Preps Roundup: Glenwood 1-2 punch of Johnson, Connerton-Nevin tops field at Basalt XC meet
Swanson 3rd in boys race
BHS XC INVITE
GIRLS TOP FIVE
1. Ella Johnson, Glenwood 18:04
2. Sophia Connerton-Nevin, Glenwood 18:07
3. Sierra Bower, Basalt 18:13
4. Katelyn Maley, Basalt 18:32
5. Ava Lane, Basalt 19:46
1. Basalt 40
2. Aspen 57
3. Battle Mountain 62
BOYS TOP FIVE
1. Porter Middaugh, Battle Mountain 16:59
2. William Brunner, Battle Mountain 17:44
3. Reid Swanson, Glenwood 17:51
4. Noah Allen, Basalt 18:17
5. Quinn MacPherson, Glenwood 18:19
1. Battle Mountain 40
2. Aspen 75
3. Glenwood 83
After weeks on end of hot, dry weather, a welcome wet and cool Saturday morning greeted runners for the Basalt Longhorns Invitational cross country meet, where Glenwood Springs pulled off an impressive 1-2 finish in the girls race.
Demons junior Ella Johnson and sophomore Sophia Connerton-Nevin had a strategy in mind as they navigated the challenging course at Crown Mountain Park in El Jebel, running neck-and-neck with defending 3A state champ Sierra Bower, the Basalt senior who was favored to win her home meet.
Instead, it was Johnson who surged to the lead after the second water crossing within the final mile. Connerton-Nevin went with her, and the duo crossed the finish line of the 5K course in 18 minutes, 4 seconds and 18:07, respectively.
Bower was third in 18:13, and three other Basalt runners finished in immediate succession behind her, as the Longhorns claimed the girls team title.
“Last week was more like a tester for us,” Johnson said of the opening meet Aug. 22 at Grand Junction’s Matchett Park, where she and Connerton-Nevin also finished one after the other in third and fourth.
“We were just figuring out our strategy, and this weekend we executed it,” said Johnson, who made a statement last season when she finished fifth in the 4A state meet as a sophomore.
“We were just trying to keep her (Bower) nervous that there were two of us on her back,” Johnson said.
Connerton-Nevin was up to the challenge.
“We do try to run off of each other, and use each other for support,” Connerton-Nevin said. “It’s our goal to do that all season and into regionals.”
A strange season it will be, though, due to the Colorado High School Activities Association’s disease-control restrictions that are in place to guard against spread of COVID-19.
The season is shorter, and meets are capped at 100 athletes between boys and girls. Saturday’s meet featured wave starts of no more than seven runners at a time in one-minute intervals. Masks must be worn right up until runners start their wave, and must be put back on as soon as possible after they cool down from their race.
Finishing behind Bower were Basalt sophomores Katelyn Maley (18:32) in fourth, in fifth was Ava Lane (19:46) and in sixth was Sarah Levy (19:51). Aspen took second as a team behind Basalt, and Glenwood was fourth. Rounding out the scorers for the Demons were Taia Nykerk in 21st (22:59), Sophia Vigil in 22nd (23:07), and Matilda Barth in 24th (23:45).
Rifle’s top runner in the girls race was senior Karisa Coombs, finishing 19th overall in 22:15.
Swanson third in boys race
Glenwood junior Reid Swanson, running in just his second high school cross country meet ever, got a lesson in how strategy will be different this season with the new meet formats.
He finished second in his wave, with a time of 17:51 behind winner Porter Middaugh from Battle Mountain, who commanded from the start to finish in 16:59. However, Battle Mountain’s William Brunner was seven seconds faster than Swanson in the second wave of runners, to finish just ahead of Swanson based on time.
The Huskies easily won the team title, followed by Aspen in second and Glenwood Springs in third. Coming in behind Swanson for the Demons were junior Quinn MacPherson in fifth (18:19) and senior Dalton Deter in sixth (18:33).
Rifle’s top finisher was junior Jace Coller, who was 18th in 19:44. Other Bears finishers were sophomore Saul Ramirez (30th, 21:34), sophomore Jacob Coombs (31st, 21:34) and junior Josue DeLoera (33rd, 22:02).
Basalt seniors Noah Allen and Talon Carballiera were fourth (18:17) and seventh (18:37), respectively, and sophomore Ross Barlow was ninth (18:45) for the Longhorns.
Both Carballiera and Barlow are actually Roaring Fork High School students and predominantly soccer players, but both came over to run for BHS this fall after the soccer season was pushed to the spring because of COVID-19.
Swanson said the Crown Mountain course was definitely more challenging than the one at Matchett Park last weekend.
“I wasn’t quite feeling it the same today,” Swanson said of his Saturday showing in comparison to his 17:04, ninth-place showing in Grand Junction.
“I was trying to stay with (Middaugh), because we had about the same time coming in,” he said. “I stayed with him for the first mile, but just couldn’t keep up with him in the second mile.”
Softball: Fruita-Monument 13, Rifle 3
The Rifle Bears softball team dropped to 3-3 on the season with a 13-3 loss at home Saturday to visiting Fruita-Monument, which was capped by an 8-run fifth inning for the Wildcats.
Rifle had seven hits on the day. Junior Emma Poole and sophomore Hailey Worton had two hits each. Poole also had 2 RBIs and Worton had the other RBI for the Bears.
Next up for Rifle is a 6 p.m. Tuesday date at home versus Palisade. JV plays at 4 p.m.
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The Glenwood Springs Demons boys swim team won 11 of 12 events and swept the top-3 positions in four of the events to score a dominating team win at the Southwest Conference Championships on Friday.