DELTA — Not that anyone would be looking ahead, but Friday’s Delta Invitational cross-country meet was held on the regional course come October.
So, again, not looking ahead, but based on Friday’s results, regionals might be really fun for Battle Mountain and Eagle Valley.
The Huskies swamped the team competition for both the boys and girls, while the Devils girls were fifth out of 19 teams and the boys sixth. Eagle Valley also had the top-performing individuals in Carly Volkmer (third) and Gino Giovagnoli (sixth).
Battle Mountain had a little strategy going into this race, a traditional Rob Parish exercise.
“The plan was to do a tempo run for the first two miles and then go hard for the final mile,” Battle Mountain’s coach said. “We don’t want to go all out for four weekends in a row. We wanted work on pace and racing as a team, but also let the dogs run a bit.”
And, if one looks at the chart accompanying this missive, one can see how the Huskies packed it in.
Of note for the ladies was the Rohanabel combination — Rychelle Denardo, Hannah Gaylord and Anabel Johnson — got broken up by fresh-person Kaela Fahrney and junior Megan Rossman. Competition is always a good thing for a cross-country team.
Parish also singled out Jake Borel for his performance on the boys’ side.
On the team front, the Huskies bested eventual regional opponents in Eagle Valley, Palisade, Montrose, Delta and Palisade, but Durango, which figures to be a thorn in the Huskies’ side, was not at this meet.
First off, huzzah, it wasn’t a mud run as was the case at the Warrior Classic on Saturday.
“It was nice to get some speed in our legs,” Devils coach Melinda Brandt said. “We enjoyed the sunshine and definitely enjoyed running freely.”
While Volker seems to be taking to this cross-country thing like a fish does to water, Friday was Giovagnoli’s debut.
“He was within 18 seconds of his personal best,” Brandt said. “It’s good to see him running with the top kids. The top five were out there. He has some guys to run down this season.”
Brandt added that she’s really pleased with where the ladies are at this point of the season, ahead of their progress last year.
Eagle Valley’s Hoss Award winners were Karla Jarmillo for the girls and Michael Bennett for the boys.
Battle Mountain Invitational
The next stop for both teams is the Battle Mountain Invite at Beaver Creek on Saturday (one week from today). It’s the Huskies’ home race and pseudo-home meet for the Devils, who host their own on Sept. 13 at the Gypsum Creek Golf Course.
At Beaver Creek, the girls go at 10 a.m., followed by the boys at 10:45 a.m. There is also the Eric Spry Memorial 5K. It’s open race for the community and the proceeds ($25 per person) fund the Battle Mountain cross-country team, as well as the Eric Spry Scholarship Fund.
Participants can sign up on race day or by calling the Vail Recreation District at 970-479-2280.
Sports Editor Chris Freud can be reached at 970-748-2934, firstname.lastname@example.org and @cfreud.