Ouray Harriers Take on 17 Teams at Aspen Invitational
by Peter Shelton
Oct 11, 2012 | 1878 views | 0 0 comments | 7 7 recommendations | email to a friend | print
EARLY MORNING CHILL – Ouray 6th grader Scout Manley powered through the 3K cross-country course in Aspen last weekend at the Chris Severy Invitational. (Phto by David Emory)
EARLY MORNING CHILL – Ouray 6th grader Scout Manley powered through the 3K cross-country course in Aspen last weekend at the Chris Severy Invitational. (Phto by David Emory)
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OURAY – Cross-country runners are like postal workers of old: Neither snow nor rain nor heat (well, maybe gloom of night would be the exception). But not much can stay these couriers from the swift completion of their appointed rounds.

Given the season in which they run, the western Colorado autumn, runners might confront any of those things – snow, hail, etc. But last weekend (Oct. 6) in Aspen, according to Coach Bernie Pearce, “temperatures were ideal [in the 40s]. Coupled with true cross-country terrain, without rain, or wind, the runners were able to go all out and feel fresh from start to finish.”

Ouray freshman Nate Fedel turned in the team’s fastest 5K time (21:44.1) in the high school boys division at the Chris Severy Invitational at Aspen High School. He finished in 53rd place finish out of 110 runners.

“Our ‘foreign currency’ HS girls [exchange students Pia Falkoswki, a sophomore from Germany, and freshman Min Hee Seo, from South Korea] were ‘money,’” Pearce said, “as each one met her personal goal.”

The Ouray squad accumulated 267 points total to end up 14th out of 17 high school teams.

The Chris Severy Invitational is a big deal on the cross-country calendar, with teams traveling from as far as Denver, Durango, Telluride, Rangely and Craig, as well as drawing schools from closer in: Aspen, Basalt, Carbondale, Grand Junction. Pearce has been taking teams there “pretty much steady for 27 years. We went first in 1985 when [Ouray standout] Ray Harvey was a sophomore. And he finished second, in inclement weather, to the state champion from Steamboat.”

For the last decade, the event has been a memorial to the oldest of the six running Severy children of Aspen. Chris was a two-time state cross-country champion in high school before going on to an All-American career at the University of Colorado. At age 22, in 1998, a few months after cancer took his father (Chris had already committed to a career researching a cure for cancer), he hit a tree biking down Flagstaff Road outside Boulder and died. His five younger siblings all went on to run cross-country.

Middle school runners also competed at the Aspen meet on Saturday. Pearce said, “Our two MS aces [Ouray 7th grader] Aaron Gregory and [8th grader] Kayla Fairchild, dealt a pair of eighth-place finishes. Gregory ran the 3K middle-school distance in 13:43.90, while Fairchild finished in 15:23.1. The MS boys finished 4th in team scoring with 44 points.” There were seven middle school teams entered.

Next up for the Trojan runners is the Montrose Relays on Saturday, Oct. 13, beginning at 9 a.m. “It’s a fun day,” Pearce said. “Each school puts up pairs of runners, boys, girls, mixed gender. They alternate 1-mile loops; one runs while the other rests. Each runner gets in 3 miles. The middle schoolers do 2 miles. It’s not cross-country, but a fun day.”



pshelton@watchnewspapers.com

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