Devils, Huskies track make last bids for state tourney
Welcome to the fog of war.
It’s a little overdramatic for track and field, but it’s where Battle Mountain and Eagle Valley are during the final weekend of regular season meets.
The Devils were at the aptly named Rangeview Last Chance Qualifier on Saturday, May 12, while the Huskies were at the St. Vrain Invitational on Friday, May 11. But with different meets in different places at different times, everyone was mostly at their computer or on their cell phones, clicking “refresh” on milesplit.com, checking and rechecking who they think is in the top 18 in the state.
Coach Jeff Shroll did indeed pull out his not-so secret weapon — Joslin Blair — for a few relays. Blair was safely qualified in the open 800, 1,600, 3,200 and with the 3,200 relay, so she got her turn in the sprint relays.
The Devils’ sprint-medley team of Tristin Book, Kaikea Cavaliero, Jewel Scrivens and Blair put up a time of 1 minute, 50 seconds, which should be good for qualifying. Again the reason that the statement about qualifying is qualified is that as of this writing, the milesplit.com state-ranking site is crashing because so many athletes and coaches are checking that URL and will continue to do so.
This should continue for a few days because athletes like Blair are over-qualified. By helping the medley team make state, Blair is qualified in five events, but can only compete in four in state.
Blair and other athletes and other athletes will have to withdraw from one event and those moves could shake up the state 18, perhaps allowing athletes ranked just outside the 18 to move into qualifying position.
A reminder — if a school qualifies a team in the relays, the foursome that posted the times doesn’t have to run the same quartet at state. Thus, there is likely to be more movement in individual events than relays.
Speaking of relays, Harrison Trotter joined the Devils’ 1,600 team and it moved from No. 23 to No. 7 with a 3:27.
“It’s about the same distance and there’s nothing in the way,” Shroll joked about Trotter, who is qualified in both the 110 and 300 hurdles.
That should hold — knock wood — so Miguel Castillo, Alejandro Aragon, Bailey Scrivens and Trotter have added another week to their season.
The Devils had hoped to add the girls’ 1,600 team and boys’ 3,200 team, but both seem to have fallen short. Aiden Branch is also looking like a hard-luck athlete out of the 18 in the distance events.
In addition to Blair, Shroll thinks Eagle Valley’s girls’ 3,200 is in, along with Book in the 100 hurdles, Trotter in both sets of hurdles and the high jump, Cassie Jaramillo in both throwing disciplines, and Matt Turner in the high jump. The Devils should also have four in the pole vault, with Oliver and Joseph White, Holden Daniels and Ethan Daubs.
This year’s 4A state 1,600 should be pretty darn fast and have a distinctly local flavor.
Eagle Valley’s Blair, at last sight, was still No. 1 in the event with a 5:01, and, after Friday at St. Vrain, Nos. 2 and 3 are the Huskies’ Naomi and Lizzy Harding who both came in at 5:02.
The Harding sisters just knocked off Val Constien’s school record.
Just three years ago, Battle Mountain’s Rychelle Denardo slipped into the state 1,600 with a 5:22. This year, 5:12 is the cut time. That means that Grace Johnson with a 5:10 on Friday is in and Elizabeth Constien (5:14) Alex Raichart (5:17) are out.
Again, athletes can only compete in four events, so maybe Constien gets a bounce. Naomi Harding is qualified in six events — the 400, 800, 1,600, 3,200, 1,600 relay and 3,200 relay. Huskies coach Rob Parish said he’s pulling Harding from the 400 and 3,200. The Huskies are hoping for athletes from other schools to do the same.
The Huskies’ medley of Sabrina Sutter, Sofia Piliero, Gabby Trueblood and Karla Juarez likely punched their state ticket with a 1:51.
James Moran posted a 1:57 in the 800 on Friday. Again, while not official, Parish likes that time for state as it is the third fastest in school history behind Tony Crisofulli and Connor Drumm.
The Nick Team, aka the boys’ 3,200 relay was looking safe for state until their time went up to No. 18 as the week progressed. So Nick Williams, Nick Apps, Nico Piliero and Moran, whose first name is not Nick, ran an 8:12 on Friday and re-secured a state spot.
Vaulter Wyatt Nelson was easily in state, but went 14 feet, 3 inches, giving him the state’s highest mark over Eagle Valley’s Daubs (14-1) for the time being.
Sabrina Sutter in the 100 and 200 is on the bubble as is Emma Reeder in field events. The girls’ 800 relay got disqualified in its last chance for qualifying.
Battle Mountain will be sending a large contingent of ladies in the 800, 1,600 and 3,200, not to mention the 1,600 and 3,200 relays. The last is the defending state champion.
Parish believes that Nelson (vault), Max Christenberry (discus) and the boys’ 3,200 are solid bets for Denver next week.