Huskies, Devils run strong in Huskies Invitational |

Huskies, Devils run strong in Huskies Invitational

Amelia Ortiz, Mandy Ortiz and Sydney Gaylord lead Battle Mountain's Lady Huskies away from the start at Saturday's Husky Invitational at Beaver Creek. The Lady Huskies finished third. The boys finished fourth. Amelia Ortiz was second overall. Randy Wyrick photo

BEAVER CREEK – Imagine 420 teenagers moving as fast as they can in the same direction, and none of them packing a cell phone.

The Huskies Invitational is a minor miracle. It’s also Battle Mountain’s home cross country meet – 420 athletes from 13 teams at the team’s new Beaver Creek home course.

The 5-kilometer course sends the lads and lasses uphill for the first mile and a half or so, then up some more, down a couple steep descents and then they climb to the finish.

“We have an advantage over some of the Front Range teams who don’t train under these conditions. We like to show them how it goes,” said Battle Mountain senior Amelia Ortiz, the Huskies girls’ co-captain.

Ortiz finished second on the girls side. Battle Mountain’s David Shearon finished second overall for the boys. Palmer Ridge took both individual and the girls’ team title, and tied with Rocky Mountain for the boys’ team title.

Both Ortiz and Shearon were completely spent but smiling when they hit the finish line. They both understand that winning is better than anything else you can do when you compete, but they were happy with their day.

“I ran my hardest, and at the end of the day that’s all that matters,” Ortiz said.

Ken Long, Battle Mountain coach likes his new course and the way his Huskies handled it. His girls finished third and the boys finished fourth.

Following Shearon’s second place finish was Mitch Walker in fourth.

“It’s tough, but it’s a great course and we had a strong field today,” Walker said.

Eagle Valley coach Melinda Brandt likes the Beaver Creek course, and the way her third-year program is improving. The Lady Devils finished within 20 points of rivals Battle Mountain and Glenwood Springs, fifth overall.

Youngsters led both the Devils boys and the girls: Sophomore Hunter Burnham finished 27th for the boys and freshman Maggie Gilman was sixth overall for the girls. Freshman Gregg Salaz was right behind Burnham for the Eagle Valley boys. Sophomore Kelly Cassidy was 23rd for the Lady Devils and freshman Nikki Cunning was a few steps behind in 25th

It all bodes well for the young program’s future, Brandt said.

“We have 50 runners, and that’s a great for such a relatively new program,” Brandt said.

Cross country is gloriously uncomplicated. You start here, you end there, and the runner who covers the distance fastest is your winner

If you finish first, you score one point for your team, two for second and so on. Add up the place numbers of your top five runners and that’s your team score. Lowest score wins. There is no French figure skating judge.

The object, besides running harder than a politician trailing in the polls, is to keep your runners bunched together.

Palmer Ridge’s girls put on a togetherness clinic. Alison Deitsch won the girls and Spencer Wenk won the boys. Behind Deitsch, Palmer Ridge girls finished third, seventh, 12th and 17th. Their 40 points were less than half of second place Glenwood Springs at 100.

Staff Writer Randy Wyrick can be reached at 970-748-2935 or

Team Results

Varsity Girls

1. Palmer Ridge, 40

2. Glenwood Springs, 100

3. Battle Mountain, 104

4. Rocky Mountain 112

5. Eagle Valley, 119

6. Summit 116

7. Frontier Academy 139

8. Delta 162

9. Mountain Range 219

Varsity Boys

1. Palmer Ridge, 59

2. Rocky Mountain, 59

3. Glenwood Springs, 67

4. Battle Mountain 103

5. Delta 110

6. Mountain Range 158

7. Eagle Valley 166

8. Summit, 240

9. Frontier Academy, 251

10. Palisade 252

11. Evangelical Christian, 283

Local Individuals

Battle Mountain Girls

2. Amelia Ortiz, 22:08

9. Sydney Gaylord

26. Maddie Stvens

32. Mandy Ortiz

35. Valeria Rivero

49. Sydney Edmonson

50. Elisse Rasmussen

Battle Mountain Boys

2. David Shearon

4. Mitch Walker

21. Remsen Allard

34. Aleksei Horn

42. Charlie Barry

58. Jake Bishop

59. James Leonard

Eagle Valley Girls

6. Maggie Gilman

23. Kelly Cassidy

25. Nikki Cunning

29. Kira Quintana

36. Logan Kinser

40. Colleen Hefferan

51. Alexa Cano

Eagle Valley Boys

27. Hunter Burnham

31. Gregg Salaz

33. Ben Muehlethaler

36. Robbie Clark

39. Caleb Krueger

43. Aaron Kline

63. J. Tyler Keegan

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