Eagle Valley cross country hits its stride | VailDaily.com

Eagle Valley cross country hits its stride

HOTCHKISS, Colorado ” The Eagle Valley cross country teams both did well at the Hotchkiss Invitational on Saturday. The boys nearly took first, losing a tie-breaker to finish in second place. The girls finished third in the meet.

Don’t blame the boys team if they are feeling a little disappointed today. The Devils ran an excellent meet and finished tied with Gunnison with 45 points, but the Cowboys were awarded first based on a tie-breaker. Gunnison’s fifth runner beat Eagle Valley’s fifth runner, which determined the winner.

“It was awesome,” Eagle Valley coach Melinda Brandt said. “We had one guy gone today, and one guy was sick. We did really good with the guys we had. Having three guys in the top 10 is unbelievable.”

Mario Gonzalez-Martinez claimed first place overall for the Devils after running a time of 19:00. It’s Gonzalez-Martinez’ first win of the season after taking fourth in the last two meets.

“He is coming on really strong,” Brandt said. “He keeps getting stronger every week. Him and Joe (Trujillo) are putting in a lot of miles at practice. It’s paying off in the races.”

Joe Trujillo was right behind Gonzalez-Martinez, taking third place in 19:14. UV Trujillo placed 10th for the Devils after crossing the finish line in 20:20.

Riley Simonton ran a time of 23:11 for Eagle Valley ” good enough for 31st place. James Jagger finished in 23:42.

“The guys are really happy they finished so strong,” Brandt said. “Second place is the best finish we’ve had as a team.”

On the girls side, Eagle Valley finished in third place with 67 points. Blanca Gonzalez-Martinez paced the Devils in 11th place overall with a time of 25:13. Kelly Cassidy came in two spots behind Gonzalez-Martinez with a time of 25:55.

“It was a really hard course,” Brandt said. “Kelly was just coming off an injury and she ran really hard. Blanca did awesome. She is really improving.”

Logan Kinser came in 20th place after running a 27:10. Megan McQueeney took 23rd in 27:48.

Eagle Valley is in action again next Saturday at Glenwood Springs.

Sports Writer Ian Smith can be reached at 970-748-2935 or ismith@vaildaily.com.

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