Battle Mountain XC crushes it at home meet in Beaver Creek
Battle Mountain Invitational
1. Battle Mountain, 40; 2. Elizabeth 42; 3. Aspen 92; 4. Palisade 100; 5. Olathe 119.
3. Nico Piliero, 20:19
6. Dieghan Fahrney, 20:43
8. James Moran, 20:49
10. David Reilly, 20:53
14. Jason Macaluso, 21:21
16. Nick Williams, 21:46
22. Wyatt Nelson, 23:17
1. Battle Mountain 18; 2. Elizabeth 59; 3. Aspen 93; 4. Nederland 111; 5. Palisade 131.
1. Lizzy Harding, 22:49
2. Alex Raichart, 22:49
4. Grace Johnson, 23:13
5. Kaela Fahrney, 23:13
6. Eliizabeth Constien, 23:22
9. Megan Bamford, 24:09
11. Berit Kirchner, 24:19
BEAVER CREEK — Break out the brooms.
Huskies cross-country rolled to a sweep at their Battle Mountain Invitational on Saturday at Beaver Creek. The boys edged Elizabeth, 40-42, and the ladies pretty much tattooed the field. They scored only 18 points, the lowest in the history of the girls’ program and second lowest in Battle Mountain history.
Meet the newbies
It’s not surprising that the boys won the home meet. The surprise is in the how.
Nico Piliero finished third and Dieghan Fahrney was fifth. Those two are familiar names to Huskies cross-country, but one thinks of Sofia and Kayla, who were/are pretty good runners and older sisters.
“Dieghan and Nico are tremendous runners,” Huskies coach Rob Parish said. “They were probably a little shell-shocked at pre-state (last week). They’re sophomores. These kids are 100-pound lungs. They’re small, but they’re climbing machines. This course definitely suited them.”
The veterans were next as James Moran was eighth and David Reilly 10th. Elizabeth pushed the Huskies, so a team’s fifth runner is critical. Jason Macaluso delivered what Parish called a “heroic effort,” finishing 14th and nailing down the win.
Also of note was a big-time bounce-back performance by Nick Williams. Parish said Williams had been struggling with some foot issues and was dehydrated at the Cheyenne Mountain Stampede last week.
The senior was in fine form on Saturday, taking 16th.
The Battle Mountain ladies made Saturday’s meet look like 5K fun run. They went 1-2-4-5-6. Their 18 points is the lowest meet total for a Huskies team since the Battle Mountain boys went 1-2-3-4-6 at 2007 regionals at Delta. (And, yes, somewhere John O’Neill is still hacked about not recording a perfect 15 points at that race.)
Lizzy Harding and Alex Raichart crossed the line simultaneously. Grace Johnson, Kaela Fahrney, and Elizabeth Constien closed this meet down with a flourish.
“All of our kids take pride in their home course and running in front of their home fans,” Parish said. “They’re tough, gritty runners and they see themselves as trail runners. They got a chance to show that off.”
Megan Bamford and Berit Kirchner were ninth and 11th, respectively, and didn’t score. That’s more of a solar eclipse than the one that happened last month.
News and notes
Battle Mountain traditionally does not allow freshmen to race varsity during the first two races of the season. But pressure is coming from the JV ranks in all ages. Hayley Deimar won the girls’ race, while Connor McCabe topped the boys’ JV field. Parrish also mentioned that Ari Dennis might be getting a look on the boys’ side.
And, yes, the girls crushed the field without Naomi Harding, who has been dealing with some shin issues. She is back running in practice.
Next up for the Huskies is the St. Vrain invitational. This is a three-star race, according to Parish, who clearly subscribes to the Michelin-starred theory of dining.
“We’re going to take off the governor,” Parish joked. “We’re bummed Alex is going to miss is because she’s taking the ACTs, but it should be a pretty good gauge of where we are. Mountain View and a lot of other good teams will be there.”
Sports Editor Chris Freud can be reached at 970-748-2934, email@example.com and @cfreud.