If you go
What: Moffat County Cross-Country Invitational
When: Saturday; girls race starts at 10 a.m., boys race stats at 10:45 a.m.
Where: Loudy-Simpson Park in Craig
Steamboat Springs Steamboat Springs High School cross-country coach Andy Reust admits that his position is more of an administrative one.
Reust, in his second year with the cross-country program, took the job last year with several goals in mind. He wanted the cross-country and track and field teams to have some continuity from season to season, something he thought could be accomplished with a team of good, volunteer coaches.
“I got six of them,” Reust said. “We had four out (Tuesday). That’s not uncommon to have four with them every day. They give up their time to do that. It’s great because every assistant has something to give to these kids.”
Entering Saturday’s meet at Craig’s Loudy-Simpson Park, Reust said the Sailors have benefited tremendously from the efforts of those six volunteer coaches — Erin Becker, Erik Ramstad, Scott Brane, Greg Long, Jim Barker and Cassie Hannan.
“Being there, it’s brought a lot to me,” said Becker, a second-year math teacher at the high school. “It’s been great getting to work with the kids outside of school.”
Saturday’s meet begins with the girls race at 10 a.m. The boys start at 10:45 a.m. Times are expected to be slower Saturday after a tough week of running this week.
Nevertheless, as the team prepped for an off-campus run Wednesday after school, it wasn’t hard to see the enthusiasm brought back to the cross-country program.
“That’s one of the unique things about the program,” said Ramstad, who ran in high school in New Jersey and college in Ohio. “We have six volunteer coaches, and everybody brings a unique perspective.”
Running isn’t the huge team sport others are, and there are rarely bright lights to perform under. But each runner has found something unique in the volunteer coaches.
“I know from my daughter (that) high school kids don’t always talk to their parents,” said Long, a local running enthusiast who designs most of the team’s workouts. “When they go out today, they have an adult mentor they talk about things with on the trail. We have a huge age range and personalities. What I love is the kids can pick any mentor they are comfortable with.”