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Huskies track and field ready

STBM 800 Relay SM 5-18-07
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EAGLE-VAIL, Colorado ” There’s a lot of talk at Battle Mountain about its 3,200-meter relay team.

But before everyone starts talking about Tony Crisofulli, John O’Neill, Jonny Stevens and Todd Walker, don’t forget that the ladies 3,200 team of McKenzie Stevens, Jamie Lee Roberts, Marit Johnson and Heidi Sorenson also qualified for the state last year.

While Johnson has graduated, there are plenty of contenders waiting to fill the spot like Cecilia Garcia, Amelia Ortiz and Kenzie Grant.

“The competition makes us faster,” Garcia said, “You haven’t earned your spot. You have to be faster, working hard to get your spot.”

There’s a lot of competition everywhere on Battle Mountain’s track and field team as it opens the season Saturday at the Horizon Relays in Thornton and at Delta ” and not just in the Huskies’ usual strength of distance running. Battle Mountain is approaching a full complement of athletes, and should be able to challenge in the Slope region this spring.

“We feel that we have a very complete team,” Huskies coach Rob Parish said. “In the guys’ running events, we feel we have strong runners in every race. We have strong, veteran track athletes to get after it, and we have kids who have prepared for it. This has been a process a lot of this coaching staff has been a part of. We’ve tried to build up the entire track team and we’re definitely getting there.”

The boys

Continuing the total-team motif, the boys have two returning state-relay teams. There are those 3,200 guys, and then there’s the 800 squad. Ascher Robbins, Aaron Wilcox, Todd Walker and Andreas Apostal finished eighth at state last year. Ryan Hedrick, who’s definitely fast with a football, will try it with a baton, replacing the graduated Apostal.

In the open distances, the Huskies are more than covered. Stevens and O’Neill will continue their friendly competition in the 3,200. Crisofulli will compete in the 1,600 and the 800, where he’s joined by Connor Tedstrom. Robbins and Wilcox are slated for the 100 and 200, while Walker and Hedrick look solid in the 400.

Look for Charlie Tedstrom to lead the way in pole vault. In jumping without long poles, it’s Kodi Wyatt, Barrett Chow and Cody Kleisinger. Lucas Brown headlines the throwers, while Fabian Rodriguez competes in the hurdles.

Of course, with the Horizon Relays on the, well, horizon Saturday, it’s time for Battle Mountain’s annual foray into the javelin relay. That will be Kleisinger, Brown and John Simpson. And for the curious, no, there are no exchanges of the javelin, even though that would be very amusing. It’s simple a total of the three throws.

Girls

The girls track team has the makings of a very good volleyball team. In sprinting alone, Alexa Corcoran can set them up for Jen Thul and Annalisa Padget.

If the spike for some reason is errant, basketball’s Kayleigh Quintana (now throwing) and Kenia Olivas (now a sprinter) can get the rebound.

“That’s fantastic to have the multi-sport kids. Track is a math game,” Parish said. “For people who don’t know track, there are 17 different events for guys and girls, so you have to have a large number of athletes who are wel-versed in many activities.”

Garcia just missed qualifying for state in the open 3,200 last season at regionals last year. Denver is the goal this year. Olivia Fauland is hoping to make it back-to-back trips to state in the pole vault.

Parish has copious contenders in the 400, 800 and 1,600 with McKenzie Stevens, Roberts, Sorenson, Ortiz and Grant.

In the sprints, the Huskies can call on Maddy Trtnj and Cassidy Corcoran in addition to the spikers. Sorenson heads up the hurdlers.

The 3,200

And then there’s the glamour relay at Battle Mountain. The boys’ 3,200 has placed seventh, fourth and second at the state meet the last three years. With a record like that, it’s not surprising what the goal is this year.

O’Neill, while a veteran runner at Battle Mountain, joins the squad in his first year of track.

“Left turns,” he joked about the difference between cross country and track. “It’s kind of like NASCAR, only it’s a real sport.”

On a more serious note, he’s excited to be with the track team, though he and the rest of the Huskies will miss their cross country teammate in the fall Jamie Fahrmeyer, who will be competing for Eagle Valley.

“It’s great. This is my first year running track. I always feel like I miss out on so much. Cross country is all about the team aspect of the sport. Everybody’s into it. It’s the same thing with track. It’s great to have the whole crew back.

“It’s kind of sad that Jamie Fahrmeyer has to run for Eagle Valley. I’m sure he’ll do great.”

The 3,200 clocked a time of 7 minutes, 58 seconds last season at state, and Walker is now anchoring the crew.

“Most of those guys have run at a high level for a bunch of years now,” Parish said. “They’ve done big-time races, state meets, regionals. Those guys do a very good job of not being rattled by whatever situation comes about. With those kids, we are taking it to the next level and farther.”

Sports Editor Chris Freud can be reached at 748-2934 or cfreud@vaildaily.com.


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