Cosper, Shreeve, Blair and Hasley claim individual wins at Eagle Valley Invitational |

Cosper, Shreeve, Blair and Hasley claim individual wins at Eagle Valley Invitational

Eagle Valley boys and Battle Mountain girls took second in team standings as Coal Ridge swept titles

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Zakia Shreeve took second in the long jump, won the 300-meter hurdles and anchored the Devils winning 4x100-meter team to help the girls place fourth as a team at their home invitational last Saturday.
Rex Keep/Courtesy photo

In track and field, it helps when the weather is nice.

“You can perform better — who knew?” Eagle Valley head coach Jeff Shroll rhetorically asked after the Eagle Valley Invitational in Gypsum last Saturday, one of the nicer days amidst a relatively frigid, snow-filled spring.

“I think both guys and girls teams just had a much better opportunity to compete and it’s always fun to compete well when you’re at home.”

True, and with all of the PB’s and podiums, it’s hard to know where to start the recap. Kenzie Cosper won the pole vault, Kevin Hasley and Zakia Shreeve swept the boys and girls 300-meter hurdles and Dylan Blair won the 3200-meters in 10 minutes, 6.14 seconds as a freshman. Blair also contributed a leg in the meet record 4×800-meter relay (8:40.67) win as the Devils placed second in the 16-team standings. The girls took a relay win in the 4×100 en route to their fourth-place team finish.

“We had some pretty good performances this weekend for sure,” Shroll said.

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Shreeve, who placed sixth in the 2022 state meet in the 300 hurdles in 46.58, ran a season-best 50.06 on Saturday. After leaping beyond the 32-year-old long-jump school record of 17 feet, 1 inch four times last year, only to have, you guessed it — weather — wipe out the wind-aided marks for official book-keeping purposes, Shreeve finally had a good jumping day, too. She leapt 15-07, another season best, to place second.

“She needed that and needed to get one under her belt,” Shroll said of the sophomore, who also anchored the Devils winning 4×100-relay team. “She was able to hold off a challenge there for first place, too, so that was a big deal.”

Haley Bates, who finished ninth in the 100-meter dash (13.76) and Brody Nielsen (12.24), who was 15th in the event, are the Devils senior sprint leaders, but Shroll said both sides have added noticeable depth on the legs of newcomers.

Freshman Lillian Mulholland-Brueck, who was fourth in the 100-meter hurdles (18.63) and seventh in the 300-meter hurdles (57.34) Saturday, has scored in every meet this season. Volleyball starter Ashley Jones came over to help in the jumps and sprints and newcomer Allie Braun placed fourth in the high jump (4-07) and went two inches higher than that mark a week ago in Broomfield.

“To go that high and you’ve never even done this before — that’s pretty good,” Shroll stated regarding the sophomore.

Quarterback Kaden Kraft joined the team and recruited a few buddies to bolster the boys sprints. The first-year (to track) junior ran 11.50 in the 100-meter dash to place third; another track rookie, Jonathan Boyer (11.95), was close behind in seventh.

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Battle Mountain’s Lindsey Whitton cruises to a 3200-meter win.
Rex Keep/Courtesy photo

“I’ll have four guys that can go under 12 in the 100 and I haven’t had that in a while,” Shroll said, adding that the hallmark of this squad is its widespread talent.

“It just feels good to be solid across the board for the guys side,” he continued, noting school-record-setting distance star Jake Drever posted a 9:10 at the Arcadia Invitational on Friday night in California. Even Drever isn’t a lone wolf.

“Jake is unreal right now in the distance events and he has a good supporting cast of characters,” Shroll added. “The Blair twins are really looking strong; together with Cooper Filmore and Armando Fuentes, they set a meet record in the 4×800.” 

The Devils can pile on points in the jumps as well. Riis Lindley took a fourth and two fifth-places in the high jump, long jump and triple jump, respectively, and a reinvigorated Aedan Phelan claimed second in the triple jump with a 39-foot leap.

Rex Keep/Courtesy photo
Shreeve runs a leg on the 4×400-meter relay at the end of Saturday’s Eagle Valley Invitational in Gypsum.
Rex Keep/Courtesy photo

“He’s got a new attitude, and that’s what’s key,” Shroll said of Phelan. “I think he’s like, ‘you know what, I’m buying in this year and I’m going to give 110% every day’ and he’s done that for sure and it’s showing with his performances so far.”

Then there’s Hasley, whom the coach would be thrilled to see sneak into the 18-athlete state fields.

“Kevin’s just been on fire every single meet — he’s a kid I’m really enjoying watching,” Shroll stated. “For him to get to state, he’s going to have to outperform himself every single week. But, if you had a spy watch him practice every day, you’d be like, ‘yep he’s going to do it,’ because he just doesn’t take a day off. He just gives it his all.”

Finally, with Jerry Philips developing another crew of pole vaulters, Kenzie Cosper and Co. can’t be forgotten.

“Coach Philips is a master,” Shroll praised of his event coach. “He’s had two on the podium for the last 10 years running. It’s a high bar to meet, and it’s a good program and Kenzie’s a big part of the leadership over there.”

“The look on her face is just, ‘don’t bother me I’m so focused right now,'” Shroll continued of Cosper, who nailed a season best 9-03 on Saturday. “She brings that attitude to practice. It’s one thing to have that at meets, but when you bring it Monday through Friday when no one is looking, that’s even a more special thing to have.”

While they didn’t have home-track advantage, Battle Mountain posted a strong showing in Gypsum as well, placing second as a team on the girls side, just 13 points back from Coal Ridge, which also took the boys title. The Huskies were seventh in the boys team scoring.

Presley Smith and Lindsey Kiehl led the way, going 1-2 in the 400-meter dash, with Smith posting the fastest electronic-timed quarter-mile in school history (and missing the official school-record by a tenth of a second).

Rex Keep/Courtesy photo
Kiki Hancock and the Battle Mountain girls sprint medley team broke the school record in the event on Saturday. The Huskies are currently ranked No. 1 in all classes in Colorado in the sprint medley.
Rex Keep/Courtesy photo

“She just smashed the open 400,” head coach Rob Parish said. Smith would get a school record on the day, however. She joined Kiki Hancock, Tabi Schroeder and Marlee Geisler to win the sprint medley in a time of 1:49.72, currently Colorado’s fastest time across all classes.

“They ran unbelievably. They were just fantastic,” Parish said, noting that all four athletes have returned after placing second in the event at state a year ago. To win it this year, they’ll have to slay the Niwot monster, per usual.

“They’re pretty good at everything, but they’re not as good at the sprints as they are in the distance,” Parish said of the running magnet school, which won its third-straight team title by amassing 170 points — 109 more than runner-up Mullen — in 2022. “That’s something we would probably perceive we have a chance in.”

Kiehl (5:24.64) also won the 1600, Lindsey Whitton (12:08.96) took the 3200 crown, and the Huskies claimed victories in both the 4×800 and 4×200 relays. Terrence Reid led the boys, placing fourth in the 100 (11.61) and coming back to win the 200 (23.20) by a whopping 0.82 seconds.

“That was fantastic,” Parish said of the senior’s day. “He’s worked so hard and he’s kind of the heart and soul of our sprint crew.”

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Terrence Reid on his way to winning the 200-meter dash by a whopping 0.82 seconds.
Rex Keep/Courtesy photo

Area athletes will mix it up again at the Battle Mountain Invite next Tuesday and see each other at the league championship May 5-6. But both coaches are focused on getting athletes to the state championships at seasons end.

“We’ve always got the eyes on the big prize,” Shroll said.

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