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Huskies track goes low

Special to the DailyBattle Mountain's Jonny Stevens races his way to another big day at the Tiger Invite in Grand Junction. John O'Neill and Stevens both broke the school's Colorado record for the mile Saturday.
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GRAND JUNCTION, Colorado ” Everybody limbo. How low can you go?

In the ongoing competition that started in August with cross country, Battle Mountain’s distance runners kept re-writing the school record book at this weekend’s Tiger Invitational at Grand Junction.

John O’Neill knocked off teammate Jonny Stevens’ Colorado school record for the 3,200 meters Friday with a time of 9 minutes, 32.30 seconds. Stevens was right behind him, breaking his old mile-high record of 9:35 with a 9:33.12.



Saturday, O’Neill and Stevens passed up teammate Tony Crisofulli (4:29) in the 1,600 with times of 4:25.44 and 4:26.44, respectively.

“It’s really fun just coming up through four years of running and seeing all the fruits of our labor,” O’Neill said. “I doesn’t matter if we’re breaking a record that’s 10-years-old or one that was set a few weeks ago. It’s good to have competition with all our teammates at that level.”



For now, O’Neill holds the school’s 3,200 marks (both at sea level and in Colorado) and the 1,600, while Crisofulli has the 800 and Stevens the 5-kilometer standard for cross country.

“They’re having fun with it, for sure,” Huskies coach Rob Parish said. “What’s been great is that there could be a lot of intra-squad competition. As long as they’re beating other runners from other teams, they’re happy. In what is sometimes and individual sport, they’re focusing on the team race.”

And with solid performances from the rest of the crew, the Huskies finished third with 66 points behind 5A Pomona and regional rival Glenwood Springs (tied at 75) at the Tiger, the traditional tune-up for next weekend’s regional meet.



Pushing each other

The anything-you-can-do-I can-do-better saga of O’Neill and Stevens, which started in cross country workouts in August continues to be a good thing for Battle Mountain and has to be a joy to watch for Parish.

Take Crested Butte’s Joe Bosshard, who finished ahead of the two in the 3,200 and behind the duo in the 1,600.

“We run together,” O’Neill said. “That’s one more thing me and Jonny have, two guys training at the top level. We were talking to the Crested Butte runner. He doesn’t run with anyone at practice. We’re comfortable at our pace and that makes sure we don’t do anything crazy (on race day).”

Ascher Robbins and Aaron Wilcox continued their friendly tit-for-tat routine in the sprints. Robbins finished eighth in the 100. Wilcox came back in the 200, taking second in the 200 with a time of 23.10, ahead of Robbins in third.

Todd Walker took eighth in the 400 finals with a 55.70. One note on Walker ” he ran a personal record of 51.45 in the prelims, but couldn’t replicate it in the finals because he had just run with the 400 relay team.

That 400 team of Wilcox, Robbins, Walker and Victor Rios was second in 44.89. With Josh Kundolf in for Rios from the 400 team, the 800 snagged bronze with a time of 1:33.19.

The mile relay of Walker, Parke Robbins, Stevens and O’Neill was seventh in 3:37. Parish joked that he threw Stevens and O’Neill, better known for distances, in for some speed the final event of the day.

“We did it at Eagle Valley (In April) and it was still fun,” Stevens said. “It’s at the end of the day and everyone is cheering you on because they want to get home too.”

Crisofulli was sixth in the mile at 4:33, while Conor Wallace also finished sixth in the 3,200 (10:15.59). Kodi Wyatt soared 5 feet, 8 inches for seventh in the high jump.

The boys’ 3,200 relay team of Ryan Hedrick, Connor Tedstrom, Charles Gladitsch and Kundolf finished sixth in 8:41.06. The highlight there was that Hedrick ran a sub-2 minute split.

There was no pole vault at the Tiger, but the Huskies hosted a little get-together Tuesday in Eagle-Vail. Charlie Tedstrom won the boys’ side of things with a leap of 12-6. Spencer Curries was fifth at 9 feet. In the girls’ competition, Olivia Fauland and Jayna Horn were fourth and fifth. (Both went 6-6, but Fauland got the edge because of fewer misses.)

The ‘other’ 3,200

While Parish continues to tinker with the boys 3,200 team, the ladies look more than ready to for regionals in Battle Mountain’s favorite relay. Jamie Lee Roberts, Heidi Sorenson, McKenzie Stevens and Kenzie Grant clocked a 10:08.62. That was good for third at the Tiger, but more importantly, was 1 second off the school record and a second faster than last year’s team ran at state.

“They put it together,” Parish said. “The two teams which beat them prequalified for state. Hopefully, they have two more weeks to go. The sky’s the limit.”

Parish brings up a valid point here because Roberts and Stevens are understandably behind the curve a bit because of their winter sports commitments, not to mention that the school also has a pretty decent soccer team in the spring.

Roberts wasn’t done yet. She was fifth in the 800 with a time of 2:25.7, the third-fastest girls time in school history. As usual, Cecilia Garcia led the way in the open 3,200 in third (12:39.30). Anouk Guilmineau was fifth.

Kenzie Grant was fifth in the mile (5:30.30). The 800 relay of Jen Thul, Annalisa Padget, Fauland, and Sorenson captured eighth (1:55). Roberts, Sorenson, Thul and Fauland were fifth in the mile.

Battle Mountain returns to Grand Junction for regionals next weekend.

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


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