Coming off middle-of-the-pack finishes, the Laramie High School Nordic Skiing teams will try to take a step up the standings.

Laramie placed fifth in the girls’ standings and fourth in the boys’ division at last year’s state championships with younger squads.

Now with more experience, they look to move up the team rankings.

LHS head coach Rebecca Watson said the most exciting piece is they have snow to train on at the trails.

“We’ve been on snow for about two-and-a-half weeks, and everybody’s getting their ski legs underneath them. We’ve been working a lot of technique, and I’m just really stoked for where we are going into the first race, especially considering where we’ve been in past years.”

Senior Kelton Rucinski spoke to KOWB regarding the new season. He spoke about the preparation for the season, starting on the home trails, some goals the team has, and more.

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Watson feels the team is excited.

“They seem to be really engaged and excited to learn, and really want to be better skiers. They’re asking some great questions and working hard. We did some intervals (in a recent practice), really pushing it, so it’s exciting to see the enthusiasm.”

The season begins with the home Laramie Invite on Friday and Saturday on the Happy Jack Trails east of town. The first race is a 3x3K freestyle relay at 1 p.m. on Friday. Times will be kept, but no team scores will be kept. Saturday is a 5K freestyle race starting at 10 a.m.

Watson likes hosting right now, despite some busy times with students’ schedules this week.

“We get to set the tone for the season on our home course. Then, we are also done with our home race, and we get to go do the full circuit of the state from here on out.”

She’s hoping to see confidence in the skiers from LHS this opening weekend.

The season will take them to Pinedale, twice to Casper, to Lander, and concludes with the state championships in Jackson on Feb. 24 and 25, 2023.

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