Battle Mountain and Eagle Valley cross-country shine in Region 1 Meet
Class 4A Region 1 Cross-Country Meet
1. Battle Mountain, 30; 2. Green Mountain 98; 3. Eagle Valley 110; Steamboat Springs 124; 5. Evergreen, 125.
1. Joslin Blair, Eagle Valley, 19:30
2. Naomi Harding, Battle Mountain, 19:39
3. Samantha Blair Eagle Valley, 19:39 (tenths)
4. Lizzy Harding, Battle Mountain, 20:08
5. Grace Johnson, Battle Mountain, 20:10
8. Elliott Pribramsky, Battle Mountain, 20:19
10. Avery Doan, Eagle Valley, 20:24
11. Emma Reeder, Battle Mountain, 20:26
14. Brogan Murray, Battle Mountain, 20:58
26. Tatum Coe, Eagle Valley, 22:37
63. Gabriela Fuentes, Eagle Valley, 23:36
1. Central, 72; 2. Battle Mountain, 84; 3. Golden, 106; 4. Eagle Valley, 116; 5. Summit County, 129.
6. Carter Baker, Eagle Valley, 17:49
9. David Reilly, Battle Mountain, 17:59
12. Sullivan Midduagh, Battle Mountain,18:03
16. Nico Piliero, Battle Mountain, 18:13
18. John Papdopolous, Eagle Valley, 18:15
19. Jason Macaluso, Battle Mountain, 18:15 (hundredths)
26. Gage Nielsen, Eagle Valley, 18:30
28. Deagen Fahrney, Battle Mountain, 18:33
32. Bailey Beckum, Eagle Valley, 18:42
34. Matthew Grewe, Eagle Valley, 18:44
EAGLE-VAIL — The Class 4A Region 1 Cross-Country Meet should come more often to Eagle County. After all, Battle Mountain’s and Eagle Valley’s runners were in all the action on Thursday, Oct 18, at the Willow Creek Par-3.
• Battle Mountain’s girls octo-peated as regional champions with a mere 30 points.
• Eagle Valley junior Joslin Blair became her school’s first regional champion by winning the race in 19 minutes 30 seconds.
• The girls podium looked distinctly familiar as the top five was Blair, Battle Mountain’s Naomi Harding, Eagle Valley’s Samantha Blair, and the Huskies’ Lizzie Harding and Grace Johnson.
• Eagle Valley’s boys made the state meet next week for the third year in a row by finishing fourth, while the Battle Mountain boys (second place) are returning to the dance after a year’s absence.
• And Eagle Valley’s girls qualified as a team, making it a 4-for-4 day for all things Devils and Huskies.
Eight is enough?
“We talked about the last time the Battle Mountain girls didn’t win a regional some of these kids were in the first grade,” Huskies coach Rob Parish said. “We’re going to savor it.”
Battle Mountain’s girls, donning the traditional postseason yellow, made it clear pretty early that they were in charge.
“It’s cool to continue the legacy,” Lizzie Harding said. “It means so much. I just feel as a team we are so much stronger than we would be as individuals. It’s so fun to go out there and run as a team and have teammates supporting you.”
The mileplit.com projections had Battle Mountain finishing 5-9-10-11-13 for 48 points. The Huskies decided that 2-4-5-8-11 for 30 would be better. That was Naomi Harding, Lizzy Harding, Grace Johnson, Elliott Pribramsky and Emma Reeder.
“When your fifth is 11th, things are going pretty well,” Parish said.
Things are also going pretty well when your team is getting these results without having tapered. The Huskies had a 9-mile workout on Tuesday, Oct. 16, and that’s not exactly speed work.
Nonetheless, the Huskies still had three in the top five with the Hardings and Johnson.
As always, the Nos. 4 and 5 runners are key and they were both sophomores. Do remember that the defending champs lost some big runners in Alex Raichart and Elizabeth Constien to graduation.
“Both those girls have been fantastic and have done good job of filling the big shoes of Alex and Constien,” Parish said. “That’s a testament to culture of our crew — next man or woman up mentality. It’s a culture of hard work, accountability and expectation.”
And now the focus turns to state on Saturday, Oct. 27, down in Colorado Springs. Parish has declared Niwot to be the favorite with the Huskies, the two-time-defending champs, Air Academy and Palmer Ridge in the hunt.
“We’ve been working hard this season,” Naomi Harding said. “It’s definitely our ultimate goal to take the title again. Parish is going to do his job and we’re going to do ours.”
Going to the dance
Eagle Valley’s Joslin Blair added regional champion to her ever-growing resume, which includes a 1,600-meter state title last spring.
Blair and Blair were leading after the lap, which was a mistake for Samantha.
“I went out so hard, too hard,” Samantha said.
As accomplished as the freshman is, she’s still new to this scene, and she’ll chalk this one down as a learning experience.
Joslin Blair had command of the race by the second lap and brought it home, topping Naomi Harding by about 8 seconds.
“It was definitely my goal to win,” Joslin Blair said. “I went out hard and stuck with it the last lap.”
With Samantha Blair in third, Avery Doan had a sweet afternoon of redemption. After having a rough outing at last year’s regional meet, she finished 10th on Thursday.
Yet, as always, it takes five to qualify as a team, and Tatum Coe and Gabby Fuentes were the heroines.
“They were behind our expectations at about a mile-and-a-half to two miles and they literally gained the 15 points we needed,” Devils coach Melinda Brandt said. “Their efforts to stay mentally focused and fighting all the way was the difference.”
There are going to be a ton of Huskies and Devils to state because both teams qualified. For the Huskies, it’s a return to prominence.
David Reilly was the lone Battle Mountain athlete representing the guys last season, and Thursday, he was ecstatic that the team was going.
“I think things really changed from last year to this year. I had a great race today, but I felt like I was actually in the back of the pack (for most of the year),” the senior said. “It’s more of a team dynamic and I’m really proud to be on this team.”
Only two of the Huskies’ scoring five are seniors — Reilly and Jason Macaluso — and freshman Sullivan Middaugh raised eyebrows with a 12th-place finish.
Eagle Valley’s boys are headed to the dance for the third straight year. Carter Baker led the way for the Devils, a senior-laden crew, in sixth place. He’s looking forward to state.
“I’d say I think our goal should be top 10,” Baker said.
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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.