Winning is good, especially when you don’t know you’re winning.
Battle Mountain and Eagle Valley did a lot of winning on Saturday. The Huskies teams won their version of the Cheyenne Mountain Stampede, aka pre-state, with Sullivan Middaugh and Elliot Pribramsky picking up individual titles.
Meanwhile, in Grand Junction, Eagle Valley’s boys topped the field at the Tiger Invitational at Grand Junction. Gage Nielsen led the way there.
Yes, it was the Cheyenne Mountain Stampede on what will be the state course next month. Saturday’s race also had the informal moniker of pre-state, but in these coronavirus days, this wasn’t the traditional pre-state field.
Air Academy and Cheyenne Mountain and their ilk ran Friday night, so don’t order all that state gear yet. But, as Huskies coach Rob Parish said, “It’s always good to take home some buckles from this race.”
Middaugh won his wave and the race by topping the competition from Conifer. Meanwhile, Pribramsky was on her own. Race organizers tried to seed the waves to have the top runners in one heat, but it’s still early season and it’s hard to predict.
Pribramsky essentially ran a time-trial and came out on top. It speaks well of her ability to run her race. It also gives her some experience in the bank for what could be an unpredictable season.
“I don’t know how they’re going to seed the state meet,” Parish said. “They’ll try to seed everyone, but we have to improve your time-trial running. You may be running by yourself, but you’re also running against different waves.”
The “kids” continued to impress for the Huskies. Ari Dennis was sandwiched by Middaughs — Sully and Porter — in the top 10. William Brunner had a head-turning performance in 12th.
The ladies put on a show, going 1-3-4-5-6-7. Now step back. Milaina Almonte (third) and Lily Whelan (fourth) are sophomores. Lindsey Kiehl (fifth), Lindsey Whitton (sixth) and Presley Smith (seventh) are first-years. The Huskies aren’t writing off this year by any means, but the next generation is definitely now.
Eagle Valley caught the Tiger by the tail at the Tiger Invitational. The Devils boys topped all comers on Saturday.
Running on the old Anna Banana course for the first time since the regional meet in 2016, Eagle Valley stretched its collective legs on a fast course.
If you’ve followed Devils’ cross-country, well, coach Melinda Brandt likes to see her runners in a pack. The gents obliged. While Nielsen and Jake Drever cracked 17 minutes and the top 10, the rest of the Devils were spaced by a mere 43 seconds.
Zach Yoder and Lukas Bergsten also had a duel to the finish with Yoder winning by 1-tenth of a second.
“We’re dropping times like crazy,” Brandt said. “It was good to see where we stand on a flat course.”
For the ladies, Jordan Neifert logged a personal best, and frosh Ellie Shroll was a pleasant surprise in fourth on the team’s pecking order.
The Hoss Awards went to Nielsen and Neifert.
Junior Samantha Blair, meanwhile, was down at Heritage and finished fourth there with a time of 17 minutes, 38 seconds. She is still very good at running.
Eagle Valley Invitational
The Devils host their home meet next week at Gypsum Creek. Not only do the Huskies and Devils get to sleep in a bit, but the race is a regional preview.
The boys race at 9 a.m., followed by the girls at 9:45.
Devils at Tiger Invitational
- 2. Gage Nielsen, 16:22
- 9. Jake Drever, 16:59
- 10. Ferguson St. John, 17:20
- 13. Zach Yoder, 17:51.6
- 14. Lukas Bergsten, 17:51.7
- 18. Dillon Flaagan, 18:00
- 19. Charlie Callis, 18:03
- 8. Jordan Neifert, 19:57
- 15. Lucy McCann, 20:57
- 22. Stacia Baker, 21:24
- 29. Ellie Shroll, 21:45
- 33. Gaby Fuentes, 22:28
- 40. Karelly Gallegos, 23:40
- 42. Ana Garcia, 24:12
Huskies at Cheyenne Mountain Stampede
- 1. Sullivan Middaugh, 16: 43
- 7. Ari Dennis, 17:25
- 10. Porter Middaugh, 17:31
- 12. William Brunner, 17:55
- 13. Trey Martin, 18:07
- 16. Kaden Williams, 18:19
- 1. Elliot Pribramsky, 19:19
- 3. Milaina Almonte, 20:05
- 4. Lily Whelan, 20:38
- 5. Lindsey Kiehl, 21:00
- 6. Lindsey Whitton, 21:31
- 7. Presley Smith, 21:46
This content was originally published here.