Stevens takes bronze in 3,200 meters
DENVER – This was the state 3,200 meters, wasn’t it?For a while, Friday’s 4A two-mile state championship race at Jeffco Stadium in Denver seemed like a 400 instead. D’Evelyn’s Kevin Williams won the race with a stunning time of 9 minutes, 19.83 seconds, breaking the state-meet 3,200 record by 9 seconds, and Battle Mountain’s Jonny Stevens captured bronze in 9:42.49.”It was nothing short of spectacular,” Huskies coach Rob Parish said. “He made a heroic effort. Jonny’s run fantastic all season, and he’s broken his school records and (set personal records). He’s the three-time regional champ. Today’s race, we talked about going for the win, and he certainly went for the win.”Stevens and Williams went out in 63 seconds, a ridiculously fast pace, during the first of eight laps.
“Going into it, we thought the winner was going to come through between 9:20 and 9:30,” Stevens said. “So we thought he was going to go out fast. We weren’t sure if he was going to go out alone or not. Kevin took off, and I just went with him.”Stevens logged a 4:36 split after the first mile. To put that in perspective, 4:35 used to be the open 1,600 Battle Mountain school record until Stevens broke it last year.Williams, the defending state champion in the 3,200, broke away from Stevens after five-and-a-half laps, and the Battle Mountain junior ended up falling to third behind Falcon’s Wes Rinkman.”It sounded a lot faster during the race,” said Stevens, who’s been all-state in cross country the last two falls. “After the race, I thought about it. I could have recovered. The sixth and seventh laps were killer for me.”
Stevens logged the highest finish for a Battle Mountain athlete at the state meet since the Huskies moved up to 4A. The previous high was logged by the 3,200 relay, on which Stevens competed last year.”It was the only play that he had and he made a bid to be the state champion,” Parish said. “I salute him and admire his courage to go for it.”Stevens’ teammate T.J. Simpson finished 10th.”T.J. and I were both talking to each other (after the race),” Stevens said. “We weren’t making a lot of sense. We were both dead, laying down on the grass of the infield. It was tough. It was cool to get up there and just be up there with the top guys.”
Huskies’ 4-by-2 advancesFor the first time since Battle Mountain moved up to 4A, the Huskies have sprinters competing in the finals on the state meet.The boys’ 800 relay of Andreas Apostol, Ascher Robbins, Aaron Wilcox and Todd Walker put together a 1:30.53 to advance to today’s finals.
“I think it’s the first time a sprint relay has made it to the final in 4A,” Parish said correctly. “Those 4-by-2 kids have pushed so hard and worked really well together, have really bought into the team aspect. They all get along well, and it’s really exciting for our track team to have all these different events going on and having kids succeeding in different areas.”In addition to the 800 relay, the Huskies have a bunch of athletes competing in the second day of the state meet. Levi Horn, Charlie Tedstrom, Eli Robertson, Lexi Horn and Olivia Fauland all spring into the pole vault. The girls’ 3,200 team of Marit Johnson, Heidi Sorenson, McKenzie Stevens and Jamie Lee Roberts take to the track.Jonny Stevens competes in the open 1,600, and then there’s the boys’ 3,200. Derek Byron, Travis Landauer, Tony Crisofulli and Stevens are just two-and-a-half seconds off 4A’s fastest time (8:06) this season in the two-mile relay.”We’re all very excited for that,” Stevens said. “We have lots of good racers. A lot of teams have one or two studs, guys who are going to put down 1:56s. We’re pretty consistent. If we all put down a good race, it’s going to be really close.” Sports Editor Chris Freud can be reached at 748-2934 or email@example.com.