DELTA — This really does violate the “ladies-first” rule, but we’ll let it slide.
Eagle Valley cross country’s boys opened the season at the Cheyenne Mountain Stampede on Thursday, so the Devils had opener No. 2 Friday at Delta for the ladies.
The girls can run, too. They finished third out of 19 teams at what will be the regional site in October.
Nikki Cunning tied for 10th with a time of 21 minutes, 42 seconds. Chantal Willoughby was 19th in 22:23. Michaela Mitchell and Desy Mendoza made their varsity debuts and shined. Mitchell was 24th (22:23). Mendoza fought through a tight calf and clocked a 22:47, good for 28th. Tyler Beckum (24:09, 41st) rounded out the scoring.
“I was impressed by how we ran today,” Devils coach Melinda Brandt said. “We were a lot stronger and more competitive. They wanted it bad.”
Since the gents ran on Thursday, Brandt fielded a different set of runners on Friday in Delta. While the guys who ran on Thursday are strong, a little competition never hurts a team, and there could be some for Eagle Valley.
Matt Genelin (19:53, 36th), Matt Jordan (20:02, 39th), James Robinson (20:17, 42nd), Riley Mehan (20:18, 44th) and Logan Ponder (20:18, 45th) were the top five for the Devils.
Mehan and Ponder were separated by 2-tenths of a second. The Devils finished sixth out of 18 teams.
“We get to run nine guys at regionals at the end of the season,” Brandt said. “We’re looking to fill spots, and we’ve got a deep JV team. They all ran great and pushed each other to make everyone better.”
Your Hoss Award winners were Gabreala Gurule and Tenzin Sherpa.
Eagle Valley is at the Battle Mountain Invite next Saturday.
Sports Editor Chris Freud can be reached at 970-748-2934 or via firstname.lastname@example.org.