Vail Valley preps wrap for Saturday |

Vail Valley preps wrap for Saturday

Battle Mountain's Mitch Walker races to his first career victory Saturday at Aspen.

ASPEN – Battle Mountain cross country’s Mitch Walker was not looking good as he came down the home stretch

“Mitch’s eyes were starting to roll back,” Huskies coach Ken Long said. “I was thinking that Mitch had a great race and that second place was pretty good.”

Instead, Walker found something deep inside and took his man from Fruita Monument in the final 200 meters to win Saturday’s race, his first career win in 18 minutes, 23 seconds.

“All the coaches were like, ‘Did you just see that?'” Long said.

With the Huskies having run at Dakota Ridge on Tuesday and the team resting its top runners, David Shearon and Amelia Ortiz, it was a day for the squad’s No. 2 runners to shine.

Walker was heroic in victory and all freshman Sydney Gaylord did was take second in the girls’ race.

“It’s great to see our No. 2 runners step up to the challenge,” Long said. “They definitely built some character and broke through a new pain threshold. Sometimes, you can get comfortable. ‘David’s or Amelia’s got it.’ They both discovered another gear.”

David Suarez finished 16th in 19:49, followed by Remsen Allard (17th, 19:51), Charlie Barry (22nd, 20:07) and Mike Ball (26th, 22:24).

For the ladies behind Gaylord, it was Mandy Ortiz (13th, 24:07), Pearl Nanin (22nd, 25:15), Val Rivero (24th, 25:20) and Maddie Stevens (26th, 25:26).

Battle Mountain has its dress rehearsal for regionals with next week’s meet at Wiggins.

Devils pack it in … in a good way

ASPEN – If you don’t get to the finish line at the right time for Eagle Valley cross country, you’re going to miss the Devils.

Running quickly in cross country is vital, but so is running together. Not only do you support your teammates, but you also push back the competition.

So we give you the Eagle Valley boys on Saturday. Their five varsity runners all finished within 54 seconds of each other. That’s teamwork, kids.

Gregg Salaz finished 18th in 20:03, followed by Hunter Burnham (20:33), Ben Muehlethaler (20:52), Caleb Krueger (20:56), Aaron Kine (20:57).

“We’re just tightening it up,” coach Melinda Brandt said. “It’s really competitive, and that’s really good going into regionals.

With some pre-regional resting and a bit of the flu, the girls weren’t quite as tight, but good performances abounded. Fab froshes Nikki Cunning and Kira Quintana finished seventh and ninth, respectively. They were 23:36 and 23:56. Samantha Maddox (25:41), Logan Kinsler (25:42) and Taylor Claydon (26:43) rounded it out for the Devils.

Your Hoss Award winners for Aspen were Muehlethaler and Quintana.

Eagle Valley does it final run-through for regionals Thursday at Rifle and then caps the regular season Saturday with the Montrose Relays.


Vail Christian 56, North Park 16

WALDEN – Make it two in a row for Vail Christian football as the Saints trounced North Park, 56-16, Saturday to move to 2-1 in the Central League.

Quarterback Austin Ellsworth was sharp completing 12-of-18 passes for 198 yards and four touchdowns. Nigel Johnsen was caught seven of those passes for 146 yards and two scores, while Mack Cooper ground up 146 yards of rushing on 17 carries.

The Saints were down, 16-14, with 1:20 left in the first half before they mounted a beautiful no-huddle drive up the field to take the lead for good.

The Saints blew the game open with 36 unaswered points in the second half. Teller Emmer and Gunnar Hamina also found the end zone.

“Our offense exploded big time,” Saints coach Tim Pierson said. “Things just flowed and we executed.”

The Saints are 3-3 overall and 2-1 in the Central League with two games left in the regular season. Vail Christian is at Justice Saturday and home for West Grand next week. With Saturday’s win, the Saints assured themselves of a spot in crossover play with the Plains Conference.

Palisade 40, Battle Mountain 0

PALISADE – Battle Mountain football faced a tough uphill climb in a 40-0 loss Saturday at Palisade.

The Huskies (1-5 overall and 0-3 in the Slope) host Moffat County Friday at 7 p.m. in Edwards.


Soroco 3, Vail Mountain 2

EAST VAIL – Vail Mountain volleyball had a tough loss, but a good one Saturday against Soroco.

The visiting Rams edged the Gore Rangers, 20-25, 25-23, 17-25, 26-24, 16-14. Soroco won its three games by the minimum six points.

“We were pleased with the way we played,” VMS coach Mike Garvey said. “We had a few opportunities during the game, but couldn’t win the match.”

All that said, VMS looks to be very competitive come the district tournament in two weeks. In the meantime, the Gore Rangers host Vail Christian Tuesday at 6 p.m.

Eagle Valley 3, Glenwood Springs 0

GYPSUM – Much better.

Eagle Valley volleyball cruised to a 25-19, 25-17, 25-20 win against Glenwood Springs Saturday after a disheartening loss at Grand Junction Central earlier in the week.

“We played a lot better than we did against Central,” Devils coach Shawn Weatherred said. “We had a lot more intensity. It was a good match for us.”

Next up for Eagle Valley is a nonleague match Tuesday against Roaring Fork in Gypsum.

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

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