Huskies break girls 4×100-meter relay school record at Battle Mountain Invitational |

Huskies break girls 4×100-meter relay school record at Battle Mountain Invitational

Tyler Heimerl posted a six-inch best in the high jump and won all three jumps

Kiki Hancock gets the handoff from Tabbi Schroeder in the 4x100-meter relay at the Battle Mountain Invitational. The team set the school record in the event during the race and is seeded fourth in the 4A state meet, which begins Thursday.
Rex Keep/Courtesy photo

Battle Mountain might be the state’s real DU — Distance University, that is — but Tuesday’s home invitational was all about the sprints, jumps and throws. In fact, even the distance crew worked their fast-twitch muscle fibers — more on that later.

“It’s ‘do fun stuff,'” head coach Rob Parish explained of the mentality for the midweek meet. “But there is a method to the madness.”

Must be.

On the girls side, the Huskies opened the meet with a sprint medley relay win — they’re ranked No. 1 in the state in the event — and closed with a 20-second victory in the 4×400. In-between, they smoked the closest 4×100 challenger by 1.72 seconds in establishing a new school record.

“I thought the running today was really good. It felt good; we can always improve though,” said sophomore Kiki Hancock, who was a part of all three wins and took second in the open 100. “I think keeping the momentum going throughout the season and reaching for more records is going to be fun.”

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“My senior season, running with these guys, beating the record provides even more motivation for the team,” said senior Angelina Damici, who joined Tabi Schroeder and Marlee Geisler to establish the new 4×100 record of 51.03 seconds.

“It’s been up there for awhile and we really want to get our 4×100 to state,” added Geisler. “I think that would be huge for us for sure.”

“I feel like we were just not stressed,” Schroeder recounted. “I think we all ran great. Maybe a little improvement on handoffs, but that’s always needed.”

Parish said it doesn’t matter what event he puts those girls in right now. “They’re just fast,” he said. “They’re a veteran group so they know what they need to do, but they also just have a fun time doing it.” According to Presley Smith, a key cog in the sprint medley and 4×400, the team’s short-distance community vibe includes “a lot of raps, a lot of freestyling and a lot of jokes cracked.”

“The team has been doing great,” the junior said after coming — once again — oh-so-close to breaking the longtime 400-meter dash school record. Smith made up the inside stagger by the first turn and soloed a 59.65 into strong winds, which criss-crossing the track in various directions throughout the otherwise pleasant afternoon.

Presley Smith on her way to winning the 400-meter dash Tuesday. Smith’s best time this year is 0.1 seconds off the Battle Mountain school record.
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“It was good. The wind died down, so it was fun,” she said, giving the wind too much credit after her 2.21 second win over Heritage Christian Academy’s Kate Green. In regard to her continual record chase, she said, “I just kind of remind myself I’m only 0.1 seconds off. I get to the race and I just try hard and if my legs hurt, I just keep going.”

A member of the perennially powerful Battle Mountain 4×800 team last year, Smith — who also was second in the 200 (27.37) Tuesday — said she likely won’t do the mid-distance race this year, but instead focus on the one-lap distance and the sprint medley, where she thinks the Huskies have a chance to take down Niwot.

“Oh yeah for sure. I’m hoping at states.” 

Devils demonstrate boys sprint depth as Kraft and Reid battle in the 100 and 200

Eagle Valley’s Kaden Kraft (inside) and Battle Mountain’s Terrence Reid (black jersey) battled in the 100 and 200-meter dashes at Tuesday’s Battle Mountain Invitational in Edwards.
Rex Keep/Courtesy photo

After taking second in the 100 (11.53), Terrence Reid came back in the evening to run 22.77 and win the 200 at his final home meet. His shadow throughout the day was Eagle Valley’s insanely deep sprint team, led by Kaden Kraft, who placed third in both the 100 (11.56) and the 200 (23.33). With Jonathan Boyer (11.85), Blake Anderson (11.91), Kevin Hasley (11.93), Jackson McKibban (11.98), Kingston Clous (12.02) and Aedan Phelan (12.03), the Devils have a wealth of relay options.

“It’s really cool. After today we’ll have six or seven guys that can go sub-12, which hasn’t happened in years,” said Boyer, a state-caliber golfer who decided running in circles sounded like a fun way to close out his prep athletic journey. “I had some good friends who were doing it who encouraged me to try track this year. I was like, ‘why not?'”

Other than suffering through painful mid-distance workouts sharpening his one-lap fitness, Boyer said he’s having a good time. “Golf definitely tops it, but it’s still super fun,” the future biology student at Grand Canyon University said. Hoping for sub-24 in the 200, Boyer left pleased with a 23.95, sixth-place finish.

“They were good,” he said of the day’s races. “I was happy with that time.”

Eagle Valley also picked up wins in the high jump from Riis Lindley (6-0) (who also placed third in the triple jump and fifth in the long jump), and Zachary Bourke (125-06) in the discus. Battle Mountain’s Cooper Skidmore placed second in the discus (118-09), third in shot put (39-06), produced a personal best in the high jump (5-06) and had a nice long jump debut (17-04).

