Huskies, Devils cross-country teams ready for regionals | VailDaily.com

Huskies, Devils cross-country teams ready for regionals

RIFLE — So is everybody ready?

It sure looks like it as Battle Mountain and Eagle Valley cross-country finished the regular season in Rifle on Thursday and the Huskies and Devils girls took first and second place, respectively. Meanwhile, the Battle Mountain boys were second and Eagle Valley fourth.

It's time for regionals on Thursday at Grand Junction.

Girls

Eagle Valley's Joslin Blair won her fifth race of the year and enters regionals as the favorite.

The top finishers came in with a delightful local flavor with the Huskies' Naomi Harding in second place and the Devils' Avery Doan in fourth.

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It's safe to say that Harding is back after missing most of the season with a bicycle injury. Meanwhile, the Devils boast a powerful 1-2 punch with Blair and Doan, the latter winning the Hoss Award.

The Huskies and Wheat Ridge enter regionals as favorites to pick up two of the four team spots for state, and then it's really anyone's game for bids for state. A reminder, the Huskies ladies have won the Slope region for the last five years, but after realignment, Region 1 has quite a different look, including the aforementioned Farmers.

Boys

Battle Mountain's Alexis Aguirre is back. He didn't go anywhere, but struggled early season, and ran himself back into the team picture as the season progressed, capped by a second-place finish on Thursday.

Meanwhile, Eagle Valley's Aiden Branch found another gear by taking fifth.

"We learned a lot about ourselves as runners," Devils coach Melinda Brandt said. "Aiden ran down Glenwood's Henry Barth. That just builds confidence that he is strong at this point of the season. Aiden had his best race of the season."

And so did Matthew Grewe who won the Hoss for the Devils on the boys' side.

Regional lineups, sort of

Eagle Valley has its nine boys and girls runners all set for Grand Junction.

In addition to the sevens, which ran on Thursday, Grewe and Dean Smith made the boys' team. Janeth Chavez and Shelby Essex punched their tickets for Grand Junction on Thursday as well.

Huskies coach Rob Parish has some serious decisions to make this weekend on his nines. For example, the Huskies girls won Thursday's race without four of their top five runners.

Naomi Harding, Lizzie Harding, Liz Constien, Alex Raichart and Kaela Fahrney are on the regional team for the girls. The boys assured of spots are Franklin Reilly, Aguirre

Nate Badger, Ty Willoughby and Nick Williams.

Nos. 6-9 for both Battle Mountain teams are going to be decided this weekend.

Sports Editor Chris Freud can be reached at 970-748-2934, cfreud@vaildaily.com and @cfreud.

Rifle Invitational

Boys

2. Alexis Aguirre, BM, 17:06

5. Aiden Branch, EV, 17:27

16. David Reilly, BM, 18:07

19. Gerardo Lopez, EV, 18:11

20. Patrick Johnson, BM, 18:14

21. James Moran, BM, 18:20

23. Nick Apps, BM, 18:23

25. Doug McMurrain, BM, 18:25

27. Connor McCabe, BM, 18:27

31. Jack Neifert, EV, 18:33

33. Bailey Beckum, EV, 18:43

37. John Papadopoulos, EV, 18:49

40. Carter Baker, EV, 18:52

47. Nick Thompson, EV, 19:06

Girls:

1. Joslin Blair, EV, 19:48

2. Naomi Harding, BM, 19:54

4. Avery Doan, EV, 20:10

10. Hannah Zivelonghi, BM, 21:18

11. Grace Johnson, BM, 21:24

12. Gabby Trueblood, BM, 21:25

13. Megan Bamford, BM, 21:32

14. Sofia Piliero, BM, 21:37

16. Celia Badger, BM, 21:39

28. Taylor Hermosillo, EV, 22:21

30. Alissa Barry, EV, 22:27

32. Katy Grewe, EV, 22:37

34. Maddlyne Schenck, EV, 22:49

37. Michaela Mitchell, EV, 22:58