Surprises abound: Huskies boys second |

Surprises abound: Huskies boys second

Preston Utley/Vail DailyGrant Stevenson drafts behind Lake Countys Alex Williams in the 1600 meters before taking the lead and winning the race at the Eagle Valley Invite Saturday in Gypsum.

GYPSUM – Who are you people and what have you done with the Battle Mountain track and field team?The Huskies were definitely the surprise team of the Eagle Valley Invite Saturday. The boys soared to a second-place finish with 112 points behind Eagle Valley (148), while the girls were a very solid sixth.”Overall, the coaches are very, very impressed,” said a very happy Rob Parish after the meet. “We’re ahead of where we thought we would be. We have competitors and strong athletes in every event. We have strong balance in our team and continue to get stronger and stronger. It’s been a while since Battle Mountain’s been competing.”

On a day of surprises, the biggest of all was Aaron Wilcox. The freshman won the 100 meters in 11.24 seconds. Not only was it shocking for a Battle Mountain athlete to win a sprint – it hasn’t happened in a while – but the freshman upset Eagle Valley’s Sean Matheson, last year’s 3A state champion. Granted Matheson is not at full strength, but Saturday was one heck of a coming-out party for Wilcox.”Phenomenal. Obviously, he’s got a lot of talent and he’s going to be something special,” Parish said. “He’s doing really well right now. With some more training and some endurance, he’s going to be phenomenal. Sean’s obviously a fantastic runner and he’ll be in blazing speed by the end of the year. But it’s a great confidence boost for Aaron to win that race and have a good experience here.”

Zach Erickson had a good experience at Hot Stuff Stadium. He took the ACT in the morning and come out in the afternoon with a win in the 3200 with a personal best of 10 minutes, 39 seconds.Also a pleasant surprise was Ryan Hedrick. He won the 400 in 54.27.Shea Phelan had an unpleasant surprise in the 800, but overcame some technical difficulties with his shoelaces.”They came untied at about the 400 mark and then my other one came untied with about 300 to go,” Phelan said.

He still took second with a time of 2:12.14.Grant Stevenson wasn’t a surprise. He busted his way to win in the 1600 (4:45.49).”I was just told by Parish to stay with the second guy for as long as long as I felt the pace was all right,” the senior said. “So I stuck with him for two laps, and then going into the third lap on the backstretch, I just knew I had to go by him. I went past and I ran my third lap faster than my second lap. That’s the even bigger goal than my time.”

The boys 800, 1600 and 3200 relay teams all took second adding to Battle Mountain’s point total. The 3200 team perhaps is best poised for a run at state next month.”I’m just happy with how all of us have come together,” Phelan said. “Grant, Zach and I over the last three years have really been able to push ourselves. We’ve gotten to a place where we’re really comfortable with it. Travis is coming in as our youngest member of the team and is doing incredible. He never ceases to impress any of us.”Battle Mountain hosts Eagle Valley, Vail Christian, Aspen and Summit Wednesday at Eagle Valley at 2 p.m.Sports Editor Chris Freud can be reached at 949-0555, ext. 614, or

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