Star Valley to Host 2019 WHSAA State Cross Country

FOR+ALL+THE+MARBLES%3A+Runners+work+their+way+through+the+start+loop+at+the+Veterans+Affairs+Hospital+in+Sheridan+during+the+2018+WHSAA+state+cross+country+meet.+
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Star Valley to Host 2019 WHSAA State Cross Country

FOR ALL THE MARBLES: Runners work their way through the start loop at the Veterans Affairs Hospital in Sheridan during the 2018 WHSAA state cross country meet.

FOR ALL THE MARBLES: Runners work their way through the start loop at the Veterans Affairs Hospital in Sheridan during the 2018 WHSAA state cross country meet.

FOR ALL THE MARBLES: Runners work their way through the start loop at the Veterans Affairs Hospital in Sheridan during the 2018 WHSAA state cross country meet.

FOR ALL THE MARBLES: Runners work their way through the start loop at the Veterans Affairs Hospital in Sheridan during the 2018 WHSAA state cross country meet.

Peter Visser, staff writer

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On October 26, runners from all over the state of Wyoming will gather at Valley View Golf Course in Afton for the 2019 WHSAA State Cross Country meet. The meet, previously held at the Veterans Affairs Hospital in Sheridan, will be hosted by Star Valley High School for the 2019 and 2020 seasons.

In cross country course difficulty plays a huge roll in team standings and individual races. The Star Valley course, in comparison to the Veteran Affairs Hospital course, presents a far more difficult challenge. “There is actually quite a bit of contrast,” said head Star Valley Cross Country coach Ty Draney, “Sheridan’s course has two small hills and is in the lowest part of the state; our course is much hillier and almost 3,000 feet higher in elevation.” The Star Valley course is the standard 5,000 meter distance.

WHSAA: The Wyoming High School Activities Association manages and regulates all culminating state events, including cross country.

Hosting a state event also presents logistical problems. “Parking, hotels , and meals are some of the biggest concerns. Luckily we have some awesome help and have been working on this for a couple years,” said Draney, who is also one of the events main organizers.

Earlier in the 2019 season, Star Valley High School held a meet that allowed competitors to get a first hand look at the new state cross country course. Twenty-one Wyoming teams attended. The meet, which featured a first place finish for the Star Valley Braves boys varsity over Lander Valley by 34 points, provided insight into the details that need to be ironed out before the state event, issues including parking, accommodations, and restrooms were all recognized and fixed. Many teams walked away from the meet with revised training strategies to hopefully be better prepared for the culminating event in late October.

HOME COURSE ADVANTAGE: Star Valley runners pose with the first place trophy after a commanding win on their home course. “Its always a pleasure to get a win, especially on the home course,” said SVHS senior Connor Etzelmiller (2nd from the right).

The change in venue has many athletes excited. “I’m pumped to have state at home this year,” said senior Dillon Foley. “Its super cool that we get a chance to show off all our hard work in front of the home crowd. Cross country is much more fun when there are crowds of people cheering us on.”

FAST BRAIDS: Members of the Star Valley Girls Cross Country team style each others hair in preparation for the the 2019 Bob Firman Invitational. They placed second as a team in the Division II Varsity race.

As October 26 marches closer, athletes from all over the state of Wyoming prepare to claim their moment of glory on the difficult Star Valley View course.  Whether there is changes in logistics or training, hopefully this meet will provide great accommodations for both athletes and spectators alike.

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