Battle Mountain girls XC finishes second at state
Eagle Valley's Blairs go 2-3
Too much Niwot.
The Cougars swept the 4A titles at the state cross-country meet, turning back the Battle Mountain girls, 37-71, while the Huskies boys were eighth.
Niwot’s Samrawit Dishon won the individual title in 18 minutes, 11 seconds, turning away Eagle Valley’s Samantha and Joslin Blair, who finished second and third respectively. Eagle Valley’s ladies finished sixth as a team.
Huskies girls roll
Two years ago, Battle Mountain’s ladies won state with a then-record 59 points.
Two years in a row, Niwot has broken that record to take consecutive titles. Last year, Niwot edged the Huskies, 47-59, and this year, the Cougars played limbo going down to 37 points.
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The Huskies aren’t losing state championships. Niwot’s winning them.
“We are so impressed and so proud of the effort today and the effort all season,” Huskies coach Rob Parish said. “All throughout the summer and the fall, they’ve used every moment to improve as much as they could. Two years in a row, it’s taken the very best score ever to beat us.”
The Huskies have been pretty solid during the last decade. Since 2011, the Huskies have only been out of the top four at state once (2014 in sixth). Battle Mountain’s ladies have gone 2-1-1-2-2 at state the last five years.
Grace Johnson and Elliot Pribramsky both cracked the top 10. All but Johnson of the team’s scorers return next season. This train will keep rolling.
The next stop is Nike Cross Regionals in Arizona in November.
And Eagle Valley girls’ cross-country became the best team in the program’s history again. After finishing eighth at last year’s state meet, the Devils ladies finished sixth at state, the new greatest team in school history.
In a stunning development — according to absolutely no one — Samantha and Joslin Blair finished second and third behind Niwot’s Dishon.
The slow pace of the first mile was strange for the Blair, especially Samantha. Every fiber of her being wanted to go out faster, but she stuck to the plan.
“It was pretty hard not to go out fast,” Samantha said. “I knew I would die if I went out too fast. I just tried to say with the leader’s pack.”
And that left a lot of juice for younger Blair to finish in 19:13. Joslin finished in 19:31, giving the sisters both their personal-best times on the state course.
“It was amazing,” Joslin said. “For sure, I was super proud of how all the girls did. The pack definitely went out slower than Sam and I expected. We were ready to go a mile-and-a-half in, and we did.”
The Blairs have a busy time ahead. They’re on the U.S. Junior National Mountain Running Team and are off to Argentina in two weeks. After that, they join the Eagle Valley Running Club for Nike Cross Regionals in Arizona.
In the meantime, both went for ice cream to celebrate the state meet. The consensus flavor was mint chocolate chip.
Gage Nielsen finished 48th as an individual qualifier. He’s a junior and gained invaluable experience for his senior year.
Huskies boys eighth
Relatively speaking, Battle Mountain cross-country had a tough time of it on Saturday at state.
Coming in, the Huskies were thinking about a top five finish but ended up eighth.
“Not a single one of them would not tell you they were disappointed,” Parish said. ”They gave a great effort. We just know they can run a little bit better, and that was tough. When you’re a little disappointed with eighth place, you know you’re running at a high level.”
Class 4A state cross-country
Note: All individual places based on team scoring except for Gage Nielsen, who was competing as an individual
- Niwot 37; 2. Battle Mountain 71; 3. Air Academy 117; 4. Durango 147; 5. Palmer Ridge 156; 6. Eagle Valley
2. Samantha Blair, Eagle Valley, 19:03
3. Joslin Blair, Eagle Valley, 19:31
7. Grace Johnson, Battle Mountain, 18:49
8. Elliot Pribramsky, Battle Mountain, 18:54
16. Emma Reeder, Battle Mountain, 19:29
19. Milaina Almonte, Battle Mountain, 19:33
21. Lily Whelan, Battle Mountain, 19:35
57. Tatum Coe, Eagle Valley, 20:38
70. Jordan Neifert, Eagle Valley, 20:55
90. Samantha Boeke, Eagle Valley, 21:29
- Niwot 70; 2. Durango 119; 3. Cheyenne Mountain, 15:56; 4. Air Academy 162; 5. Palmer Ridge 185 … 8. Battle Mountain 226.
29. Sullivan Middaugh, Battle Mountain, 16:59
30. Nico Piliero, Battle Mountain, 17:00
35. Deagen Fahrney, Battle Mountain, 17:02
(48). Gage Nielsen, Eagle Valley, 17:12
48. Ari Dennis, Battle Mountain, 17:22
74. Jake Allen, Battle Mountain, 17:54
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