Devils cross-country shines at home invite | VailDaily.com

Devils cross-country shines at home invite

GYPSUM — They're just one or two of the guys.

Eagle Valley cross-country's Joslin Blair and Avery Doan are obviously two nice young ladies, but when it comes to practice, they run with the gents.

"Joslin and Avery both encourage each other and compete against each other," Devils coach Melinda Brandt said. "Both of them give the boys a run for their money in practice."

And there's no shame in that for the guys because Blair and Doan are darn good runners. They led the Devils girls team to third-place finish, while the boys finished fifth at Saturday's Eagle Valley Invite at the Gypsum Creek Golf Course.

"Racing at home is always a privilege," Brandt said. "We had the biggest crown we've ever had at Gypsum Creek and that's what makes the day so special."

Devilishly good

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And the crowd got a good show. Blair finished third and Doan seventh, but that's just part of the team. Taylor Hermosillo returned from an ankle injury and came in as the Devils' fourth scorer.

Then, there's Michaela Mitchell, who's been knocking off 45 seconds from last year in each race she's run this year. Shelby Essex and Katy Grewe have been no strangers to being a part of the scoring five.

"It's nice to see the girls improve their time, push through the pain and get to the next level of racing," Brandt said.

For the Boys

For the boys, Aiden Branch got the week off. It's no cause for alarm — just a rest during a season of pounding running. Jack Neifert led the way for the gents, followed by Bailey Beckum, who nearly had a personal-best. Beckum had also set a pre-race goal of finishing in the top 20, and he was 16th.

John Papadopoulos scored for the first time in varsity race for the Devils and won the Hoss Award. For those not familiar with said honor, it's voted on by teammates for the most inspirational performance of the week. Sammi Werner won it for the ladies.

The Eagle Valley Invite is also Senior Day for the Devils and they honored Gabreala Gurule, Hermosillo, Lindsay Martinez, Heather Gordon, Marika Feduschak, Essex, Mitchell, Zoe Braun, George Cruz, Edgar Morales, Daniel Valdez, Parker Labine, Dean Smith and Gerardo Lopez.

New faces for Huskies

Battle Mountain gave most of its varsity racers the week off — which means they're getting pounded in practice. Franklin Reilly took second. (He was running because of ACTs last weekend.)

"First, we love racing at Eagle Valley," Huskies coach Rob Parish said. "They put on a fun event. It's always fun to see when you put your younger runners in a leadership position and see how they react. They reacted well."

Ironically, both Battle Mountain and Eagle Valley are trading places next week. The Huskies are heading to the Anna Banana Invitational in Grand Junction because it's the new regional site for Region 1. The Huskies usually spend the weekend at Columbine, but that's where the Devils will be. Eagle Valley, having competed for many years at the Anna Banana, opted for Columbine this year.

Eagle Valley Invite

Boys

2. Franklin Reilly, BM, 17:03

8. Jack Neifert, EV, 17:41

16. Bailey Beckum, EV, 17:56

19. Alexis Aguirre, BM, 17:58

22. Nick Williams, BM, 18:01

25. Gerardo Lopez, EV, 18:08

27. Connor McCabe, BM, 18:11

36. Max Grimaldi, BM, 18:28

38. John Papadopoulos, EV, 18:39

39. Jason Macaluso, BM, 18:42

48. Nick Thompson, EV, 19:17

56. Dean Smith, EV, 19:17

89. Matthew Grewe, EV, 20:11

Girls

3. Joslin Blair, EV, 19:45

7. Avery Doan, EV, 20:19

10. Megan Bamford, BM, 21:16

11. Gabby Trueblood, BM, 21:23

12. Grace Johnson, BM, 21:44

22. Michaela Mitchell, EV, 22:11

24. Berit Kirchner, BM,, 22:16

25. Hann Zvilonghi, BM, 22:21

26. Celia Badger, BM, 22:25

28. Taylor Hermosillo, EV, 22:34

31. Shelby Essex, EV, 22:38

34. Katy Grewe, EV, 22:41

25. Amalia Manning, BM, 22:47

46. Alisaa Barry, EV, 23:21