Perfect 10: Huskies girls win regional meet
Samantha Blair goes back-to-back
Mandy Ortiz, Sydney Gaylord, Val Constien, Jenai Denardo, Samantha Katz, Nicole Marengo and Bridgett Courtois are the answer.
“Who started Battle Mountain’s regional dynasty?” is the question.
It was October 19, 2011 and the Huskies upset Durango — the Demons were considered the favorites, according to milesplit.com’s virtual meet. The team was coached by Ken Long with some guy named Rob Parish as an assistant.
Elliot Pribramsky was 9; Hayley Brewster 8 and Riley Walker Parish a whopping 4 months back then. Pribramsky and Brewster are now seniors on the Battle Mountain team that won their 10th consecutive CHSAA Class 4A Region 1 Cross-County Meet on Thursday at Gypsum Creek Golf Course. (And Riley, now 9, is five years away from running for dad.)
“It’s amazing,” Pribramsky said. “My last year being the 10th is really fun, especially because everyone on the team had a great race.”
If running doesn’t work out for Pribramsky, she can go into sports journalism. She broke down the girls race pretty succinctly. The Huskies had all five of their scorers in the top 10 and six in the top 11.
Battle Mountain scored just 34 points, miles ahead of second-place Green Mountain (115). Naturally, head coach Parish told the girls after their cool-down run that Huskies had only squeaked by Green Mountain, 114-115.
“I think it’s pretty special to know how long the program has been good,” Brewster said. “We knew we were going into a good program and it’s good we kept it that way.”
And, yes, it’s probably staying that way because four of the six Huskies who ran on Thursday are sophomores or fresh-people.
It doesn’t get old for Parish, especially in a year where everything was in doubt for everyone with COVID-19.
“Every team is special,” Parish said. “Whether they go to state or don’t qualify, we have a great time with every team. It’s not lost on us how fortunate we are to make a run like this. Each win is unique for that group.”
We probably need to be more specific here. Eagle Valley’s Samantha Blair repeated as regional champion with a time of 18 minutes, 2 seconds. Not only is it a regional crown, but it’s the new course record.
“That’s really exciting,” Blair said. “That’s the best race I could have asked for.”
And Region 1 played well in Nashville, Tennessee. Not long after the race, Samantha Blair was on the phone with the 2018 Region 1 champion, Joslin Blair, who called her congratulations from Vanderbilt.
Being on her home course helped. Samantha Blair knew by 800 meters to go that this one was over.
Blair has more to do this year. She finished third at state last year and wouldn’t mind creeping up a spot or two.
“It’s definitely about keeping my pace during the third mile,” she said. “I have to keep going hard and keep my momentum.”
Eagle Valley’s girls were heartbreakingly close, just six points behind Glenwood Springs, for the last team spot at state.
Huskies boys qualify
Battle Mountain’s boys finished second behind Conifer, 46-75.
Sullivan Middaugh led the Huskies to a state berth, finishing fifth. While it’s not his home course, the Battle Mountain junior knows Gypsum Creek.
“In middle school, I ran it three times,” Middaugh said. “This’ll be three times in high school. I remember running sprints here with Samantha Blair.”
And that counts as good experience. As a result, Middaugh, despite the waves of the race, felt he was in good position. While finishing fifth individually was nice, Middaugh was happy for the team.
“That’s awesome,” he said. “It’s different this year because only three teams make it, instead of four. There’re 13 teams instead of 10. It got more competitive.”
With limited space at state, Eagle Valley’s boys finished fifth as a team, and did not qualify. Gage Nielsen’s bid for an individual invite came up short as the senior punched in at 16th.
The state meet is Oct. 17 in Colorado Springs.
CHSAA Class 4A Region 1 Cross-Country Meet
1. Conifer 46; 2. Battle Mountain 75; 3. Central 90 … 6. Eagle Valley104
5. Sullivan Middaugh, BM, 16:40
15. Porter Middaugh, BM, 17:20
16. Gage Nielsen, EV, 17:23
17. Ari Dennis, BM, 17:24
18. William Brunner, BM, 17:25
20. Jorge Sinaloa, BM, 17:28
22. Kaden Williams, BM, 17:39
32. Jake Drever, EV, 18:00
43. Dillon Flaagan, EV, 18:14
45. Lukas Bergsten, EV, 18:14 (tenths)
48. Charlie Callis, EV, 18:26
49. Zachary Yoder, 18:30
1. Battle Mountain 34; 2. Green Mountain 115; 3. Glenwood Springs 122 … 5. Eagle Valley 128.
- Samantha Blair, EV, 18:02
- Elliot Pribramsky, BM, 18:23
5. Milaina Almonte, BM, 19:16
8. Hayley Brewster, BM, 19:53
9. Lily Whelan, BM, 19:55
10. Lindsey Kiehl, BM, 20:22
11. Lindsey Whitton, BM, 20:26
18. Jordan Neifert, EV, 20:41
28. Ellie Shroll, EV, 21:28
30. Lucy McCann, EV, 21:31
51. Gabriela Fuentes, EV, 22:28
66. Karelly Gallegos, EV, 23:46
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