Eagle Valley cross-country shines at home meet
Eagle Valley Invitational
1. Fruita Monument 77 (wins on tiebreaker); 2. Glenwood Springs 77; Basalt 83; 4. Eagle Valley, 114; 5. Grandview 116 … 7. Battle Mountain 187.
2. Samantha Blair, Eagle Valley, 18:31.10 (hundredths)
3. Joslin Blair, Eagle Valley, 18:31.10
21. Josephine Trueblood, Battle Mountain, 20:52
22. Tatum Coe, Eagle Valley, 20:52
30. Amalia Manning, Battle Mountain, 21:24
33. Jordan Neifert, Eagle Valley, 21:31
44. Elizabeth Keiser, Battle Mountain, 22:13
48. Sierra Richter, Battle Mountain, 22:20
52. Clarissa Ortega, Battle Mountain, 22:32
60. Samantha Boeke, Eagle Valley, 22:48
1. Summit County 68; 2. Fruita Monument 80; 3. Grandview 81; 4. Ponderosa 114; 5. Eagle Valley 126 … 7. Battle Mountain 167.
1. Sullivan Middaugh, Battle Mountain, 16:45
4. Gage Nielsen, Eagle Valley, 16:47
20. Dillon Flaagan, Eagle Valley, 17:54
21. Ezri Perdue, Battle Mountain, 17:55
33. Johan Payan, Eagle Valley, 18:26
34. Jake Drever, Eagle Valley, 18:27
35. Kevin Chavez, Eagle Valley, 18:30
40 Kaden Williams, Battle Mountain, 18:41
52. Ethan Pyke, Battle Mountain, 19:05
59. Grant Willis, Battle Mountain, 19:17
One-hundredth of a second: That’s all that separated the Blair sisters on Saturday morning.
That’s a blink of an eye.
Samantha Blair edged her older sister, Joslin, with a time of 18 minutes, 30.09, seconds. Joslin finished in 18:30.10. Officially, both times were rounded to the tenth of a second, but that’s a photo finish.
“They compete really well and push each other,” Devils coach Melinda Brandt said. “They push the pace and battle all the way through the finish.”
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The Blairs led the Devils ladies to a fourth-place finish at the Eagle Valley Invitational at the Gypsum Creek Golf Course on Saturday. The boys also took fourth, which made it a merry day for the home meet.
The Devils developing
Everybody in the state knows about the Blair sisters. The bigger question remains getting three other racers to make it a scoring five come the postseason.
Eagle Valley took some big steps on Saturday toward that goal. Tatum Cole had a big day, finishing in fewer that 21 minutes, which is fast time in Gypsum. Jordan Neifert’s 21:31 was just a little more that 30 seconds “slower” than her time last week at the Liberty Bell.
That is superb because the Liberty Bell is just a faster course at lower altitude. And freshman Samantha Boeke is turning into a solid fifth.
“She’s getting better every week,” Brandt said. “She’s learning how to race harder.”
For the guys, Gage Nielsen continues to crush it. His time of 16:47 is the fastest a Devils athlete has run on this course, and that’s starting to mean something.
Saturday was the ninth time Eagle Valley has hosted a home meet. It’s a point of pride for the program that Saturday’s meet attracted 20 different schools and drew a huge home crowd.
“They enjoy competing in front of a local crowd,” Brandt said. “There were 650 athletes in all the races. It brings out a great energy. Gypsum Creek and their staff have been great hosts. It’s fantastic for the team to run down a fairway with everyone cheering.”
Happy Senior Day
As this meet has grown, so has the tradition of having a Senior Day for the cross-country team. It’s not traditional for cross-country teams, but Eagle Valley is making its own tradition.
So hats off to Joslin Blair, Skylar Williams, Riley Dudley, Johan Payan, Donovan Escobar, Luca Hart, Josh Boeke, Jake Papadopoulos, Emerson Betz, and Aldo Holguin.
In the Hoss Award department, Nielsen and Coe took home the hardware.
Battle Mountain did not have most of its top crew in Gypsum on Saturday, but sophomore Sullivan Middaugh certainly represented the Huskies well.
The kid won the boys’ varsity race in 16:45.
“We knew he had a shot,” Huskies assistant coach Matt Felton said. “We talked beforehand about going out with the top group. At 1,200 meters (to go), he was just out there, and then he found another gear.”
Both local squads head out to big Front Range meets next week: The Devils are at the Dave Sanders Invitational at Columbine on Friday, while the Huskies head to the St. Vrain Invitational on Saturday.
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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.