MHS distance runners find difficult competition on steep slopes in Aspen

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MEEKER I Aspen High School hosted the Meeker High School cross country team at the Chris Severy Invitational on Saturday with a tough course and some tough competition.

“This is the most challenging course we see all season,” coach Marty Casey said. “The start is immediately uphill and there are but a few flat areas for the duration.”
The meet this year drew about 20 teams, competing in middle school, junior varsity and varsity races.
The varsity girls’ race had 77 runners total, and Meeker accounted for two of those: Julia Eskelson turned in a 25:50 time, good enough for a 24th-place ribbon, while Abbi Ibach finished in 66th place in with a time of 33:05.
All of the Meeker boys ran in the varsity race as well, with Austin Russell leading the squad for a 23rd-place finish with a time of 20:49.
Earning a ribbon as well, Marshal Pool came in next with a 20:56 time for a 24th-place finish. Anthony Watt put in a solid performance as Meeker’s third runner, holding off another racer at the finish line for 59th place, turning in a 22:39 time.
Clay Anderson was our next man in, at 23:27 and in 72nd place. Following close behind, for a 77th-place finish, was Josh Cochran, clocking in with a 24:10 time. Christopher Strate ran a 25:22, logging an 88th-place finish.
Thirteen teams fielded enough runners for a team score, with the Meeker distance runners taking eighth overall.
“The finish times here are always a couple of minutes behind average and they reflect just how hard this course is,” Casey said.
“Despite that, everyone ran very well; I saw a great effort by every member of the team.”
The next meet is at the Rifle Golf Course today, beginning with the girls’ race at 4:40 p.m.