LITTLETON, Colo. — Battle Mountain Cross Country took on some fierce competition on the Front Range Friday, Sept. 26, at the Dave Sanders Invitational hosted by Columbine High School. Battle Mountain was one of only two 4A teams to race Division 1.
The girls finished a respectable 7th place in a field that included many of the Top 10 5A teams in the state. Led by Hannah Gaylord (32nd 20:47) the Huskies took on hot conditions and a slower course than in previous years. Hannah was out strong running in the top 20 through the first mile while a strong pack behind Rychelle Denardo held their excellent starting position.
Rychelle finished 41st 21:15 while the rest of the scoring contingent for the Huskies included Anabel Johnson (58th 21:33), Megan Rossman (72nd 21:52), and Kaela Fahrney (22:00).
“The girls saw how packed the guys’ race was and made some adjustments at the start and had an absolutely perfect start,” said Coach Rob Parish. “We did not back off at all this week in training; in fact, it was probably one of the most aggressive workout schedules we have had leading up to a race.
“Throw in the difficult conditions and a super-competitive field and none of our kids were set up to be world beaters this weekend. All the coaches were incredibly proud of both the guys and girls teams for competing the way they did. As the season winds down we will definitely pull back and hopefully see the kids respond well to the extra energy.”
The boys race was the first of the day and also one of the hottest. Two-hundred and fifty runners at the start meant that it was very crowded and amid the tangle of elbows and legs the scoring 5 were buried deep in the pack at the start of the race.
Cameron Moore, who finished 2nd (43rd place 17:44) for the Huskies was leading the charge at the mile while a tight group of Huskies worked their way up through the crowd behind him. Alexis Aguirre ended up closing on Cameron after running a very strong 3rd mile, finishing in the top 34 in 17:34. Closing out the scoring for the boys were Ethan Pence (63rd 17:59), Ricardo Arreola in (69th 18:02), and Josh Braun (89th 18:22).
All in all it was a successful day on the Front Range, and also marked the varsity debut of Nathaniel Badger for the boys and Liz Constien, Sarah Smith and Alex Raichart for the girls.