Huskies go the distance |

Huskies go the distance

Ian Cropp

GRAND JUNCTION ” Former Chicago Mayor Richard J. Daley would be proud of the Battle Mountain boys track and field team.

The Huskies scored points early and often this week to take a lead into the final day of the regional track meet in Grand Junction. With 55.5 points, Battle Mountain leads Moffat County by 13.5 points, although 17 of the 22 events will take place Saturday.

“We hoped we’d be in first today,” said Huskies’ coach Rob Parish. “We came in with points from the pole vault and had a big event with the two mile. There’s a lot that can happen (Saturday).”

Friday in Grand Junction, Battle Mountain dominated the 3,200-meter race, taking first, third and fourth. Jonny Stevens defended his regional title from last year, running in 10 minutes, 3 seconds.

“That’s a great time considering the conditions,” Parish said. “It was close to 95 degrees on the track. The plan was just to run good enough to win. He’s got a big day (Saturday) and we really need him.”

Stevens has the second-fastest 3,200 time in the state at the 4A level, which he set last week, running a 9:36.

T.J. Simpson cruised in at 10:19 to earn his way to state, while Mario Gonzalez took fourth at 10:43.

“All three ran very patient, intelligent races,” Parish said.

Cecelia Garcia was fourth in the girls race at 13:03.

“She was in sixth for most of the race, made a push to third on the seventh in lap and just kind of got outkicked at the end,” Parish said.

Earlier in the week at Battle Mountain, the Huskies earned a sweep in the pole vault. Levi Horn, who failed to qualify for state last year despite winning nearly all the meets, won this year’s regionals by clearing 13 feet, 6 inches.

“He had to deal with those demons from last year,” Parish said.

Horn’s jump was a personal best by one foot. Eli Robertson was second at 11 and Charlie Tedstrom was third at 10. All three will go to state.

The girls placed two in the top three, with Lexi Horn taking second at 7-6 and Olivia Faulund third at 6-6.

Friday, in the boys’ 800, Tony Crisofulli was fourth at 2:03.45, with Derek Byron tied for fifth at 2:03.96. Andreas Apostol was seventh in the long jump at 19-8.

Moving through

Speedsters Aaron Wilcox and Ascher Robbins will look to give the Battle Mountain boys points in the 100 final today, where they will be the four and six seeds, respectively.

In a strange 200 qualifier Friday, Wilcox moved through, while Robbins posted a time .02 seconds off the third-fastest qualifier, but won’t be racing in the finals Saturday.

“Ascher was the fifth-fastest athlete, but since the top two in each heat go, he (won’t),” Parish said.

Robbins ran a 23.56 while the last qualifier ran a 24.44. Wilcox ran a 23.68.

“I hope it doesn’t come down to four points somewhere,” Parish said.

For the girls, Faulund and Katie Denton were sixth and seventh, respectively in the 400 qualifier. Max VanDyke qualified for both the 100 and 300 hurdles, earning a third and sixth seed, respectively. VanDyke’s time of 16.77 in the 100 is a personal record.

Saturday, the boys will look to earn points in the 1,600, as well as relays. In the distance events, the Huskies will be squaring off against Moffat, an opponent they battled in the fall during cross country.

“There’s a lot of history there,” Parish said. “They go at each other a lot.”

Half of the girls 3,200 relay ” Jamie Lee Roberts and MacKenzie Stevens ” will compete and then head to East Vail to join the Huskies’ soccer in the second-round playoff game against Golden at 2 p.m.

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