Eagle Valley, Battle Mountain XC gear up for regionals
Yes, it's already that time
Yes, the cross-country season is fast.
Eagle Valley finished the regular season on Saturday with the Cherry Creek Steve Lohman Invitational on Saturday (the girls finished fourth; the boys sixth). Meanwhile, Battle Mountain put the last touches on their teams (boys fifth; girls ninth) at Pat Amato Classic in Northglenn on Friday.
Yes, folks, the next stop if the Class 4A Region 1 Meet at Lincoln Park in Grand Junction on Oct. 17
Eagle Valley’s Gage Nielson continued his stellar season, leading the Devils as they rebuild from graduation losses.
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Nielsen ran a personal best of 16 minutes, 34 seconds, finishing fourth.
Meanwhile, Dillon Flaagan has turned into a terrific No. 2 in the pecking order. With graduation turnover, senior Johan Payan and junior Kevin Chavez, cross-country newbies, have done a tremendous job stepping in and learning the sport on the fly.
“The boys are packing in well from Nos. 2-9,” Devils coach Melinda Brandt said. “To have so many guys come together when a lot of them didn’t have varsity experience before this year is really terrific. They fired up and coming together nicely.”
Nine is a magic number because, while five score at a regional meet, teams can enter nine at a regional meet. Ideally, the four runners who don’t score are running fast to push other teams’ scorers back into the pack.
With the ladies, we don’t mean to alarm you, but Samantha and Joslin Blair are still fast and have been ready for regionals since August.
The bigger key is finding Nos. 3-5, and the Devils had a nice surprise (or not) in Jordan Neifert. She broke 20 minutes on Saturday.
“She even surprised herself,” Brandt said. “We weren’t surprised because she’s been working hard and improving her times dramatically.”
Samantha Boeke, the freshman, continues to impress as well.
The Hoss Award winners were Aldo Holguin and Jake Brossman.
With the exception of Sullivan Middaugh, Battle Mountain’s boys held their dress rehearsal for regionals/state on Friday at the Pat Amato. The Huskies were fifth behind three 5A squads and Los Alamos, New Mexico.
The emphasis on Friday was the start as a quick one is required during the postseason. Most courses have a chose point after the start and runners need to get out quickly without emptying the tank to avoid getting sucked into the middle of the pack in championship running.
“Our guys run will on wide-open courses,” Huskies coach Rob Parish said. “They sometimes get bogged down in a big group. At the Pat Amato, you have 51 teams, so we went there with the goal of practicing getting a good start.”
Middaugh didn’t run on Friday as that would have been his fourth race in as many meets, and Parish wants his runners rested.
On the girls’ side, the Pat Amato was the annual “throw the youngsters into the deep end of the pool” event. The Huskies can swim.
Most notably, freshman Milaina Almonte recorded the fastest time by a first-year runner in the history of the program. Considering Battle Mountain has had a pretty solid bunch of female runners, Parish was pleased.
Battle Mountain is sending some runners to a meet in Rifle on Wednesday to settle some spots on the back ends of its regional nines.
This week’s results
Cherry Creek Steve Lohman Invitational
1. Green Mountain 90; 2. Highlands Ranch 101; 3. Littleton 106; 4. Arapahoe 109; 5. Eaglecrest 109; 6. Eagle Valley 120
4. Gage Nielsen, 16:34
15. Dillon Flaagan, 17:18
29. Jake Drever, 17:35
30. Kevin Chavez, 17:35
42. Johan Payan, 18:00
- Arapahoe 40; 2. Cherry Creek 57; 3. Green Mountain 91; 4. Eagle Valley 121; 5. Cherokee Trail 136
2. Samantha Blair, 18:28
3. Joslin Blair, 18:01
19. Jordan Neifert, 19:58
46. Samantha Boeke, 21:13
51. Karelly Gallegos, 21:33
Pat Amato Classic
- Los Alamos 94; 2. Monarch 125; 3. Boulder 161; 4. Poudre 238; 5. Battle Mountain 244.
16. Nico Piliero, 16:22
26. Deagen Fahrney, 16:44
57. Jake Alleen, 17:18
64. Ari Dennis, 17:23
81. Ezri Purdue, 17:35
- Broomfield 79; 2. Los Alamos 106; 3. Thunder Ridge 161; 4. Boulder 177; 4. Rocky Mountain 199 … 9. Battle Mountain 264.
17. Milaina Almonte, 19:04
24. Lily Whelan, 19:24
61. Samantha Lindall, 20:28
82. Josephine Trueblood, 20:50
83. Hayley Diemar, 20:51
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Jeff Shiffrin, with his wife, Eileen, made the Vail area their home decades ago, and together raised Mikaela and Taylor Shiffrin, who was a member of the two-time NCAA Champion University of Denver Ski Team.