Vail Valley Running Club finishes third at Nike Cross Nationals
The girl’s Vail Valley Running Club finished third in the nation Saturday at the Nike Cross Nationals in Portland, Oregon.
The girl’s Vail Valley Running Club (aka Battle Mountain High School) shocked the high school cross-country running world by finishing an astounding third in the nation Saturday at the Nike Cross Nationals in Portland, Oregon.
Just two clubs, Manlius and N. Naperville, finished ahead of Vail Valley, by far the smallest school among the 22 competing at nationals. Vail Valley emerged from the Southwest Regionals by winning that race in Casa Grande, Arizona, on Nov. 28.
Vail Valley junior Naomi Harding was the top runner on the Vail Valley squad, finishing 55th on the muddy, hilly course, with a 5K time of 18 minutes, 45.5 seconds.
She was followed closely by Vail Valley senior Elizabeth Constien in 58th with a time of 18:49.6. Constien was the individual Colorado state champion on Battle Mountain’s overall state championship team.
Next in the scoring for Vail Valley was senior Alex Raichart in 65th with a time of 19:00.3.
Then it was Naomi’s sister Lizzy Harding, also a junior, with a time of 19:06.4 — good enough for 73rd.
Closing out the scoring for Vail Valley was sophomore Grace Johnson in 92nd with a time of 19:14.8.
“What a journey it has been!” coaches posted on the team’s Facebook page. “So proud of this team and these amazing young women!”
Vail Valley junior Brogan Murray finished 101st with a time of 19:27.3, and Vail Valley senior Megan Bamford was 168th with a time of 20:30.8.
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David O. Williams is an award-winning freelance reporter based in the Vail Valley of Colorado, writing on health care, immigration, politics, the environment, energy, public lands, outdoor recreation and sports. His work has appeared in 5280 Magazine, American Way Magazine (American Airlines), the Anchorage Daily News (Alaska), Aspen Daily News, Aspen Journalism, the Aspen Times, Beaver Creek Magazine, the Chicago Tribune, the Colorado Independent (formerly Colorado Confidential), Colorado Politics (formerly the Colorado Statesman), Colorado Public News, the Colorado Springs Gazette, the Colorado Springs Independent, the Colorado Statesman (now Colorado Politics), the Colorado Times Recorder, the Daily Trail (Vail), the Denver Daily News, the Denver Post, the Durango Herald, the Eagle Valley Enterprise, the Eastside Journal (Bellevue, Washington), ESPN.com, the Glenwood Springs Post-Independent, the Greeley Tribune, the Huffington Post, the King County Journal (Seattle, Washington), KUNC.org (northern Colorado), LA Weekly, the London Daily Mirror, the Montgomery Journal (Maryland), The New York Times, the Parent’s Handbook, Peaks Magazine (now Epic Life), People Magazine, Powder Magazine, the Pueblo Chieftain, PT Magazine, Rocky Mountain Golf Magazine, the Rocky Mountain News, Atlantic Media's RouteFifty.com (formerly Government Executive State and Local), SKI Magazine, Ski Area Management, SKIING Magazine, the Summit Daily News, United Hemispheres (United Airlines), Vail/Beaver Creek Magazine, Vail en Español, Vail Valley Magazine, the Vail Daily, the Vail Trail and Westword (Denver). Williams is also the founder, publisher and editor of RealVail.com and RockyMountainPost.com.