“I’ve PR’d at every meet this year for at least something,” said the soccer and basketball multi-sport athlete. Skidmore knows he doesn’t fit the physical prototype commonly seen in throws, even though discus is his best event in what is truly a unique quiver.

“I would say I’m one of the smaller guys,” he said. “For disc, I have relatively long arms, so that’s helpful. With shot, the only thing I really have on the big boys is speed.”

Heimerl leads field athletes with high jump, long jump and triple jump sweep

Tyler Heimerl won all three jumping events at the Battle Mountain Invitational Tuesday in Edwards.
Rex Keep/Courtesy photo

The sprint successes for both Battle Mountain and Eagle Valley may have buried the actual lede from Tuesday. Husky sophomore Tyler Heimerl had an almost unheard of six-inch personal best in the high jump en route to sweeping all three jump events. Coming into the meet with 4-foot-10-inch best, Heimerl cleared 5-04. She appropriately said her leap “set the bar higher” — as far as goals go the rest of the season.

“Going for records sounds like more of a possibility for me now,” she said, referring to the 5-07 Battle Mountain best from 1982. “I would like to focus on preparing for the college level in jumps and reach for the highest level I can.”

“It’s a big improvement for sure,” added Parish. “She jumped really well at a CSU camp last summer, so it wasn’t a big surprise. We also haven’t been able to be outside jumping much, and she hasn’t been to all of the meets.”

Heimerl leapt 17-0.75 in the long jump, outpacing Gabrielle Huggins (16-01) and Eagle Valley’s Zakia Shreeve (15-01). She won the triple by over a foot, too, going 32-04.50.

Eagle Valley’s Zakia Shreeve lands in the long jump pit Tuesday. Shreeve placed third in the event.
Rex Keep/Courtesy photo

“Yea, the sky is the limit with her,” Parish said. “She just has to want it and work for it.”

Distance stars step down to shorter stuff

Eagle Valley senior Jake Drever might not have been given the chance to duke it out with Battle Mountain’s Porter Middaugh at the Arcadia Invitational 3200 event, as both school’s two-mile stars were placed in different heats, but the Devils distance savant went after the 8:59 guy in the open 400 Tuesday. Both were expectedly sluggish out of the blocks, but Drever pulled even with the leaders by the 200-meter start. Even though he tied up slightly in the homestretch, his impressive 52.62 was good for third-overall. Middaugh, who said he was hoping for something under 54 seconds, finished in fourth (53.54).

Though his focus is the longer stuff, Drever knows the importance of a kick in championship races. He said last week’s 800/600/200 ladder workout gave him a good indication he’s moving in the right direction.

“It was hard but it makes me feel good knowing I’ve got a little bit of leg speed,” he said. “Last year, I had no kick. I feel like I’ve had a lot better kick than the past couple years.”

After his 9:10 3200-meter at sea-level, he hopes to target something in the general vicinity — sub-9:20 — in Colorado, and expects to race the 800, 1600 and 3200 at state if he can.

“I know that I’m one of the top dogs in that 4A fight for the 3200,” the senior, who also has run 1:56 for 800, said. He said the next chance to put down an in-state mark could come this Friday in the 1600 and at leagues in the eight-lap distance.

“We’ll all be running together so I think it will be a pretty fast time, which would be nice,” he said. “Dom, Porter and Will — it will be a good race.”

In her final home meet, Milaina Almonte stepped down in distance as well, clocking a 2:23.14 to win the 800. Lindsey Whitton (2:26.89) and Addie Beuche (2:33.04) swept the podium for Battle Mountain.

From left in pink shorts: Milaina Almonte, Lindsey Whitton and Addie Beuche placed first, second and third, respectively, in the 800-meters at the Battle Mountain Invitational Tuesday in Edwards.
Rex Keep/Courtesy photo

“I mean it’s crazy it’s ending already. It’s been a long four years, but now it seems to be going by really fast,” she said during her final cool-down jog. “It’s kind of sad sometimes.”

Almonte nearly broke 11 minutes in the 3200-meter in Arcadia earlier this month.

“On that day, the time surprised me. I think leading up to it, I think it was a goal, but I was pretty excited to be close (to 11 minutes) and now I’m thinking about it at state,” she said.

“I’m a firm believer every athlete should run races below and above their goal distance,” Parish said in noting event wins from Almonte as well as Jorge Sinaloa (11:26.55) and Lindsey Kiehl (12:21.24) in the 3200. Kiehl, an 800-meter specialist, took Parish’s philosophy to an extreme, running the 100 as well.

“I like doing the longest and shortest events in one meet,” she laughed about her schedule.

“I didn’t really have any pressure going into it and I just needed to run it alone. I made that my goal to go out and make it a hard effort,” she said, cooling down as the meet’s final event, the 4×400, finished up. Dodging every team’s cheering section, forming in droves along the homestretch, Kiehl perhaps summarized the day for every participant.

“It was definitely windy…it was fun though.”

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Quinn Thuon placed second in the pole vault, flying 11 feet, at Tuesday’s Battle Mountain Invitational in Edwards.
Rex Keep/Courtesy photo

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