Kelley wins Saturday, leads Soroco XC

Joel Reichenberger
Ben Kelley and Chloe Veilleux both placed high in the season's first cross country meet. Kelley, a sophomore at Soroco High School, won the boys race. Veilleux, a freshman, was fifth in the girls race.

His performance a year ago as a freshman surely did enough, but in case anyone was wondering, Soroco’s Ben Kelley announced himself as one of the top high school cross country runners in the region Saturday, winning the Basalt Longhorn Cross Country Invitational at Crown Mountain Park.

Kelley, a sophomore for the Rams, tore across the course, running with the lead pack before pulling away in the final mile to finish in 17 minutes, 15 seconds, which was 15 seconds ahead of his nearest competition, Austin Russell from Meeker. Henry Barth, a freshman from Glenwood Springs, was fourth in 17:36.

Kelley’s performance highlighted a strong opening weekend for the Soroco cross country team, back this fall for its second season in existence.

The team has already grown exponentially, fielding five athletes compared to the two who suited up last year.

Kelley is the leader of a young team — the only sophomore in a group otherwise comprised of freshmen.

Grant Redmond placed 49th in 23:58 at Saturday’s race. Joshua Taing was 50th in 24:00, and Brad Veilleux was 54th in 24:42.

Chloe Veilleux was the team’s only girl in the race, but she put up one of the team’s best performances in her first race, making somewhat of an arrival announcement of her own. She placed fifth, finishing the 5K course in 21:13. Ruthie Boyd, a senior from Summit, won the race in 19:57.

“It was the first ever cross country race for all of those guys, and they all had strong, evenly paced races and were consistent with or faster than the times we predicted from our workouts over the summer,” coach Callie Bradley said. “All in all, we were pretty pleased.”

The team is back in action Saturday at Battle Mountain.

To reach Joel Reichenberger, call 970-871-4253, email or follow him on Twitter @JReich9

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