ASPEN — The Battle Mountain Cross Country teams have raced predominately on the Front Range this season, regularly against the top 4A and 5A teams in the state. Saturday at the Chris Severy Invitational hosted by Aspen High School, that experience paid off. The Huskies absolutely dominated, sweeping the varsity and JV team titles to go along with some very strong individual races.
The girls varsity team had five scorers in the top 16 and all seven runners in the top 23. Hannah Gaylord led the way with a 6th place finish in 23:58. Close behind her was Kaela Fahrney in 7th place running a time of 23:59.
“Hannah was out strong and was with the leaders for a bit before they gapped her a little. She hung tough and even while she was running in no man’s land she was still pushing.” said Husky coach Rob Parish.
“The beginning of Fahrney’s race was a little more conservative, but she did a great job moving up throughout the race. She was actually charging up one of the long hills battling another girl as they were chasing Hannah. Freshman don’t always have that killer instinct to go after other runners and she really impressed the coaching staff the way she raced.”
Closing out the scoring for the Husky girls were Anabel Johnson, 10th 24:18, Megan Rossman, 11th 24:22, and Rychelle Denardo in 16th running 25:23.
“Having a pack that tight for our scoring five and having all seven girls in the top 25 is an incredible performance,” Parish said. “It speaks to all the hard work they have put in during the summer and throughout this season. Everyone of the girls looked great and they are set up to do really well these next few weeks.”
The boy’s varsity race went as well as the girls with the Huskies beating the second place team by almost 80 points. Cameron Moore was the top finisher in 2nd place running a time of 19:08. Other scorers for Battle Mountain were Alexis Aguirre, 5th 19:31,Ethan Pence, 7th 19:39, Ricky Arreola, 12th 20:06, and Josh Braun 17th 20:32.
“A great performance by the guys as well. They had six guys in the top 20 and seven in the top 35.” said Parish. “Everyone looked great. The times are much slower than we’ve seen since our home meet but Aspen’s race is a tough slow course.”
This is a slight change in philosophy for the Husky teams this late in the season.
“The coaching staff had a long debate back in the spring when we were fine tuning the meet schedule,” Parish said. “In the past we have gone to Windjammer or the regional preview, which would have been in Delta again. Both are super fast courses and would have been a nice opportunity to p.r. for our kids, but we decided that a course that is a little closer to the state meet was going to help the most. So we see these slower times, but that was all by design. I think the way guys and girls varsity and jv dominated today and the success they’ve had a races like Liberty Bell, means they will handle the different courses at regionals and state really well.”