Battle Mountain boys harriers win home meet, girls take third
Porter Middaugh leads the Huskies boys with a fourth-place showing; Devils boys take fifth
The harder the course, the better for Battle Mountain’s varsity cross-country teams. The Huskies boys and girls proved that point Saturday at their only home meet of the season on the challenging Maloit Park course in Minturn.
“We like the grind-it-out courses,” said Battle Mountain coach Rob Parish. “It’s a really tough course. It’s at 8,000 feet, there are quite a bit of hills, and quite a bit of uneven footing. It’s a true cross-country course.”
Sophomore Porter Middaugh took fourth overall to help lead the Huskies boys to a team win, while junior Milaina Almonte and sophomore Lindsey Whitton finished fourth and sixth to lead the Huskies girls to a third-place team finish.
Saturday’s race marked Porter Middaugh’s season debut, and Parish has yet to run Porter’s older brother, senior Sully Middaugh, who is still recovering from a nagging injury.
Two senior runners from Durango, Land Lambert and Damian Frausto, finished 1-2 in Saturday’s boys race, with Lambert clocking the winning time of 16 minutes, 47 seconds on the 5-kilometer course.
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Junior Sam Kapner of Monarch was third (17:19), followed by Porter Middaugh (17:25).
Battle Mountain’s boys easily won with 53 points with its top five runners going 4-7-11-12-19, followed by Mead with 69 and Durango in third with 107.
Eagle Valley High School, led by junior Jake Drever’s sixth-place finish (17:51) took fifth overall as a team.
Junior William Brunner, who was Battle Mountain’s top runner at the season opener, finished in 17:52 for seventh, while sophomore Jorge Sinaloa turned in a career-best result of 11th in 18:14.
Parish let some of his top runners rest for the opening meet of the season — the Peak to Peak Invitational in Lafayette — because the state track meet was late in the summer. The coach singled out Sinaloa for stepping up with Sully Middaugh out.
“He’s never been as high as our third runner, especially on a winning team,” Parish said.
Senior Trey Martin (12th, 18:22), senior Kaden Williams (19th, 18:35) rounded out Battle Mountain’s scorers. The other varsity finishers for the Huskies were junior Bergen Drummet (32nd, 19:21) and sophomore Theo Krueger (50th, 21:28).
For Eagle Valley, the other finishers to score after Drever were senior Ferguson St. John (15th, 18:25), sophomore Cooper Filmore (28th, 19:01), senior Lukas Bergsten (36th, 19:29), and sophomore Armando Fuentes (38th, 20:07).
In the girls race, Summit freshman Ella Hagan won with a time of 19:55, followed by Durango junior Willow Lott (20:46) and Durango senior Tea Forrest (20:53).
Battle Mountain junior Milaina Almonte’s fourth-place finish (21:03) led a 4-6-15-19-40 team effort for the Huskies to claim third. The other Huskies runners to score were sophomore Lindsey Whitton (sixth, 21:16), sophomore Lindsey Kiehl (15th, 22:23), sophomore (19th, 22:56) and junior Gabby Leonardo (40th, 24:45).
Junior Molly Roberts finished just one spot behind Leonardo in 24:47
“Addie Beuche — she had her best day as a Husky for us,” Parish said, who adding the highlight of the day was seeing sophomore Presley Smith return to competition as she recovers from injuries from a car accident over the summer. “It was uplifting to see Presley return.”
Smith was second overall in the junior varsity race.
Durango’s girls took the team win with 39 points, followed by Monarch (81) and Battle Mountain (84).
Eagle Valley’s girls took ninth as a team, led by senior Jordan Neifert in ninth (21:42). The other Devils finishers were sophomore Ellie Shroll (26th, 23:30), senior Anastacia Baker (51st, 25:38)junior Hayley Bates (65th, 27:58), Karelly Gallegos (66th, 28:09), junior Addison Marsh (68th, 28:47) and sophomore Ava Bergsten (72nd, 29:40)