FORT COLLINS - Chivalry, be darned. Let's talk some Battle Mountain boys cross country.
In a season where there are big goals for the Huskies ladies, the Battle Mountain boys showed their mettle Friday at the Joe Martin Invitational at Fort Collins High School.
The guys finished 13th out of 30 teams in a predominantly 5A and big 4A field. The Huskies were fourth among the 4A schools.
"This boys team has just put its head down and improved every week," Huskies coach Rob Parish said. "They're running great as a team. They have a little chip on their shoulder."
Said chip is that least years boys team was the first since 2003 not to qualify for state, and the Huskies want to do something about that.
David Suarez finished 27th with a time of 17 minutes, 2 seconds. Think about what that says about the quality of the field that there were 26 runners faster than 17:02.
Joe Barrett was 54th in 17:38. The Ethans were next - Cotton in 83rd (18:10) and Pence 88th (18:14). Josh Braun (94th, 18:27), Brinton Barry (98th, 18:30) and Cameron Moore (110th, 18:53) rounded out the varsity.
Barry, better known for his speed on skis, was making his varsity debut.
The ladies finished fifth, which was a good day. However, Thompson Valley, the defending 4A state champs, did beat Battle Mountain, and that was the topic of post-race discussion.
"(Thompson Valley) is loaded," Parish said. "We've been going back-and-forth with them. We beat them at pre-state (the Cheyenne Mountain Stampede). We were close to them at the Liberty Bell (last week). Were very familiar with each other. We're very eager to right the ship."
Mandy Ortiz blazed to fourth place in 19:01. She was the top 4A racer Friday for the ladies. Val Constien punched in at 19:28 in eighth. Sydney Gaylord was 39th (20:32), followed by Bridgett Courtois (53rd, 21:00), Christina Shearon (58th, 21:08), Jenai Denardo (68th, 21:21) and Anabel Johnson (78th, 21:51).
In the up-and-coming department, Emily Cope was the top JV runner for the Huskies. She took 13th overall and fourth in 4A, and she might be a soccer player as well.
Battle Mountain is at the Anna Banana Invitational in Fruita next week.
Sports Editor Chris Freud can be reached at 970-748-2934 or firstname.lastname@example.org.