Laramie High School senior Abigail Whitman won the 4A State Cross Country meet, capping off her high school career with a state championship.

The competition was held on Saturday Oct. 26 in Afton, Wyo.

Whitman finished the 5k course in 19:11.99, nearly 30 seconds faster than the second-place finisher. 

“Sadness and happiness crossed my mind when I crossed the finish line because it was my last high school cross country race, which was really sad, but I was also really happy that I won it and could go out one last time,” Whitman said.

Whitman has been on the team since her freshman year; however, she has been running much longer than that. In middle school Whitman was winning every competition by a large margin. 

“I was drawn to running from my friends like, Marlena Meyer and Jayla Wulff, and then also my siblings ran as well, and I think I just really enjoyed the individual aspect of the sport and being able to find new limits of myself,” Whitman said.

Over the years Whitman has developed into one of the strongest runners and competitors that LHS and Wyoming have ever seen.

Whitman attributes her success to working hard every day, running throughout the year, having her coaches motivate her, and running with her teammates.

“My favorite part of being on the team has definitely been the people on it and the coaches, Sharon and Stucky and coach Piece when he was here…it was really fun having them as coaches, and then everyone who joins the team are really great people,” Whitman said.

Whitman’s career hasn’t been without challenges though, as last year her performance was severely impacted by serious shin splints. Not only did these impacts the result of many of her races during last year’s season, but they also ruined her chances of going to Nike Cross Nationals (NXN).

“I think I have a really good chance of making it to nationals this year; last year I did so bad because I had shin splints,” Whitman said.

Nike Cross Regionals (NXR) is on November 16 in Boise, Idaho and is a race between the top girls in the Northwest region which includes Alaska, Hawaii, Idaho, Montana, Oregon, Washington and Wyoming

Whitman will continue to train for NXR over the coming weeks, and if she does well enough at the competition, she will qualify for NXN, which takes place in Portland, Ore. on Dec 7.

“Running has taught me to work hard in all aspects of my life and to keep pushing through even in rough times and to keep going because in the end its going to be great and I’ll hopefully get good results from it,” Whitman said.

This isn’t the end of Whitman’s running career, as she hopes to continue running at a collegiate level next year, as well as throughout her life.