Constien leads Huskies to 3rd in state meet |

Constien leads Huskies to 3rd in state meet

Local high school cross country teams competed in Saturday's 4A state meet in Colorado Springs. The Battle Mountain Huskies girls fared the best, finishing third. Eagle Valley's boys finished 15th and Battle Mountain's boys 16th.
Bob Shearon/Special to the Daily |

How They Finished

Battle Mountain Girls

4. Valerie Constien, 19:33.8

29. Sydney Gaylord, 20:40.5

36. Anabel Johnson 20:48.8

45. Hannah Gaylord, 20:56.5

55. Christina Shearon, 21:16.0

68. Rychelle DeNadro, 21:33

124. Katie Matarese 22:35

3rd place overall

Eagle Valley Boys

50. Nathan Maddox, 17:53

61. Gino Giovagnoli, 18:03

97. Michael Niemeyer, 18:27

118. Dominic Patterson, 18:41

146. Rafael Gurule, 19:03

157. Brandon Sheard, 19:21

163. Will Thrasher, 19:28

15th place overall

Battle Mountain Boys

70. Pence Ethan, 18:09.7

82. Cameron Morre, 18:20.1

95. Josh Braun, 18:26.3

108. Alexis Aguirre, 18:32.8

134. Ethan Cotton, 18:53.6

151. Ricky Arreola, 19:11.6

153. Jake Borel, 19:13.8

16th place overall

Eagle Valley Girls

69. Shawna Adams

Battle Mountain’s Valerie Constein has always been a great runner and on Saturday was also a great racer, turning in the best state meet performance of her cross-country career and leading the Huskies girls to third place in Saturday’s 4A finals.

Battle Mountain and Eagle Valley both sent boys and girls teams to the state meet. The boys teams battled like the cross-town rivals they are and Eagle Valley nipped Battle Mountain with a 15th place finish, to the Huskies’ 16th.

But it was the Huskies girls who shown the brightest. The girls packed two runners into the top 30 – Constien’s fourth place finish and Sydney Gaylord’s 29th – and put five runners in the top fourth of a field of more than 200.

“This team is an accomplished squad with a strong group of seniors,” said Rob Parish, Battle Mountain’s coach.

The Huskies finished fourth the past two years and moved up a spot this year. They had their eye on the title and almost hit it, finishing just 16 points out of first place.

“It’s a great finish for them,” Parish said.

Constien’s fourth place finish was the best in any of her three state finals. Last year she finished 5th.

She and the other Huskies hammered out their race plan and stuck to it.

“The race plan was to go out with the top girls and push it the whole race, then close at the end,” Constien said.

“It was a struggle to get fourth. It was a sprint finish and I beat the beat the girl behind me by one second,” Constien said.

The Huskies do lots and lots of strength training and that’s what made the difference, she said.

“It’s good to finish my high school career on such a positive note,” Constien said.

Battle Mountain’s Ethan Cotton is the only senior on the boys team and said he was thrilled to help the team return to its tradition of excellence.

“We were happy with the results today. It’s the culmination of all the hard work,” Cotton said.

The Huskies missed the state meet two years ago, but returned last year and improved their finish this year.

“It’s been a long rebuilding process,” Cotton said. “I had it in my mind to help bring the team back to where it belongs. Parish is an amazing coach and he deserves to have teams that perform well.”

“The goal was to be absolutely spent … nothing left, and when they crossed the finish line there was nothing left in anyone’s tank,” Parish said.

Eagle Valley finishes strong

Eagle Valley’s boys placed 15th overall, one place ahead of valley rival Battle Mountain.

“We had a solid season,” said Devils coach Melinda Brandt.

Eagle Valley’s Nathan Maddox finished 50th, the top boys finisher from the valley and his best finish in three state meets.

“I was really proud of how he put together his race,” Brandt said.

Maddox and Eagle Valley teammate Gino Giovagnoli had planned to go out with the leaders and hang on as long as they could. The plan worked.

“The race started fast as every state race should. Toward the end we started passing people and we both had good finishes,” Maddox said.

Giovagnoli passed about 10 runners near the finish line, and that surge pushed Eagle Valley ahead of Battle Mountain in the team standings.

“It’s always good to win the rivalry,” Maddox said. “I feel like it’s a good way to finish four years of running. In the end it was a good, hard fought race.”

More than 70 teams compete in 4A cross country, and only 24 teams had runners at the state meet. Brandt said she was proud of her team’s finish.

This is the Eagle Valley’s third trip to the state meet and the sixth year the Devils have fielded a team.

Eagle Valley freshman Shawna Adams was the Devils only girl to make the state field. She finished 69th. She qualified for Saturday’s state meet by finishing in the top 15 in last week’s regionals.

“She had an awesome race, especially for a freshman,” Brandt said.

She ran well and learned a little, Brandt said.

“She got caught in a big pack early in the race, but began picking off other runners and passed 40 people in the last two miles,” Brandt said. “She can build on that and help lead and develop the girls team as they head in to track season and next year’s cross country season.”

The 4A state meet is run at the North Penrose Equestrian Center in Colorado Springs. The 5K course, 3.1 miles, features hilly terrain and a creek that runners have to crash through twice.

“It’s been made into an elite course,” Brandt said.

It’s the second time this year the teams have run this course. The preseason opener was there in August, as was last year’s state finals.

Staff Writer Randy Wyrick can be reached at 970-748-2935 and

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