Huskies’ boys get an extra few kicks |

Huskies’ boys get an extra few kicks

Ian Cropp
Daily file photoJonny Stevens won the 1,600-meter race at Saturday's regional meet.

GRAND JUNCTION ” Maybe it’s the yellow jerseys.

Or maybe it’s just that the Battle Mountain track has some great athletes.

The Huskies’ boys took second at Saturday’s regional track and field meet in Grand Junction on the heels of some fast work by their distance runners. Rifle (121) was first, followed by Battle Mountain (112.5) and Moffat (106).

Donning the yellow jerseys reserved for regionals in both cross country and track and field, the Huskies’ boys were golden, picking up their third straight 3,200 relay title.

“That’s one of our really prideful events,” said Huskies’ coach Rob Parish. “Moffat had beaten us three times in the past three weeks. But our guys stepped up and ran their hearts out.

“It came down to a kick between (Moffat’s) Jeremy Bird and (Battle Mountain’s) Jonny Stevens. Jeremy has a lot of speed, but Jonny kicked it to the end.”

Stevens anchored the leg of the relay, which includes Travis Landauer, Derek Byron and Tony Crisofulli. The team ran its best time of the year, clocking in at 8 minutes, 9 seconds.

“Travis ran an awesome leg ” he’s the only member that’s been on all three of those (championship) teams. It seemed like that (race) got everybody going.”

The 800 relay team had some heroics of its own ” grabbing the win ahead of Rifle and setting a new school record by two seconds.

“Todd (Walker), the anchor, had been fighting a hamstring pull, and muscled to the finish,” Parish said.

Aaron Wilcox, Ascher Robbins, Andreas Apostol and Walker combined for a time of 1:30.16.

Even after a blazing 3,200 relay race, two of the four boys were up for a wild open 1,600. Stevens broke away with two others late in the race, while TJ Simpson and Crisofulli hung back.

“With a lap to go, Jonny was in second, winds up hammering and outkicks a guy who was fresh to win,” Parish said. “And TJ and Tony made heroic efforts, going from seventh and eighth, to fourth in fifth, in the last 300 meters, passing three Moffat guys. It was a 14 point swing in the score. It was unbelievable.”

Stevens finished in 4:32.06, while Simpson (4:42.35) had a personal record by six seconds. Crisofulli came in at 4:42.76.

Wilcox took fourth in the 100 at 11.26, only .01 away from third. Robbins was eighth at 11.57. Wilcox was seventh in the 200 at 23.80.

Jason Funk was fifth in the 110 hurdles, at 16.46 and eighth in the 300 hurdles at 44.73.

The 1,600 relay team of Crisofulli, Byron, Landauer and Parke Robbins was eighth, while the 400 relay team dropped the baton. Cody Wyatt jumped 5 feet, 6 inches to take fifth.

The girls 3,200 relay used some yellow jersey magic, too, blazing to second at 10:21.52 ” their top time of the season. MacKenzie Stevens and Jamie Lee Roberts, who also played in the Huskies’ playoff soccer match later Saturday, ran along with Marit Johnson and Heidi Sorenson.

“It was the first time the girls wore the yellow jerseys,” Parish said.

Shannon O’Rourke pulled in her top time (5:49.91) in the 1,600, taking fifth.

“She’s had a huge jump in the last two weeks, dropping 30 seconds off her mile,” Parish said.

Max VanDyke pulled in points for the seventh-place Huskies’ girls, taking fifth in the 110 hurdles (16.92) and sixth in the 300 hurdles (49.91), one ahead of Sorenson (50.66).

The Huskies’ 800 relay team of Jenna Bearisto, Kate Epstein, VanDyke and Sorenson were fifth, as was the 1,600 relay team of Olivia Faulund, Katie Denton, Johnson and Sorenson. The 400 relay of Caitlin Cerra, Epstein, Denton and Maddy Trtanj was seventh. Faulund was sixth in the 400 at 1:07.32, with Denton eighth (1:09.75). The medley team was also eighth.

The top three finishers in each event (team and individual) as well as those prequalified will compete at the state meet Denver this Friday and Saturday.

Sports Writer Ian Cropp can be reached at 748-2935 or

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