Preps roundup: Parker, Connerton-Nevin win big at Demons XC Invitational; Glenwood Springs sweeps at Front Range volleyball tourney

Coal Ridge's Tyler Parker makes the final push up the hill toward the final loop before the finish around Gates Soccer Park at CMC's Spring Valley campus on Saturday, Sept. 17.
John Stroud/Post Independent

Two weekends, two wins for Glenwood Springs High School senior cross-country runner Sophia Connerton-Nevin, who ran away from the field on a brand-new home course to win the girls race at Saturday’s Demon XC Invitational.

Running on a mix of grassy soccer fields, mountain bike single-track trails, dirt roads and paved paths on the Colorado Mountain College Spring Valley campus, she took over early and finished well ahead of Rifle sophomore Ana Robinson, taking the win in 21 minutes, 55.8 seconds.

Robinson, at 23:26.1, scored a second-straight second-place finish. She was also runner-up at last week’s Coal Ridge Invitational.

“The atmosphere was great, and our coaches put on an amazing race,” said Connerton-Nevin, who also won the Division 2 race at last week’s Liberty Bell Invitational in Littleton.

“I was really happy with my run and my team. I just love it whenever they’re here to support me. It pushes me to do my best,” she said.

Glenwood Springs senior cross country runner Sophia Connerton-Nevin pushes the uphill en route to the win at the Demons XC Invitational on the grounds of the CMC Spring Valley campus Saturday morning.
John Stroud/Post Independent

The Lady Demons placed runners in the eight (Cate Simpson, 25:38.8), 10 (Taia Nykerk, 25:47.4), 11 (Katrina Gillen, 25:52.4) and 12 (Emma Thornal, 25:59.3) spots to earn the team title, 38 points to Eagle Valley’s 49.

Coal Ridge was third as a team with 66 points. Senior Marilyn Stephens led the Lady Titans, finishing sixth in 25:30.2. Senior Gwynn Apostolik was ninth in 25:39.4.

In the boy’s race, Coal Ridge senior Tyler Parker held on to win in 19:10.1, just over 14 seconds ahead of Palisade’s Zenon Reece (19:24.8). Colorado Rocky Mountain School’s Ben Oldham was third in 20 minutes flat, and teammate Tristan Trantow was fourth in 20:19.9.

Parker had a strategy for pacing himself on the rugged, hilly CMC course.

“With that single-track, you’re kind of flying downhill, and, then, you have a nice flat on the bottom to recover before you hit that big uphill,” he said. “I just wanted to go quick for those first two miles and make up some time early because I knew that uphill was going to hurt.”

Eagle Valley won the boys team title with 63, followed in close order by host Glenwood Springs with 69. Sophomore Tanner Merritt was the Demons’ top finisher, in sixth with a time of 20:56.1. Coal Ridge senior Dylan Campbell was fifth in 20:49.9, and Titans teammate junior Dallin Karren was seventh in 21:06.3.

Connerton-Nevin and Parker said they both feel like they’re right where they want to be at this point in the season.

“I feel really good, and I’m excited for the rest of the season,” Connerton-Nevin said, adding she looks forward to the faster courses coming up, including the Delta Pantherfest at Confluence Park on Sept. 30. “I’m looking forward to that, where I’ll be running against some really fast girls who can push me.”

Same for Parker.

“I’m ready for some flatter courses where I can maybe get a PR (personal record) because we’ve been doing a lot of hilly courses,” he said.

The Titans boys and girls are at the Emma Coburn Elk Run in Crested Butte next weekend.

Weekend preps results

Girls volleyball: Glenwood Springs improved to an impressive 9-1 on the young season, sweeping the slate at a Front Range tournament Friday and Saturday, 2-0 over George Washington (25-15, 25-9); 2-0 over Wheat Ridge (25-12, 25-13); 2-1 over Littleton (25-19, 20-25, 15-13); and 2-0 over Sheridan (25-4, 25-7).

Boys soccer: On Saturday, it was Crested Butte 10-0 over host Colorado Rocky Mountain School in Carbondale; Liberty Common 6-1 over host Roaring Fork, also in Carbondale; and Basalt 1-0 at home over Middle Park.

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