Wednesday, September 6, 2000
Steamboat Springs Bryn Weaver hopes her 2000 cross-country team can repeat the success it had last year, when the Steamboat Sailors girls team qualified for states, and two individuals from the boys team made it to the finals.
Weaver, a senior, said the feat is likely because Steamboat has more than doubled its number of runners since 1999. This season, the girls and boys teams have 34 members in the program. Last year, coach John Smith had only 15 runners on the team.
"I think we're going to do really, really well," Weaver said. "We're going to have a large team with a lot of new runners."
The Sailors, who travel to Lake County High School Saturday for their opening meet, will be competing with 40 teams from around the state in the Leadville tournament.
"We're all looking forward to Leadville," Weaver said. "It's going to be really competitive."
The cross-country teams began practice Aug. 14 and have been running strong since.
The teams run 4 to 8 miles per day and do various speed workouts, hill climbs and mini-time trials. Tuesdays and Thursdays entail additional weight training.
Weaver said the sport is mentally challenging, but it helps teach her discipline and hard work.
Smith said the team is more experienced this year and has a number of runners who have the capability to run at the college level.
Smith said his troops are shaping up nicely and feels he has a diverse team. Steamboat hails runners from Christian Heritage School, Lowell Whiteman School and Soroco High School, all of which are without cross-country programs of their own.
The goal for the 2000 season is for the Sailors to make it back to the state finals, Smith said.
"I'm really looking for a top-10 finish in state finals for both teams," he said. "I think we're going to have one of the strongest teams we've had in the past 10 years."
The team may have done well in 1999, but Weaver said the No. 1 priority is to focus on the current schedule. Weaver said cross country is both a team and an individual game.
"It's definitely a mental sport," Weaver said. "It's demanding both physically and mentally. I run because I think it's fun, and to see how hard I can push myself."
Smith said he feels his his runners have worked hard during the off-season and are well prepared for their schedule.
"The cross-country kids are some of the best kids in the high school," Smith said. "They're also some of the strongest students in the school."
The Saturday tournament at Lake County High School begins at 9:30 a.m. The Sailors host the Steamboat Springs Invitational tournament Sept. 16 at 8:30 a.m. State finals are scheduled to start Oct. 28.
To reach Eric Rineer call 871-4229 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org