Back on the track a few hours later |

Back on the track a few hours later

Ian CroppVail CO, Colorado
EV Rachael Harvey SM 4-21-07

GYPSUM – If there were such an event as a track doubleheader, Eagle Valley can claim gold. Less than 12 hours after finishing first for the girls and second for the boys at a meet in Rifle Friday night, the Devils were back at home, hosting their Invitational Saturday morning.”They wanted to race today and I think they wanted to have a good showing,” said Eagle Valley coach Jeff Shroll.Even with many of the Devils’ varsity squad not competing in all their normal events, they locked up yet another home win for both the boys and girls.”The last time we didn’t win was when Fruita Monument game, six or seven years ago,” Shroll said.Battle Mountain, which was also at the Rifle meet, wasn’t afforded as much rest as the Devils, as they arrived home about an later and had to get up earlier this morning to travel to Gypsum. The Huskies shuffled their starters around and also had some kids competing in a Mullen meet Saturday, but took second for the boys and fifth for the girls.

Vail Christian, with many young athletes, was seventh for the girls and ninth for the boys.As if two meets in a day weren’t enough, many of the Devils’, Huskies’ and Saints kept the relay going as they rushed from their last events to get ready for prom.Eagle Valley’s Mike Smith picked up 28 individual points and then helped collect 10 on a relay. Smith took second in the 100 meters in 11.26 seconds, edging out teammate Mike Medsker, who was 0.12 seconds behind in third. Smith won the high jump, clearing 6 feet, while launching 40-6 in the triple jump for first. Medsker was second in the 200 at 23.82, while the Huskies’ Aaron Wilcox blazed to the win in 22.96. Medsker, who competed in three events, grabbed a first, second and third. Smith, Medsker Pavel Pavlov and Brandon Wright were on the winning 400 relay team.Wright also brought in the points for the Devils, winning two events. “He’s been coming on strong as an all-around athlete,” Shroll said.

Wright won the 100 hurdles in 16.70, a personal best, ahead of teammate Eric Kline, who was in third. Then, in the 300 hurdles, Wright claimed 10 points with a 43.87 finish and he rounded things out with one point in the pole vault.”I’m happy with how I did,” Wright said. “We have a really good team across the board. It helps to have everyone doing their job – that’s what we have such a high points (total).”For the Eagle Valley girls, Ashley Rohweder and Bryonney Hiland, Shaylynn Nielson and Amy Thompson all had top-three of better finishes in all the events they entered. Thompson swept the throwing events and set a personal mark with a 118-6 in the discus. Eagle Valley had three female throwers earn points in each event, including Jackie Eberhard, who threw 99-8 in the discus.”I think it’ll help us a lot a regionals,” Thompson said of the high-point totals. “We all have a good chance to go to state.”Rohweder won the 100, while the team of Rohweder, Nielson, Hattie Higgins and Sierra Pickslay-Zamora won the 400 relay. Emily Kingston and Rachel Harvey were stellar in jumps for the Devils.Kyle Simonett won the 400 in 53.20, just ahead of Battle Mountain’s Derek Byron.

Battle Mountain found points in just about every discipline with plenty of younger kids filling in.”It’s always so much fun to see where these younger kids stack up,” said Huskies’ coach Rob Parish. “We gave them the opportunity to let them shine today.”But many of the experienced kids, like Mitch Gray chipped in. Gray won the discus in 119-05, just ahead of Eagle Valley’s Pollo Almanza, and was second in the shotput.

Levi Horn took second in the boys’ pole vault, while Lexi Horn was second on the girls’ side.Mario Gonzalez, who had 2.5 hours of sleep following a two-mile race Friday night, came back to take second in the 3,200 (11 minutes, 11.75 seconds), second in the 800 (2:19.39) and ran in, but was disqualified from the 1,600.”(Parish) says I’m crazy,” Gonzalez said.The Huskies’ boys’ 1,600 relay team was second, while three girls earned points in the 800 and two earned points in the 400.At the Mullen meet, Jonny Stevens ran the 1,600 in 4:35, two seconds shy of his personal record, while T.J. Simpson ran the 3,200 in 10:25. Both times would have won races in Gypsum.

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Vail Christian’s boys team is no longer just Caleb Pearson. That’s not to say, however, Pearson wasn’t his usual self. Pearson was second in the high jump, clearing 6, a new personal and school record.”He’s done such a great job – for him to get the record in high jump was great,” said Saints’ coach Bob Isbell. Pearson was third in the 300 hurdles and fifth in the shotput.The Saints’ 3,200 meter relay team – made of freshman and sophomores – set a school record and took third. It was the team’s first appearance.”You’ve gotta start somewhere,” Isbell joked. “I was really pleased with that time. It’s really exciting to have those young guys out there,”

On the girls’ side, Jessica Linder won the 1,600 in 5:43.60, while the 3,200 relay team of Linder, Molly Brooks, Katie Russ and Brooke Bowles won by almost a minute. The 400 relay team of Russ, Brooks, Molly McGee and Hannah Vancuren was second.”Every one of our girls was instrumental in a place,” Isbell said.Tuesday, the Huskies will host a meet, which will be the third in five days for Battle Mountain and Eagle Valley.Sports Writer Ian Cropp can be reached at 748-2935 or

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