Except for a first-race sighting of Rifle and Glenwood Springs, the Steamboat Springs cross-country team hasn't had an opportunity to run against regional opponents.
Saturday, however, the Sailors travel to Craig for a meet hosted by Moffat County that includes teams from Palisade, Battle Mountain, Rifle and, of course, Moffat County.
"This is the first time we'll see Craig," senior Florie Van Baak said.
Moffat County did not attend Steamboat's meet Sept. 11 because the Bulldogs' varsity runners spent the first three weeks of the season at meets in Grand Junction and the Front Range.
As is the case in most sports contests involving the Sailors and Bulldogs, a friendly rivalry does exist, but it comes mostly from the fact that the two teams frequently compete against each other for regional honors.
At this point in the season, however, senior Jennifer Hooper, one of the state's top runners in Class 4A, said she hasn't paid much attention to regional runners or times.
At a meet last weekend at Air Academy that featured mostly 5A schools, Hooper finished sixth overall. The girls finished sixth overall as a team. Coronado won the meet with 39 points.
On the boys' side, junior Sam Tarrant led the way for Steamboat. The boys also finished sixth overall as a team. Rampart won the meet inside the Air Force Academy.
No times were kept.
Running varsity for the Steamboat girls' team were Hooper, Van Baak, Katie Conrath, Madison Proper, Colleen Treanor and Alyssa Walter. Running varsity for the Steamboat boys' team were Tarrant, Mike Gleason, Matt Hill, Marty Smith, Kieran Corrigan and Andy Garber.
"There is still a lot of room for us to drop times," Hill said about the boys' team, which has placed first and sixth in its two meets this season. "We didn't expect to be running this close to each other."
Sailors coach Glen Light hopes the Steamboat team goes into the Moffat County meet at Loudy-Simpson Park as an unknown and stays under the radar for the rest of the season. Van Baak said Saturday's course has a fast first mile. The course also includes a steep climb.
Other teams scheduled to be at Saturday's meet are Fruita-Monument, Green Mountain, Wyo., and Meeker.
The girls will start Saturday's meet at 10:15 a.m. The boys will begin running at 11:15 a.m.
-- To reach Melinda Mawdsley call 871-4208 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org