This year, the Pirate cross country team won’t be running up Wolf Creek Pass.
Instead, the team will be heading to Colorado Springs for the Cheyenne Mountain Stampede.
If competing against a large number of teams on the new state course isn’t pressure enough for the runners, they will also be competing in the 4A division instead of 3A at this meet.
“We’re racing up a division because I wanted the team to get the feel of these bigger and faster teams. I wanted to up the ante,” Coach Scott Anderson said.
Since practice officially started earlier this month, the runners have been in the strength phase of training.
“We’re doing a lot of distance and hills to provide strength that will later be applied to speed,” Anderson explained.
The team currently switches off courses amongst Reservoir Hill, Trails and Martinez Canyon, Turkey Springs and Fawn Gulch.
About 22 runners will be racing Friday at both varsity and junior varsity levels. Anderson said that some freshmen this year could be running on the varsity.
Anderson said one problem with the younger runners is their confidence and learning to run to their potential instead of being content with running as fast as a few people in a race.
“The older runners are encouraging the younger ones to run with those in front of the pack,” Anderson said.
Though there will be other teams from the Intermountain League at this meet, since the Pirates will be racing a division up, they will not be competing head to head with their traditional foes.
The meet will be held Friday at the Penrose Event Center in Colorado Springs.