Huskies lady harriers finish 10th at state
COLORADO SPRINGS ” Some tears came from temporary disappointment. Others came from having to say good bye.
The Battle Mountain girls’ cross country team came into Saturday’s 4A state meet with high hopes after a second-place finish at regionals. The Huskies didn’t have the day they imagined, but still finished in 10th place.
Given that the girls’ team is one of 70 programs competing at 4A and that the Huskies have cracked the top 10 in each of the last four seasons, more than their very accomplished male counterparts, the sun did literally come out for Battle Mountain Saturday after a foggy morning.
“The girls should keep their heads high,” Huskies coach Rob Parish said. “The tradition of the program is very strong. Those girls came in and worked as hard as they possibly could and competed with great character. They should feel super-excited.”
There was some angst in the finish area after the Huskies heard their times. They thought they were slow, but that turned out to be the course ” even the boys’ times were 1 minute slower than those at regionals in Delta last week. Once they processed that, the Huskies started to feel good about the day.
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“The girls did really well. The girls came in pretty much the way they wanted to,” said Jessica Linder, who led the team in 23rd with a time of 20 minutes, 27 seconds. “A lot of our back girls really pushed it and worked their way up to the crowd. You can always have that sense of having needed to work a little harder and feel you could have put in a little more effort. In general, we all feel pretty good about our performance.”
Keeping with tradition
Before the boys started grabbing the headlines with back-to-back state titles, the girls were the first to break through for the school in cross country. The girls have finished fifth, first, seventh and 10th the last four years at state.
While that’s impressive list, no starter from the state-title team of 2005 was running Saturday.
“They shouldn’t compare themselves to other teams in the past. This is unique team,” Parish said. “They’re extremely coach-able, hard-working and they’ve come together. There are kids there in the top seven (on the team) from Vail Christian, Vail Mountain and Battle Mountain. They wore their Battle Mountain jerseys and competed with pride.”
And that in the end forged bonds which were clear when the seniors finished their final race in their high school careers.
“It was really hard because of four seasons with the girls,” said Cecilia Martin who was 76th with a 21:40 to finish her career. “It’s hard to go and leave everything.”
Kenzie Grant was the feel-food story of the meet and the year for the girls. She was 87th in 21:49.
“To Kenzie Grant’s credit, she was absolutely phenomenal,” Parish said. “She tore an ACL in April of last year. She worked so hard before she even ran a step to get back.”
Freshman Amelia Ortiz took 91st (21:53), just a sign of the team’s young talent. Lettie Fickling was 95th (22:00) after earning a spot on the state team with a great time during the alternate’s race at regionals last week.
Sophomore Anouk Guilmineau finished 100th in 22:11, followed by Jamie Lee Roberts (121st, 23:36) .
“I couldn’t be more proud of those kids and especially the senior kids,” Parish said. “You got Kenzie, Cecilia, Alexa (Flowers), Jamie Lee and McKenzie (Stevens). This group has helped elevate what was a not very good program into a team that’s at state regularly.”
“We’re a pretty close team,” Linder said. “We’ve worked with each other all year, and encouraged each other through the good and the bad races. In general, this team is pretty tight. We all love each other and are definitely going to miss our seniors.”
Sports Editor Chris Freud can be reached at 748-2934 or email@example.com.