Middaugh brothers break Battle Mountain High record in cross-country

The Huskies dominate in Delta

Battle Mountain High School senior Sullivan Middaugh runs out front Friday while his younger brother Porter chases him at the Delta Invitational. The brothers finished 1-2 in the race, breaking the school record for fastest time in a 5K.
Courtesy photo

One misstep on the home stretch Friday at the Delta Invitational and Sullivan Middaugh’s brother, Porter, would have passed him to claim a new school record.

But Sullivan did not misstep, nor has he at any point this season, said his coach, Rob Parish.

As a result, Sullivan, Battle Mountain High School senior, won the race and now holds a new school record of 15 minutes, 30 seconds, the fastest time recorded by the Huskies at a cross-country meet. Porter’s second-place time, 15:34, also breaks the record in place since 2019. In 20 years as a coach, Parish has seen the record broken five times.

Most of those records had been set on the Delta course, Parish said. The previous record was set by Nico Piliero, who ran the Delta in 15:39.

“I went into it with that being my goal,” Sullivan said. “A lot of the training and the courses we run, it’s a little more hilly — and this race was super flat.”

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Porter is a sophomore and said if all goes as planned, he will have two more runs at the Delta course. He’s already excited about his chance to beat his brother’s record next season. If Sullivan would have tripped on an exposed root on the course on Friday, “I think race instinct would definitely have had me racing by him,” Porter said.

Porter said one of his goals is to beat Sullivan at a race before he graduates . He has a few more chances as the regular season concludes next week, followed by regional and state competitions.

Sullivan’s goals are for the short term, he said.

“I definitely set goals for each race, but it depends on what the competition is like or what the course is like,” he said.

One of his accomplishments this season was a sixth-place finish at the St. Vrain International meet, Sullivan said, because he was facing some of the fastest runners from the biggest schools in the state. The Huskies varsity boys won decisively on Friday, putting five runners in the top 10. The Huskies girls also won by a slim margin.

The Huskies boys put five runners in the top 10 to win easily at Delta.
Courtesy photo

Chasing Dad

In many of the local races he enjoys, Sullivan chases his father, Josiah, who has been the country’s top off-road triathlon racer for nearly two decades, reaffirming that status once again in September by returning to the top finishing American position the Xterra USA championship for the 15th time after taking off in 2019 and 2020.

Sullivan often finds himself sandwiched in the position of chasing his dad while his brother nips at his heels, something he says he enjoys.

But Josiah, watching from the sidelines Friday, said he doubts he would have been able to place in the top two if he would have been in the race.

Josiah said Sullivan’s edge is that he is coachable under Parish’s tutelage, perhaps more than even his guidance could offer.

“So much of what we say as parents kinda goes in one ear and out the other,” Josiah said. “So I try to stay out of the coaching and just guide him.”

Parish said Sullivan listens well and takes seriously the things that runners are not always thrilled about — things that don’t involve running but improve success in races.

“He’s one of the last ones out of the weight room. He does every rep,” Parish said. “He’s very good at injury prevention, the stretching, the rolling, the icing. He gets good rest. He does it all.”

Josiah has always enjoyed his own career as an athlete, saying off-road triathlon is simply more fun than the on-road variety, but said he recently has found more enjoyment in watching his kids race.

Sullivan said he too is trying to enjoy his senior year of high school as a running sports athlete.

“I’m just having fun with it,” he said.

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