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State XC meet, football games highlight week

Niwot is on the brain

From left, Eagle Valley's Samantha Blair, Niwot's Mia Prok and Battle Mountain's Elliot Pribramsky lead the pack at at last month's Battle Mountain Invitational in Minturn. Prok will be the favorite in this week's state meet.
Rex Keep | Special to the Daily

Cross-country and football highlight the week ahead on the preps’ docket with the state meet for the former and Week 2 action in the latter.

Yes, it’s darn early for one event and really late for the other, but welcome to sports in the age of COVID-19.

Accept it as reality and move on, people.

Cross-country

At the Norris-Penrose Events Center in Colorado Springs, the state cross-country meet is on Saturday with Battle Mountain’s boys running at 9:45 a.m. and the Huskies girls and Eagle Valley’s Samantha Blair competing at 10:30 a.m.

Battle Mountain’s girls enter as the 10-time reigning champions of Region 1, while Miss Blair is a two-time regional individual champ.

With the coronavirus threat, the meet will look and feel completely different. To avoid mass gatherings in an event which is inherently a mass gathering, the runners will be broken up into heats of 25 based on times run this year.

Of course, given the scatter-shot nature of the regular season, not everyone has had an opportunity to run on faster courses and log those times, so even winning the “fastest” heat, No. 1, is no guarantee of posting the fastest time in Class 4A.

With that, Battle Mountain’s Sullivan Middaugh is in heat No. 1, while Porter Middaugh goes off in wave No. 2. The Huskies’ Ari Dennis, Jorge Sinolo, Kaden Williams and William Brunner are all in the run No. 3.

For the ladies, Blair and Battle Mountain’s Elliot Pribramsky and Milaina Almonte are in the coveted first heat. Not that anyone’s looking, but Niwot super-frosh Mia Prok, who beat Blair at the Battle Mountain Invitational in September is also in this first set of runners.

The rest of the Huskies’ athletes — Lily Wheelan, Haley Brewster, Lindsey Kiehl and Lindsey Whitton — are in the second wave as Battle Mountain tries to chase down Niwot for the team title.

Call them waves or heats, the Huskies and Blair are used to them from the regular season and last week’s regional meet, but running not only against the competition but against a clock will be the critical factor in Saturday’s final results.

The Battle Mountain girls have finished second at the state meet each of the last two years to Niwot, while Blair was second last season in the individual hunt behind Niwot’s Samrawit Dishon. Dishon graduated, but Niwot’s Prok is the new favorite. And, by the way, not to leave the Battle Mountain boys out, but Niwot is also the defending champion on the boys’ side. (The Cougars are quite annoying that way.)

Yes, Niwot be on the brain for both local camps this week.

If you can’t make it down to the Springs for the meet, NFHS.com will be televising the event.

Football

Week 2 kicks off early with Battle Mountain at Palisade at Stocker Stadium in Grand Junction as the Huskies visit Palisade on Thursday at 6 p.m.

The host Bulldogs took care of Evergreen, 24-7, last week, while the Huskies fell to 5A Ralston Valley, 42-0. Doubtless, the first thing Battle Mountain will address during this short week is turnovers. Three Huskies’ miscues in the first quarter turned into three Ralston Valley touchdowns last week.

The good news is that Battle Mountain appeared to emerge relatively unscathed on the injury front from last week.

Meanwhile, there will still be a football game this week at Battle Mountain as Vail Christian hosts Gilpin County on Friday at 7 p.m. in 8-man action. After losing to Dove Creek, 52-20, the Saints return home to open their Northwest League slate.

The visiting Eagles lost to Sargent, 22-8, last week.

Eagle Valley football is still in quarantine because of COVID-19 and will not play Summit this week. The Devils play at Green Mountain on Oct. 24.


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