Parker, Merritt pace Coal Ridge, Glenwood boys to top three team finishes at Aspen cross country meet

Glenwood Springs sophomore Tanner Merritt competes in the Skiers' home cross country race on Saturday, Oct. 8, 2022, in Aspen. (Austin Colbert/The Aspen Times)
Austin Colbert/The Aspen Times

Another week, another cross country win for Coal Ridge senior Tyler Parker, who outran the field on a tough Aspen High School course Saturday to win the annual Chris Severy Invitational.

Parker, who won the Sept. 30 Pantherfest meet in Delta in Titans’ school-record time, battled it out with a pair of sophomore runners, James Talbot from Rangely and Jake Pendy from Crested Butte, on the “true cross” course, as coaches often refer to it.

The course traverses the hilly, rugged terrain on the wintertime Nordic ski course behind AHS at the base of Aspen Highlands.

Coal Ridge senior Tyler Parker competes in the Skiers’ home cross-country race on Saturday, Oct. 8, 2022, in Aspen.
Austin Colbert/The Aspen Times

In the end, it was Parker breaking the tape with a time of 19 minutes, 27.1 seconds over the 5K course, followed by Talbot in 19:41.7 and Pendy in 19:59.5. Colorado Rocky Mountain School junior Ben Oldham was fourth in 20:16.

Glenwood Springs sophomore Tanner Merritt led a strong contingent of Demons runners to a second-place team finish with 86 points, behind Olathe with 74 and ahead of Coal Ridge, with 114. 

Merritt was seventh with a time of 20:52.8, followed by senior William Hassel, 17th (21:54), sophomore Finn Long, 20th (22:05.1), senior Sebastian Aragon, 23rd (22:10.5) and senior Noah Fosnaught, 26th (22:30.3).

Coal Ridge placed two other runners in the top 25: junior Dallin Karren, 15th (21:43.5), and senior Dylan Campbell, 21st (22:07.1).

The Glenwood Springs girls were paced by Taia Nykerk, 12th (26:03), followed by Emma Thornal, 14th (26:24.2), Gracie Westphal, 15th (26:24.9); Katrina Gillen, 19th (26:51) and Cate Simpson, 23rd (27:11.7). The Lady Demons were third as a team with 81 points, behind meet winner Aspen with 30 points and Caprock Academy with 72. Coal Ridge was fifth with 111 points.

Glenwood Springs junior Taia Nykerk competes in the Skiers’ home cross-country race on Saturday, Oct. 8, 2022, in Aspen.
Austin Colbert/The Aspen Times

The Coal Ridge girls had three runners in the top 25: senior Gwynn Apostolik, 11th (26:00.2), freshman Rylee Hedberg, 21st (27:00.7) and junior Nicole Herrera, 25th (27:27.7).

Other top runners for CRMS included, for the boys: Sawyer McLernon, 10th (21:27) and Henry O’Hagen, 13th (21:37.5); and among the girls: Ellis Hutchens, 22nd (27:03).

Grand Valley had one runner finish in the top 25 of the boys race, Craig Cotter, 22nd (22:09.6).

Senior Reporter/Managing Editor John Stroud can be reached at 970-384-9160 or

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