Stevens lowers his own two-mile school record
ARCADIA, Calif. – Battle Mountain track’s Jonny Stevens spent most of last spring erasing Chris Isbell from the Huskies’ record book. This spring, he seems intent on lower his own numbers.Stevens sliced 14 seconds off his old 3,200-meter record last weekend at the Arcadia (Calif.) Invitational with a time of 9 minutes, 35 seconds.While the record was nice, what was even more valuable for Stevens, Tony Crisofulli, Travis Landauer and Derek Byron, who also competed in open events in Southern California, was the experience against top-notch competition.
“The pacing was the big difference,” Stevens said. “The altitude and the level of competition changed what you were able to do. Rather than pulling someone else along, you were being pulled along by another 20 guys.”Huskies coach Rob Parish took his top long-distance runners to Arcadia for that exact reason. “The best races are run at an even pace,” Parish said. “It takes a lot of racing experience to get there. One of the big reasons we wanted to take the guys down there is that it makes such a difference in the distance events.”
Crisofulli ran the 1,600 in 4:36, just 3 seconds off Stevens school mark. Byron (2:03) and Landauer (2:04) both put up solid times in the 800.After finishing 17th in the 3,200 relay earlier in the weekend, the quartet got a bit of a wake-up call against high-caliber competition. While Stevens was competing in the second-highest division in the meet, the winning time in the top-tiered 3,200 was a sizzling 8:59.”It’s definitely humbling,” Stevens said. “We’re kind of all like rock stars on the Western Slope. It’s cool to see how much the work we’ve already put in has paid off. We also see how much work we need to do.”
Battle Mountain has the weekend off for spring break. The Huskies head to Rifle April 20.Sports Editor Chris Freud can be reached at 748-2934 or firstname.lastname@example.org.