SHERIDAN — The Sheridan High School cross-country team spent a good portion of last week practicing at the Sheridan Veterans Affairs Medical Center.
The Broncs wanted to grow a little more familiar with the course, not only for the Michelle Ludwig Invitational Saturday but for the state meet, which is quickly approaching.
“The course is something they may overlook at times, but if they really analyze it, they have an advantage,” Sheridan head coach Art Baures said. “… They’ll know and understand all the undulations, know all the turns and all the ins and outs of the course.”
Baures will have his team working out at the VA more than ever this fall, so the Broncs can grow comfortable and confident with the course.
“I don’t want to leave anything to chance,” Baures said. “I don’t want any, ‘Oh I forgot about this,’ or ‘I forget about that.’ I want them to have this course engrained in their head.”
Early returns are high after Saturday’s competition. Sheridan’s boys team won the meet with 67 points as the top five Broncs finished inside the top 21.
Alex Garber led the way, placing seventh with a time of 17 minutes and 53 seconds, and he credits the familiarity and many friendly faces for this team’s strong showing.
“We know this course like the back of our hands, and when we come out here we have great support,” Garber said. “We have the community come out and cheer us on, and that helps a ton. … I feel like we had a good team effort from our top three and our back two.”
David Standish snuck inside the top 10, clocking in at 18:07 to place ninth. Timothy Brown crossed 14th in a time of 18:20, while Garrett Avery and Wyatt Shaw took 17th and 21st after logging times of 18:35 and 18:44, respectively.
Natrona County placed runner-up with 87 points and Laurel took third, accumulating 109 points.
The Lady Broncs finished fifth as a team. The Fillies won the meet going away with 54 points, while Cody and Laurel finished second and third with 113 and 151 points, respectively.
Katie Turpin paced Sheridan with a sixth-place finish, clocking in at 20:23. She, much like Garber and the rest of her teammates, used her knowledge of the course advantageously.
“It went well,” Turpin said. “We knew the secret corners. We knew where all the stumps were and all the weird footing.”
Kate Moran wasn’t far behind Turpin, finishing seventh with a time of 20:37. Sarah Gonda ran a 22:43 to place 37th, while Sam and Katelin Rogaczewski finished 64th and 65th with times of 24:08 and 24:13, respectively.
Sheridan has a quick turnaround as it travels to Custer, South Dakota, Thursday.
The Big Horn and Tongue River cross-country teams also made the short trip to Sheridan for the meet Saturday. Both teams ran during the junior varsity races and had some notable finishes.
The Rams claimed the top three spots in the boys JV competition. Noah Harvey won the race with a time of 18:51. Billy Watson took runner-up after logging a time of 19:09, and Nathaniel Lydic placed third, clocking in at 19:21.
Jason Baron led the Eagles, placing eighth with a time of 19:43.
TR’s Macey MacArthur took home bronze in the girls competition with a 23:33. Teammate Chloe Wilson recorded a 16th-place finish after running a 25:20, and Kalie Bocek placed 24th, clocking in at 26:00.
Elizabeth Foley paced the Big Horn girls team, crossing 39th with a time of 27:32.
Big Horn hosts the Powder Horn Invitational Friday.