The 2016 Wyoming State Nordic Skiing Championships are taking place in just outside Jackson Friday and Saturday.

The Laramie Plainsmen and Lady Plainsmen are vying for the school’s first-ever state titles. Laramie’s best finish has been second for the boy’s and third for the girl’s.

The Plainsmen are led by junior’s Liam McInroy and Albert Steiner. McInroy was second in the freestyle and third in the classic race a year ago, while Steiner came in 14th in the freestyle and fourth in the classic race. As a team, LHS was runner-up in 2016.

Laramie head coach Rebecca Watson says she has high aspirations for the boy’s team this weekend.

“I’ve seen what they can do, especially last weekend (at home), if they ski that way at state, there’s no reason why I wouldn’t have high expectations. They have led me to believe they can do it.”

Their chief competition is the host and defending champions from Jackson, as well as Natrona County from Casper.

The Lady Plainsmen are guided by senior Hailey Schmidt. She was top six in both disciplines at state last year. LHS was fifth in the ladies division in 2016. Jackson is the defending champs and favored to win the girl’s title again this year.

As for conditions, Watson knows there’s not a lack of snow for the state meet, which has been a worry in the past, since Jackson’s had a record amount of snow this year. Watson also believes what they ski will challenge them.

“The courses, yes they are technical, but it’s nothing that we haven’t been skiing all year. So, that’s the great thing about training and racing up at Happy Jack (Rec Area). It is technical, too. I think it gives us a way to train for it.”

The competition is being held at the Trail Creek Nordic Center just west of Wilson. Friday’s action features a 5K classic race followed by Saturday’s 10K freestyle. Both days of skiing are scheduled to start at 10 a.m. The girl’s go first on Friday followed by the boy’s. It is reversed for Saturday. Both days also feature interval starts.

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