Huskies harriers cap regular season in Montrose
MONTROSE ” It was all about laughs for the harriers.
Saturday’s Montrose Relays provided Battle Mountain cross country with a mellow interlude before this week’s final push for regionals.
Under the format, teams could enter their two best runners to post the lowest combined time in the boys’, girls’, or mixed divisions. Imagine the Johns for Battle Mountain ” Jonny Stevens and John O’Neill or a pairing of Jessica Linder and Cecilia Garcia and any permutation of the four in the mixed race.
“We could have put the Johns together, but we decided to have to make the pairs evenly-matched,” Huskies coach Rob Parish said. “We just wanted to have a good time. It was all about capping the season for the junior varsity and sharpening the varsity crew. We didn’t know what to expect. It was a good time with people giving each other a good-natured hard time.”
As it turned out, Linder and Raphy Joly finished sixth in the mixed division ahead of the tandem of Conor Wallace and Lettie Fickling in eighth. Nick VanDyke and Michael Hand were eighth for the boys.
A glorified workout was appropriate Saturday as the only race that really matters looms this week. The girls run at regionals Saturday at Delta at 9:30 a.m., followed by the boys at 10:15 a.m.
The top 40 percent of complete teams in Saturday’s race advance to the state meet. Ideally, that means the top-four teams out of 10. But if as was the case with last year’s girls’ regional meet, only eight teams have full squad, only three teams go.
The Huskies boys are favored to win the meet, while the girls face stiff competition with Summit County, Glenwood Springs and Moffat County. Parish is operating under the assumption that only three team spots will be available.
“We’re going to have our regional goal-setting meeting early this week,” Parish said. “We’re going to go through and analyze what we think each team can do. We’re going to have a bit of a different setup for the boys and the girls. We’re going to make the girls peak for regionals and hope that they can maintain that for state. The boys will have a tough week of training. But we’re not assuming anything about state for either team.”
Sports Editor Chris Freud can be reached at 748-2934 or firstname.lastname@example.org.