The final run of the season is here for the Laramie High School cross country teams.

They compete at the Wyoming High School State Cross Country Championships in Ethete on Saturday.

The Class 4A boys’ race is at 10:30 a.m., and the girls’ race is at 12:15 p.m.

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Laramie is not considered a favorite for a team title, but they have goals of bringing home some hardware.

Head coach Greg Schabron saw his girls’ team win the conference and the boys placed third. He said what he and the coaching staff will do is try to take some pressure off the kids.

“We didn’t put a lot of pressure on conference. We were able to get back to Colorado this season and try to get to those super-large meets, and we got to this one (conference), and they were looking around, like, this is small. I said this is the smallest meet that you guys have been at all year, and next week (this weekend) is not much bigger. Hopefully, that alone will allow them to show their fitness level. They’ve been dropping times all year long, so with training through meets, and now with a little taper, they’re excited about that.”

LHS ran on the state course at the state preview meet on Sept. 11, 2021. Schabron said it’s not a technical course.

“We don’t have a lot of inclines. There’s not (a) single track (anywhere), but what we have is, pretty much, two huge loops, where there’s not a lot of spectators out (on the course). It’s likely to be windy. We’ll see how muddy it is from the last week (weather). It’s just going to be a lot of mental focus, like, okay, can I just grind this out? Just me and this long stretch with nothing around, no trees, nothing. A lot of our tempo runs (in practice) this year, a lot of the kids have realized that’s what it’s going to be like. They thought it’s going to be a lot easier than it was. When we went for the preview, they realized that second loop is a grind. Knowing that is going to play to their advantage."

The top runners for Laramie this year have been sophomores, Addison Forry and Dominic Eberle. KOWB’s David Settle caught up with the duo at practice earlier this week. That’s in the video at the top of this story.

Schabron knows Forry has a chance. He said she’s coming off a cold, but still won the conference meet.

“If she can continue to get healthy, I’d like to see her surprise other people. Even people that know she’s coming at the state race. She earned that (the conference title), but early in the season, she questioned what she could do, and as her practices continued to improve and her confidence grew, her excitement has certainly gone up, as well.”

Forry placed ninth at the state championships a year ago.

Schabron said that Eberle is a quiet young man, so you don’t always expect him to perform the way he does.

“He’s got natural ability. We noticed it early last year with him in his workouts, where we might hold him back and make him run up and catch the crew. Last week, after a really rough start, getting tripped, falling on concrete, getting stepped on, and being in last place, he worked his way up to third (at the conference meet). It turned out to be one of those things I think was good for him because he’s starting to realize, maybe, yeah, I can do this. He still needs a little more confidence, but when it comes to his ability and fitness level, he cannot be understated as being a really powerful athlete.”

From a team standpoint, Schabron feels Cheyenne Central is a heavy favorite on the girls’ side. He looks at Central on the boys’ side, as well, with possibly Sheridan, Jackson, and Natrona County in the mix. He’s got top-3 goals for his teams.

Laramie was sixth in the girls’ team standings in 2020, while the boys were eighth.

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