Local runners ready to turn up the heat | VailDaily.com

Local runners ready to turn up the heat

This is not the Battle Mountain cross-country team. It is the Vail Valley Running Club, which is competing in today's Nike Cross Southwest Championships in Phoenix.
Special to the Daily |

4A Slope all-league

Girls

First team

Rychelle Denardo, Huskies

Elizabeth Constien, Huskies

Second team

Alex Raichart, Huskies

Megan Rossman, Huskies

Naomi Harding, Huskies

Lizzy Harding, Huskies

Boys

First team

Alexis Aguirre, Huskies

Ethan Pence, Huskies

Aiden Branch, Devils

Jake Borel, Huskies

Franklin Reilly, Huskies

Second team

Brandon Sheard, Devils

Isac Sotello, Huskies

Koby Simonton, Huskies

EDWARDS — It will be warmer today.

This is not the weather section, but just look at it from the point of view of the Vail Valley Running Club.

The club, an iteration of Battle Mountain cross-country, which, of course, cannot be called Huskies cross-country, due to CHSAA rules, trained on Friday morning in the snow. Today, the group runs at the Nike Cross Southwest Championships in Phoenix.

It should be warmer.

The Vail Valley Flying Parishes — OK, we just made up that mascot — are competing in this showdown of the best of Nevada, Utah, Colorado, Arizona and New Mexico. For the purposes of this race, the local runners are considered a “small school,” fewer than 1,000 students.

The Vail Valley girls are ranked No. 1 in the region among the small-school division, while the gents are No. 3.

That said, the ladies will not be competing in the “small school.” For the fourth year in a row, the ladies qualified for the open division. Alex Aguirre also qualified for the open division by running a time of 15 minutes, 54 seconds at regionals last month. In the world of running, that time at altitude translates to below the necessary 15:45 to qualify.

The Flying Parishes are simultaneously at an advantage and a disadvantage for today’s race. The elevation of Phoenix is about 1,000 feet, which means there will copious amounts of oxygen for runners.

On the other hand, the forecast high is 80 degrees, which would be really warm for a preseason meet in August for those from the Colorado high country. The team was doubtless consuming water nonstop and eating its fair share of bananas to avoid cramping.

“It’s a great way to end the season,” said Rob Parish, the coach of the Vail Valley Running Club. “It’s exciting for our girls to be on such a big stage and the guys have been working hard as well. I had them running in spikes in the snow.”

Sports Editor Chris Freud can be reached at 970-748-2934, cfreud@vaildaily.com and @cfreud.