Battle Mountain boys win regional
Vail, CO Colorado
DELTA, Colorado ” The Battle Mountain boys cross country team aced the competition again. The Huskies claimed their fourth-straight regional title Saturday in Delta.
Battle Mountain won the meet with a team score of 61 points, well ahead of second-place Moffat County which finished with 85 points. The Eagle Valley boys barely missed out on going to state with 124 points, one behind Summit County for the fourth and final spot.
Battle Mountain’s Conor Wallace and Eagle Valley’s Mario Gonzalez-Martinez went toe-to-toe for first place overall. At the mile and a half mark, Wallace pulled ahead for good, taking first place with a time of 16 minutes, and 25 seconds. Wallace is the second consecutive Battle Mountain runner to win regionals, following Johnny Stevens last year.
“They were pretty much together at the mile-and-a-half-mark, and Conor just ran away from him,” Battle Mountain coach Lyle Knudson said.
David Shearon came across the finish line in 16:51 for third place.
“Conor and David were just awesome in that race,” Knudson said.
Mitch Walker (17:37), Ryan Vlaar (17:39) and Eric Gallagher (17:43) rounded out the Battle Mountain runners that counted toward the 61-point total.
Besides Gonzalez-Martinez’s stellar finish, Joe Trujillo also ran an excellent race for the Devils. Trujillo finished in 17:11 for 8th place, and will accompany Gonzalez-Martinez at the state meet next weekend.
“Joe, gosh, he’s been so consistent all year,” Eagle Valley coach Melinda Brandt said. “He pulled out another strong race. Joe kind of starts in the back, then he moves his way up. At the mile mark, he was in the 20s. He had a really strong finish.”
Uvaldo Trujillo (18:01), Wade Fowler (18:26) and Riley Simonton (19:51) rounded out the Devils’ top-five finishers.
Huskies, Devils girls do well
While the Battle Mountain boys deservedly get the spotlight because of its win, the girls should not be ignored. The Huskies stayed right with a loaded Summit County team, taking second place for the second year in a row with 51 points. The Tigers won the meet with 44 points.
“We kind of geared up for this meet,” Knudson said. “We knew we needed it to qualify for state, and we also knew the course would be fast.”
Jessica Linder paced Battle Mountain with a time of 19:09, good enough for third place. Knudson believes Linder will be right there with the state’s best next weekend.
“Jessica could be right in there with those folks,” Knudson said. “Maybe three of the top-10 distance runners in the state were in this race today.
Amelia Ortiz (19:41) wasn’t far behind Linder, finishing in fifth place overall.
“She ran a great race,” Knudson said.
Anouk Guilmineau (20:39), Letting Fickling (21:23) and Shannon O’Rouke (21:47) also ran well for the Huskies state-qualifying team.
Unfortunately, Eagle Valley again fell short of state by one place, but that didn’t mean it didn’t run some good times. Kelly Cassidy led the Devils in a time of 21:50, good enough for 21st overall. Shelby Massey came in at 22:19.
Blanca Gonzalez-Martinez (22:25), Shanna Zoch (22:40) and Logan Kinser (22:43) all set personal bests for Eagle Valley. In fact, every Devils runner that competed on Saturday set a personal best by at least 12 seconds.
“Both teams ran with heart tonight,” Brandt said. “They did what we asked to do. The places didn’t fall their way, but that’s OK. They’re disappointed, but we had strong races all the way around.”
Next week, runners from both Battle Mountain and Eagle Valley are off to Fort Collins to compete in the state meet.
Sports Writer Ian Smith can be reached at 970-748-2935 or email@example.com.
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