The Laramie High School cross country team raced in their conference meet in Rock Springs on October 12, where the boys team got second place and the girls team got third. This is the last race for Wyoming high school cross country teams before their state meet in Sheridan.

“Conference was really windy and tough but the cross team has been through all different types of weather,” Abigail Whitman, a junior on the varsity cross country team, said.

The conference meet was a chance for the team to test their strength and prepare for state, where they will show how they have improved this year, according to Whitman.

The team’s coaches are Greg Schabron, Kyle Stucky, and Mike Pearce.

At the beginning of the season, the team had 53 runners, but as the season progresses, the team shrinks down to only junior varsity and varsity, then to only varsity. Only 28 runners went to conference, 14 boys and 14 girls, and only 14 total will go to state.

Going into state, the girls team is ranked very high, and the boys team is slightly lower.

“We’re thinking they [the boys team] are probably under ranked,” Schabron said. “They’ve got a lot of pressure because the boys have won state the last six years in a row.”

It will be difficult for the boys team to continue their state championship streak, with a few of their best runners from last season having graduated, but the team has some talented underclassmen as well.

“We will rest up and get ready to run harder than we’ve had to in the past at state,” said Jordan Tangeman, a runner on the boys varsity team.

The girls team is hopeful that they could win a state championship of their own.

“The girls team has been really competitive this year and we are bringing many girls to state,” Whitman said, “This shows that all of us are really close with times and have been fighting for places on varsity.”

The boys team’s biggest competition at state is Evanston, according to Schabron, and Natrona County, a Casper school, is the favorite for the girls state championship.

The athletes on the cross country team devote a lot of their time to the sport. Their weekly practices typically include a hard workout on Monday or Wednesday, an easy run on Tuesday, Thursday, and Friday, and a long run on Saturday. The team also lifts weights on
Tuesdays and Thursdays, and often runs or swims on Monday and Wednesday mornings.

After state, some of the runners will compete at Nike Cross Regionals, and depending on their performance there, Nike Cross Nationals. These races bring together runners from across the country to compete.