It’s the race they train all season for. Laramie High School’s Nordic skiing team takes part in the 2022 Wyoming High School Nordic Skiing Championships.

The culminating event is on Friday and Saturday, Feb. 25 and 26, 2022, in Pinedale. The Nordic Center at White Pines Ski Area is the venue.

A year ago, the Laramie boys placed fourth, while the Laramie girls took fifth place in the team standings. LHS had one skier that finished in the top ten. That was Tristan Smith, who placed eighth in the 10km freestyle or skate race.

A young Laramie team has grown up throughout the 2021-22 season. They’ve had several top-15 performances, including a few wins.

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Now, it’s time for all that training and racing to pay dividends

Head coach Rebecca Watson feels good considering the racing’s been pretty constant since they started in mid-December.

“I have seen so much improvement through the course of the year. Right now, I feel like everybody is healthy. They’re coming off a good season of racing. We’re working on our taper, and so I’m feeling really confident going into these last two races and just feeling good about what we’ve already accomplished.”

Laramie sophomore Eliza Fay and senior Tristan Smith visited with KOWB about the upcoming championships. Both described how their season has gone, preparation for the state races, skiing these courses, and how they feel the team can do this weekend in the video at the top of the story.

There are 11 skiers on the state roster that will be competing at Pinedale for the first time. Thanks to Covid splitting the state last year, Laramie did not ski at this venue. Coach Watson knows that. She says that makes the pre-race course check on Thursday that much more important.

“I’m really happy that we’ll have time to do that.”

Watson calls these courses ‘really challenging.’

“There are a number of really flat sections, and that can be mentally really hard. Then, the hills are really steep and hard, as well. So, it’s a lot of flat and then up and down. You definitely have to plan it out in your mind and have a game plan going into it.”

Skiing for the LHS girls will be Kieran Burns, Isa Naschold, Zeren Homer, Laura Brande, Eliza Fay, Colleen Summerfeld, Morgan Gelwicks, Hannah Peterson, and Caroline Bredehoft.

The boys that will ski for LHS are Tristan Smith, Emmet Shuman, Braeden Ewers, Ansel Visser, Kelton Rucinski, Emmitt Gray, Austin Quillinan, Sam Kaiser, Colby Bluemel, Jack Voos, and Gideon Moore.

First up is a 5km freestyle or skate race on Friday. Then on Saturday, it’s a 10km classic race.

Both days of racing at the state championships begin at 10 a.m.

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