Devils show speed at Fruita | VailDaily.com

Devils show speed at Fruita

FRUITA — Eagle Valley cross-country finally stretched their legs out and the results were excellent.

The gents were third at the Anna Banana Invitational at Fruita, while the ladies were fifth. Even more exciting is that Saturday was the first race, after a bunch of hilly and technical courses, that the Devils could show their speed.

“Fruita is always a major check-in point in our season,” Devils coach Melinda Brandt said. “After running a lot of hilly courses, Fruita is a nice indicator. We’re definitely right on track.”

Brandon Sheard is probably asking if regionals could be run next week. He blew through the 17-minute mark at 16 minutes, 55 seconds.

“He’s been a great leader all season,” Brandt said. “He had a goal to go under 17 before regionals. He was hungry, and he ate up the course this week.”

Six of the seven Devils boys recorded personal-bests. All five of the guys’ scorers were under 18 minutes. That’s a good vibe, particularly when the Devils have still not done their speed work this season. (For the uninitiated, teams generally build a base of miles before and during the regular season. As the season dwindles, teams drill speed work and then finally taper toward the postseason races, regionals and state.)

On the girls side, Avery Doan took back the top spot on the team from Shawna Adams. That’s good competition within came. The ladies also welcomed freshman Maddlyne Schneck to the line lineup and she delivered a big performance.

The Hoss Award winners were Katie Smith and Jack Neifert.

Despite some fast times that likely would translate to better ones at Delta, site of regionals, the Devils are going to keep pounding away in training.

“We are definitely still loading up,” Brandt said. “We have a lot of work to put in still. But we are running with the end in mind.”

Next week, the Devils are off to the Fox and Hound, a meet in Colorado Springs.

Sports Editor Chris Freud can be reached at 970-748-2934, cfreud@vaildaily.com and @cfreud.