Aug 28, 2013 - By Bruce Tippets, Sports EditorWyoming Indian High School Chiefs cross country coach Chico Her Many Horses is stacked with returning talent for the 2013 cross country season. Expect WIHS to make a run for a seventh straight Class 2-A state team title.
Senior Wilson Clifford will be defending the individual crown he won last October, and junior Tyler Penatac is back from his runner-up finish.
Wilson ran the 3.1-mile course in a time of 17:43.37. Penatac finished in 17:49.70.
"These boys understand that they have a target on their backs," Her Many Horses said. "As far as they are concerned, they are going after the best that they can. We will see what happens."
WIHS has responded to the early season practices.
"These guys always work hard," Her Many Horses said. "We try to outwork everybody in the state. They have done all the drills so far. Right now, we are on task with everybody else."
The top runners lost because of graduation are Alvin Spoonhunter and Garland Spoonhunter. Alvin Spoonhunter finished third in the state in his senior year.
"I hope to get them ready for the end of the year," Her Many Horses said. "I want them in shape both mentally and physically. I hope they don't get hurt. If they get hurt, then I didn't do my job."
Keegan Her Many Horses and Joseph Howell should score team points for the Chiefs this year.
"We have a lot of newcomers," coach Her Many Horses said. "They are looking really tough."
Junior Kianna Wallingbull is back to improve on 11th place finish at the state meet.
Junior Loveeda White and sophomore Phyllis Gardner will also be in the lineup. The WIHS girls placed fourth at the 2012 state meet.
Pine Bluffs-Burns won the crown. Wright finished second in the team standings.
"We have some outstanding young runners coming in," Her Many Horses said. "Everybody is working hard.
Everybody is trying to get that spot and be ready for the state meet."
The Class 2-A state meet this year will be held in Sheridan. In the past, the state meet has been held in Douglas.
Wyoming Indian will join Riverton High School Friday at the Green River Invitational.
"I want to see where everybody is at mentally," Her Many Horses said.
"Our younger guys are just learning that. Green River has a tough team.
They have always had a tough team. There are always a lot of 3-A and 4-A teams there."
The Chiefs are going to take part Friday, Sept.6, at the Sheridan Invitational.
The home meet in Ethete is planned for Friday, Sept. 13. The schedule is being compressed out of concern for bad weather.
"Everybody has moved up their schedule this year," Her Many Horses said.
"We always have had good weather in the past."
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