Rifle’s Ana Robinson finishes first at Coal Ridge Invite

Jaymin Kanzer
For the Post Independent
Battle Mountain runners compete during the Coal Ridge Invitational on Friday.
Jaymin Kanzer/Post Independent

Although the first lap was led by two Battle Mountain Huskies running in stride with each other, Rifle Bears junior Ana Robinson still jetted for first place during the Coal Ridge Invitational hosted at VIX Park in New Castle on Friday.

Once Robinson took the lead for the girls, she kept pace with the bike and darted for the finish line. Her first place was secured with a time of 20:56.80.

“I was pretty sure I could win,” Robinson said. “It was my third time racing on this course. I just had to keep picking off everyone in front of me. It was a slow process, but what’s nice about this course is you can zero in on whoever is in front of you, and once you pass them, you move on to the next.”

Robinson is an incredible teammate. Immediately after finishing a cup of water, she returned to the course to help her struggling teammates finish the race. Robinson was the sole finisher in the top 10 for Rifle. 

Five of the next six finishers after Robinson were Huskies. Coal Ridge senior Angelina Arce-Gallegos, however, took eighth place with 23:23.30 while sophomore teammate Rylee Hedberg took 10th with 24:13.50.

For the boys, Battle Mountain produced 60% of the top 10 finishers. This included the second-place finisher. Battle Mountain had 14 total finishers in the top 10 between the boys and the girls.

Coal Ridge boys still had a good showing for top 10 results. Titans seniors Asher Nichols and Dallin Karren took third and sixth places, respectively. Nichols nabbed 18:14 while Karren ended with 18:27.90.

Titans sophomore Jake Curt also chipped in, gaining ninth with 19:09.10.

Battle Mountain finished first in the boys’ and girls’ races, with 19 points from the boys and 20 from the girls. 

Five other teams joined the Huskies in New Castle as the best runners from Coal Ridge, Rifle, Meeker, West Grand, and Soroco made the trip early Friday morning. 

Battle Mountain senior Will Brunner took over the boys, shredding the 5k and finishing 2.5 minutes before his Husky counterpart. 

It was the first race of the senior’s season and the first time Brunner raced on the course that wraps around Riverside Middle School and Kathryn Senor Elementary before finishing in center field of the VIX Park ball field. 

“I’m really excited. Today was my first race of the season, so coming into the season this fit is really exciting,” Brunner said. “I’ve never done it. Today was my first time.”

Brunner said the course was a lot harder than he expected.

“The hills really take it out of you,” he said. It’s all uphill and then all downhill.” 

However, Brunner showed no signs of exhaustion, staying steps behind the pace bike throughout the race. His 15:36 time is a Coal Ridge Invitational record by almost two minutes. The Husky devoured the course with an astonishing five-minute mile pace. 

“The bike was definitely motivation, and it was a good pacer,” Brunner said. “She stayed ahead of me the whole time, but it felt like someone was with me, which helped a lot.”

The 17-year-old is already drawing D1’s interest, sheepishly revealing he has visited Duke and is planning to visit Wake Forrest and even Harvard. 

“The plan is to run in college,” he said.

When asked if we should expect to see him running in the world championships, another sheepish grin broke over his face.

“I don’t know, but I can hope so,” he said.

There is a meet on Saturday in Grand Junction before The Ramble at the Reservoir hosted by Ouray, Ridgeway and Silverton schools at Ridgeway State Park next Friday.

Support Local Journalism

Support Local Journalism

Readers around Glenwood Springs and Garfield County make the Post Independent’s work possible. Your financial contribution supports our efforts to deliver quality, locally relevant journalism.

Now more than ever, your support is critical to help us keep our community informed about the evolving coronavirus pandemic and the impact it is having locally. Every contribution, however large or small, will make a difference.

Each donation will be used exclusively for the development and creation of increased news coverage.