Thompson out to defend XC crown

Oct 19, 2012 By Bruce Tippets, Sports Editor

Olivia Thompson isn't under the radar anymore after she won the Class 4-A cross country title last year as a freshman for Riverton High School.

Thompson runs into the Class 4-A state meet with her teammates Saturday in Douglas.

Thompson warmed up for her title defense with an eighth-place finish last week at the Class 4-A West regional meet at the Wind River Golf Course.

"Right now, I believe that it's wide open if you look at both conferences," RHS coach Jay Dayton said. "It could be anybody's race. We are hoping that she is in that top 10."

Thompson jumped out of the gates quick at the regional meet in Riverton and finished the 3.-1 mile race in 20:15.18. Selina Ramsey of Rock Springs was first in 19:02.44, and Natrona's Ashley Sodag placed second (19:21.59).

"Olivia is going to have to run her own race," Dayton said. "She has to stick to a game plan and move through the middle during the race."

Tabitha Simmons won the Class 4-A East conference title in 19:50.30. Abbey Phillips was second at 20:11.99. Simmons and Phillips are both from Gillette.

"There are three Gillette and three Laramie girls in there," Dayton said. "There is a Cheyenne Central girl that is tough. There are probably 15 girls all within the same range of time."

Riverton's No. 2 runner, Jillian C' Bearing, has been battling a possible stress fracture in her ankle. The decision to run C' Bearing will be made right before the race.

"It has been going on for awhile," Dayton said. "Being a tough kid that she is, she didn't tell us that it was happening that bad. It has gotten to the point where that she is even having a hard time walking on it."

Ainur Zhuldybaeva is back in the lineup for the Wolverines as the No. 3 runner after missing regionals with a cold. Bailey Broadbent, Aisha Durfey, Taylor Harris and Camille Whiteman are the other RHS girls.

"It's hard to stay right now about the team standings," Dayton said. "If Jillian isn't there, then other runners will have to step up and fill that void."

Thomas Beasley, Dalton Perkins, Brytan Spoonhunter, Sean Watts and Ben Zoller make up the RHS boys team.

The meet starts in Douglas at 10:30 a.m. Saturday with the Class 2-A girls. The Class 4-A girls will go off at 11:10 a.m. The 3-A girls race is set to begin at 11:50 a.m.

"The kids are being rested this week," Dayton said. "We are kind of backing off the training. We are excited to go down and put in our best performance."

At 12:30 p.m., the Class 2-A boys will run. The 4-A boys follow at 1 p.m. The 3-A boys end the day at 1:30 p.m.

"We did some finishing workouts that help with leg speed," Dayton said. "The big thing is backing off on the workload."

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