Battle Mountain Huskies cross-country runners shine at Pat Patten Invitational in Boulder | VailDaily.com

Battle Mountain Huskies cross-country runners shine at Pat Patten Invitational in Boulder

Battle Mountain girls cross-country finally had its full lineup on Saturday, Sept. 23, at the Pat Patten Invitational in Boulder, and the Huskies ended up finishing second against the best teams in the state.

BOULDER — Milesplit.com, which is the go-to site for all things running, declared the Pat Patten Invitational in Boulder, "This Week's Meet of Destiny."

That headline really ought to be accompanied by some dramatic music.

Battle Mountain cross-country approached its destiny with skill and speed on Saturday, Sept. 23, as the ladies proved they are one of the best in the state, regardless of classification.

The Huskies finished second (65 points)— gasp — behind Mountain Vista (34) — by winning a tiebreaker with Broomfield. Mountain Vista is ranked No. 1 in Class 5A by milesplit.com and Broomfield is 5A's No. 2. For whatever it's worth, the site has Mountain Vista ranked No. 4 in the nation and Broomfield 11th. How the site comes up with these numbers can be debated. What cannot be argued is that the Huskies, the defending 4A state champs and the top-ranked 4A squad in Colorado, are darn good.

Brogan is the difference

Depth has been a theme all season for Battle Mountain. As the Huskies have dealt with some minor injuries and college-test taking and so on, the amount of talent has been on display.

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Long term, that helps a squad get better as the season progresses. Pressing the "pecking order" is something that coach Rob Parish wants to see.

In the short term, depth also helps when you finish in a tie with another team, as was the case on Saturday. When your top five runners are tied you go to No. 6 to break the deadlock.

Give it up for Brogan Murray, who finished 30th in a time of 20 minutes, 5 seconds, well ahead of Broomfield's sixth, Lauren Felknor, in 56th (20:59).

"It's fantastic," Parish said. "She worked so hard this summer. She made every single optional training, and that's put her in a position to be influential part of an amazing team."

Saturday was the first time the Huskies had what they expected to be their squad to be. This week's "pecking order" was Elizabeth Constien, Lizzie Harding, Alex Raichart, Naomi Harding and Grace Johnson. The order should continue to change.

"They were all fired up to run together," Parish said. "This group has lofty goals. We've talked about enjoying the steps a long the way."

The Nicks run well

Perhaps, the Huskies boys should be called the Nicks with two Nicks (Williams and Apps) and a Nico (Piliero).

Whatever you call them, Battle Mountain's boys battled with a primarily 5A field and took 13th.

James Moran led the Huskies, who all finished within 30 seconds of each other.

"I think the guys have bought into racing against the best in the state, not just 4A," Parish said. "They are confident in their abilities and know where they stand in the region. They are growing and confident. They are definitely progressing."

Battle Mountain is next in action in Glenwood Springs on Thursday, Sept. 28.

Sports Editor Chris Freud can be reached at 970-748-2934.

Pat Patten Invitational

Girls

Team results

1. Mountain Vista 34; 2. Battle Mountain 65 (wins tiebreaker); 3. Broomfield 65; 4. Niwot 136; 5. Fairview 155.

Individual results

5. Elizabeth Constien, 18:41

10. Lizzy Harding, 19:10

14. Alex Raichart, 19:20

17. Naomi Harding, 19:27

19. Grace Johnson, 19:35

20. Brogan Murray, 20:05

29. Gabby Trueblood, 20:23

Boys

Team results

1. Mountain Vista 55; 2. Dakota Ridge 97; 3. Monarch 98; 4. Centaurus 100; 5. Niwot 102 … 13. Battle Mountain 353.

Individual results

62. James Moran, 17:52

67. David Reilly, 18:03

69. Nick Williams, 18:05

77. Deaghen Fahrney, 18:15

78. Nick Apps, 18:16

79. Nico Piliero, 18:16 (tenths)

80. Jason Macaluso, 18:22

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