Don’t call them Battle Mountain Huskies or Eagle Valley Devils, but they’re going to cross-country regionals |

Don’t call them Battle Mountain Huskies or Eagle Valley Devils, but they’re going to cross-country regionals

Elizabeth Constein and Battle Mountain cross-country, under the title of the Vail Valley Running Club, is heading to Arizona for Nike Cross Southwest Regionals on Saturday, Nov. 18.
Cannon Casey | Special to the Daily |

Cross-country postseason honors



First team

Aiden Branch, Eagle Valley

Jack Neifert, Eagle Valley

Honorable mention

David Reilly, Battle Mountain

Carter Baker, Eagle Valley


First team

Naomi Harding, Battle Mountain

Joslin Blair, Eagle Valley

Elizabeth Constien, Battle Mountain

Alex Raichart, Battle Mountain

Honorable mention

Grace Johnson, Battle Mountain

Megan Bamford, Battle Mountain

Lizzy Harding, Battle Mountain

Brogan Murray, Battle Mountain" target="_blank">Text"> all-state


First team

Joslin Blair, Eagle Valley

Elizabeth Constien, Battle Mountain

Second team

Lizzy Harding, Battle Mountain

Was it over when the Germans bombed Pearl Harbor?

The fictional Sen. Bluto Blutarsky from “Animal House” always has much to teach us, particularly in regard to the sport of cross-country.

Yes, the state meet has come and gone — and I heard something about Battle Mountain doing something decent there — but the Huskies and Devils are still running.

We’ve got Nike Cross Southwest Regionals in Casa Grande, Arizona, on Saturday, Nov. 18. The NXSW, as Freud becomes very hip with the acronym, gathers the best teams from Colorado, Utah, Nevada, Arizona and New Mexico.

Battle Mountain and Eagle Valley are both sending squads, which by CHSAA rules, are in no way officially connected with the schools. The Huskies, er, the Vail Valley Running Club had a fundraiser on Wednesday, Nov. 8, at the Main St. Grille, and you can still donate to the team at

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And, yes, were the Devils raising money, we’d encourage you give as well.

The non-affiliated Battle Mountain girls, who just happen to be the usual suspects, are running in the championship division, with a chance to qualify for nationals in December in Portland, Oregon.

The great paradox for a high country team is that going to Arizona provides a heap ton of precious oxygen. The elevation of Casa Grande is a whopping 1,398 feet, which is what the Huskies and Devils would call sea level.

The kicker is how the heck do you prepare for the heat of Arizona when it was snowing during training on Tuesday, Nov. 7?

The Don’t-Call-Them-Huskies have tried everything in training for this race from running in multiple layers — envision the ladies as abominable snow-people — to running in heated rooms on the treadmill.

The approach this year is essentially, “Deal with it. We know it’s coming. It will be hot (mid-80s). Get over it.”

The top-two teams from the Southwest Regionals get a ticket to nationals with third- and fourth-place teams being in the running for at-large berths.

The 2007 and 2017 comparison

The best the Not-Huskies have done at Nike Regionals is fifth — the boys in 2007 and the ladies in 2016.

This seems to be an appropriate jumping-off point. The newly re-crowned Battle Mountain girls’ team has officially joined the ranks of the Huskies’ greatest teams of all time.

More specifically, the historical comparisons with the 2007 guys’ team are eerie. Both teams surprised by winning their first titles in 2006 and 2016. Both teams were mortal locks to repeat the next year and did repeat ruthlessly.

The 2007 boys went 1-2-3-4-6 at regionals in Delta. (The sound you just heard was John O’Neill in Seattle still being hacked the Huskies didn’t sweep.) In fairness to this year’s ladies, that was a Western Slope-only regional. Play Western Slope only from this year’s Region 1 Meet — and Battle Mountain went 1-3-4-5-6.

Darn you — NOT — Eagle Valley’s Joslin Blair for breaking that up.

Back to the 2007 and 2017 comparison, the gents scored fewer points — 55-59 — than the 2017 girls. However, the ladies take the cake in margin of victory. The boys of 2007 beat Liberty by 56 points. This year’s ladies ran laps around Palmer Ridge by 98 points.

And Jonny Stevens never won an individual state title. (He just put a squid in my car, didn’t he?) Meanwhile, Elizabeth Constein won the whole shooting match and logged the fastest female time, regardless of classification, at the state meet.

Bravo, Joslin

The Eagle Valley sophomore has gotten overlooked this year because of what the Battle Mountain ladies did. Let’s shine the spotlight on the sophomore. The lady has to be a senior because I’ve written about her so much. No, she still is a sophomore and finished seventh at the state meet?


Her first two state meets have been 14th and seventh, the best in Eagle Valley history, thank you. And she’s doing it solo.

Running without your teammates at state is hard. Blair is making it look easy.

One must also consider the level of quality in the 4A cross-country world of Colorado. Yes, there’s the thundering herd that is Battle Mountain, but this classification is downright deep.

Blair is already one of the best runners in the state and she has two years to catch those final six spots.

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

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