Eagle Valley boys take first at Rifle | VailDaily.com
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Eagle Valley boys take first at Rifle

Ian Cropp and Chris Freud
Special to the Daily/Kara K. PearsonEagle Valley's Sean Matheson sprints toward the finish line in the boys' 100-meter dash, while flanked by Battle Mountain's Aaron Wilcox and Palisade's Jarren Pope during Friday's Rifle Invitational.
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RIFLE ” The Eagle Valley boys’ track and field team racked up the points and personal bests Friday in its first-place finish at the Rifle Invitational.

With seven golds, three silvers and seven bronzes, the Devils accumulated 148 points, but coach Jeff Shroll thinks there’s more to come.

“I was very happy with boys’ team,” Shroll said. “There were great performances. We’re doing well, and we haven’t done our best yet.”



The girls’ squad finished sixth.

Jacob Rivera led the way with three first-place finishes, sweeping the throwing events and opening for the 400-meter relay team’s win.



With a throw of 157 feet, 7 inches in the discus, Rivera set his personal best and prequalified for state. Rivera’s winning throw of 48-8 1/2 in the shot put was only a few inches short of qualifying, but was also a personal best.

Rivera, Brady Grayson, Mike Smith and Sean Matheson combined for a time of 44.89 seconds in the 400 relay.

And much like Rivera, Smith and Matheson had prolific meets.



Smith prequalified for state with a winning jump of 6-6 in the high jump, while he also won the long jump (19-11) and placed third in the triple jump (40-2).

Once again, Matheson won the 100 (11.72), while he took second in the 200 (23.08).

Masterful mile

Jake Brock shaved eight seconds off his previous personal best to take first in the mile (4:47). Brock earned another medal with a third-place finish in the two mile (10:37:67).

Kyle Simonett’s second-place finish in the 400 set a personal record (52.05). And John Gabriel helped the Devils pick up more points in the field by taking third in the high jump (6-0), third in the long jump (18-7) and second in the triple jump with a personal best 43-5 1/4. The Devils took third in the 3,200, 1,600 and 800 relays.

Another 400 win

Much like the boys, the girls picked up a gold in the 400 relay.

Shaylynn Nielson, Hattie Higgins, Rachel Sandoval and Ashley Rohweder combined for a time of 52.05.

Nielson set a personal record in the 200 (28.02) to take third behind two state qualifiers from last year.

In the shot put, Sarah Schlegel took third (32-4 3/4) for a personal best, while Kayla Phillips picked up points in fourth (32-4 3/4). Amy Thompson took bronze in the discus (102-1).

The medley team of Courtney Best, Rohweder, Sasha Pickslay and Higgins took fourth (2:01), while the same group minus Best and plus Miranda Hicks had the same finish in the 800 relay.

Pickslay’s high jump of 4-10 was good for fourth, and Sandoval finished fifth in the triple jump (29-3 1/4).

Freshman Angela Phillips ran the 100 hurdles in 17.96 to take fifth.

Battle Mountain boys second

The Battle Mountain boys’ track and field team made it the Eagle County Show at Friday night’s Rifle Invitational.

The Huskies finished second with 94 points behind the Devils (148).

“It’s great to see the progression the team has made in the last few years from not finishing well to being able to compete with just about every school in the league,” Huskies coach Rob Parish said. “It was fun to see the two valley teams go 1-2. Eagle Valley is such a class act.”

Battle Mountain ended the night with a bang, winning the 1,600 relay. Connor Drumm, Ryan Hedrick, Tony Christfoli and Derek Byron recorded a personal record with a time of 3:33.61, nearing the school record.

Jonny Stevens was golden, taking out a nice pace in the 3,200 before pulling away in the second mile to log a 10:24. Stevens was also in on a second-place finish in the 3,200 relay with Drumm, T.J. Simpson and Christfoli.

The boys’ 800 of Hedrick, Ryan Walker, Aaron Wilcox and Ascher Robbins captured silver. The quartet came home in 1:34, good for one second off the school mark and a P.R.

Andreas Apostal flew 17-6 to earn second. Zach Steinbach continued to go farther in the pits. He picked up second and a P.R. in the shot put (41-6). He was also fifth in the discus (123-2). Byron ran a 2:10 in the 800 for second.

Having what Parish described as “a breakout day,” Hedrick was third in 200 with a P.R. (23.64) and fifth in the 100 (12.08). Wilcox edged Hedrick in the 100 by eight-hundredths of a second.

Mitch Gray took fourth in the discus (123-3) and seventh in the shot (41-6). Punky Carlos went 41-2 in the shot for eighth, while the 400 relay of Elan Jones, Wilcox, Apostal and Robbins was sixth (46.82).

Peterson leads girls

Welcome to Battle Mountain, Leslie Peterson.

After having to sit for half the season after transferring from Vail Christian, Leslie Peterson made her Huskies’ debut a memorable one, taking third in the 400 in 1:04.08.

“It was nice having her ready to run,” Parish said. “It’s her first race this season. She’s been battling illness. We’re excited to see what she’ll come up with.”

McKenzie Stevens came up with a P.R. in the 800 with a 2:38, good for third. Marit Johnson was seventh in that race. Michelle Hiland struck silver in the mile in 5:46.9 with Crystin Rodrick in sixth.

In the 3,200, Cecilia Martin finished sixth (13:46), followed by Whitney Allard (seventh, 13:53). Max VanDyke hopped to a P.R. (18.37) in the 100 hurdles. In relays, Maddy Trtanj, Heidi Sorenson, Kelsey Comerford and Kate Epstein were sixth in the 800. The 1,600 of Olivia Fauland, Peterson, Sorenson and VanDyke also took sixth.

The 3,200 of Rodrick, Peterson, Stevens and Hiland captured bronze.

Eagle Valley’s and Battle Mountain’s varsity is at Moffat County Friday, while their younger athletes will be competing at today’s Phelan/Alexander Invitational at Eagle Valley.

Vail, Colorado


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