to Basalt’s Megan Lund with a time of 18:25. For the third year in a row, Lund bested the women’s field at the Hogback Hustle with ease.

“I was trying to keep my eyes on those guys up front and keep them in sight,” said Lund, who was just back from a sixth-place finish at the U.S. Mountain Running Championships. “It was hot on the climbing portion of the race, but I felt good the whole way.”

This fall, Lund has her eyes on a bigger prize, as she will be competing in the Twin Cities Marathon in an attempt to qualify for the U.S Women’s Olympic Marathon Trials.

Second in the women’s division was Rachel Horvath at 21:30 and right behind her was Rifle Bear standout Holly Keeper, who came to the line at 21:55.

Ninety-two humans and five dogs made it to the race finish line at the New Castle Town Park and race director Bryan Vashus was all smiles at the end of the day.

“It was a great day. I thought everything went well,” he said.

The great day ended fittingly as race participants and spectators lined the finish area to greet the indefatigable Paul Driskill.

Driskill, who is less than two years removed from a nearly fatal car accident, was greeted with rousing applause as he crossed the line to officially put the race in the books.

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