Vail Valley preps Huskies harriers shine at Fort Collins |

Vail Valley preps Huskies harriers shine at Fort Collins

FORT COLLINS – Look out for Battle Mountain cross country.

The Huskies served notice at the season-opening Fossil Ridge Invitational in Fort Collins as the boys finished 10th in a field of more than 30 teams. Since this course doubles as the state-meet course in October, the Fossil Ridge Invite attracts the state’s best and it appears that the Huskies will be in the mix.

David Shearon finished ninth out of a huge field with a time of 16 minutes, 44 seconds. That was his state-meet time last fall on the same course, which is good for him and the Huskies and scary for the state.

Eric Gallagher was Battle Mountain’s No. 2 in 18:12. Mitch Walker was right behind in 18:16, a full minute faster than he was in last fall’s opening race in Fort Collins. Remsen Allard destroyed his old personal record with a 19:01, and Eric Spy was just that in 19:27.

The Huskies also had a pleasant surprise from the JV ranks. Freshman David Suarez ripped off a 19:01 and will be running varsity next week at Leadville.

“With the boys, every single one of them ran faster on this course than they did last year,” Huskies coach Ken Long said. “That’s a good starting point for them.”

It was much the same story for the veteran runners on the girls’ side. Amelia Ortiz finished in 17th with a 20:19, pretty much picking up where she left off at state last season. Maddie Stevens was a full two minutes faster at Fort Collins one year later with a 23:43.

Freshman Mandy Ortiz impressed with a 24:47. Sam Engle slashed two minutes from her mark at last year’s opening, clocking a 26:50. Val Rivero rounded out the scoring with a 28:07 as the ladies finished 22nd in a competitive meet.

The Huskies almost lost Gina Lovell, who was on a pace to set her own personal-best, before a course marshal mistakenly sent her and a pack of runners in the wrong direction, adding a mile to her run.

“She ran four miles instead of three,” Long said. “I was getting really worried. We were looking all over for her. We were all joking that she’s four best four-mile racer.”

Battle Mountain is next in action on Saturday up in Leadville. The Colorado Mountain College course is considered one of the toughest tests of the season.

Saints 2-1 at Grand Valley

PARACHUTE – Vail Christian volleyball took third at the Grand Valley Invitational Saturday.

The Saints started with a loss to North Park, 25-19, 25-23, 17-25, 25-20, but bounced back nicely with wins over 3A Grand Valley (25-21, 21-25, 25-22, 25-15) and conference foe Soroco (25-14, 25-17, 23-25, 25-16).

Senior Beri Dwyer was named to the All-Tournament Team.

“We did well,” Saints coach Cathy Alexander said. “Early on in the season, it’s all about learning cohesion as a team, We had some really bright sports and we had some learning opportunities.”

Vail Christian (3-1) is next in action with nonconference matches in a triangular in Meeker on Friday against Hayden and the host Cowboys.

Sports Editor Chris Freud can be reached at 970-748-2934 or

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