Put on the shoes: You’re a Husky
AVON – Welcome to the team of opportunity.When you put on the running shoes for Battle Mountain cross country, you take a slice right out of good old America values.”This team has got so many different personalities, and kids that come from such diverse backgrounds,” said Huskies’ coach Rob Parish. “It doesn’t matter what school they come from, what their previous experiences were. We figure if anyone is interested, we can turn them into a good runner.”With 75 individuals from all four of the area high schools, the Huskies’ harriers are the ultimate team.”Everyone being different makes it easy to get along,” said Colt Nelson, who attends Eagle Valley. “And it’s not usually like that. We all kind of have the missing pieces the others don’t have. If we were all the same, it’d be harder to get along.”Not only does Parish’s army of runners get along, but its also runs like the wind. Parish could be Lady Liberty with a bit of a twist: Instead of asking for the tired, the poor, the huddled masses yearning to breathe free, he turns his runners into the tired mass yearning to breathe.
“We all talk about how hard the workouts are,” said Heidi Sorenson. “And we also talk about how we are ready for the challenge.” Positive growthFive years ago, the Huskies had maybe 15 kids and weren’t much of a force in the Western Slope. Now, the Huskies have more kids than some schools and are the defending regional champions going into Saturday’s regional meet at Battle Mountain. The boys are ranked No. 1 in the state and the girls stand a good chance at returning to state again.”The one reason they’ve done well is that they want the team to do well for the benefit of the team,” Parish said. “They aren’t looking for individual accolades. The only common denominator of kids that stay on the team are kids that work hard and buy into the program.”Some of the kids joined the team in hopes of getting in shape for other sports, and ended up staying on the team for one reason or another.”I love it – you see everyone from different schools, and it helps us come together, so we’re not always rivals,” said Jamie Lee Roberts. “This is the best team sport I’ve been on.”Wednesday, when the team met at the Avon Recreation Center for its weekly pool training, the camaraderie couldn’t have been any more evident. Boys and girls, JV and varsity put on their swim suits, grabbed kickboards and jumped in the water. That was only after Lorenzo Macias strolled in donning a tie and a skin-tight speedo.”It’s a cast of characters,” Parish said.
Rappers, ranchers and runnersIn the offseason, you’ll find Jonny and MacKenzie Stevens on the ice, John O’Neill on the river and Ryan Walker on the ranch.Come spring, Kenzie Grant will be playing soccer for Vail Mountain while Molly McGee and Jessica Linder will be running track for Vail Christian.Oh, and Tony Crisofulli sometimes runs a bit more in the fall – on the soccer field. Nelson, who moved to the area from Cortez last year, feels lucky to have such a tight-knit group of friends.”I get along with them really well – they are some of my best friends. I think of them as family,” Nelson said.For Jamie Fahrmeyer, it’s pretty easy to summarize the Huskies’ experience.”We have fun, mess around and do well,” Fahrmeyer said.Back again?
After last weekend’s sweep at the Battle Mountain Invitational, the Huskies are ready to run regionals on the same course.The boys will see tough competition in Moffat, who finished third at the Invite, and Montrose, who wasn’t there.”They are both fantastic teams,” Parish said.While the girls did beat Summit and Glenwood, both of those teams held out some top runners.”Our number one objective is to make it to state,” Parish said.The top four teams on each side will qualify, as well as the top 15 individual runners.”We’re ready for this,” Sorenson said. “We’ve been training all year.”Sports Writer Ian Cropp can be reached at 748-2935 or firstname.lastname@example.org.Vail Colorado
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