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Fall sports are well underway at Pagosa Springs High School, and cross-country is no different.
Before the season ever started, the team was already training, taking part in the annual Sand Dunes training camp.
This year’s team is made up of 21 student-athletes, including 12 girls and 9 boys, coach Scott Anderson explained, and is a mix of both new and returning athletes.
Anderson predicted Wednesday that the girls would field a strong team this year, despite graduating last year’s top Pirate finisher, Emily Bryant.
“If nothing else, we’re fairly deep this year,” he said. “So, I’m excited about the girls.”
On the boys side, Anderson said the team will likely have two toward the front of the pack in meets, with the rest of the team working to fill in.
A change in the sport this year means each varsity squad can run seven members, with five scoring. Last year, each team could run six members, with four scoring.
The Pirate harriers head into action beginning tomorrow, Aug. 22, with the Colorado High School Athletics Association (CHSAA) pre-state meet in Colorado Springs.
The pre-state meet is being held earlier in the season this year, Anderson noted, meaning he won’t put a lot of pressure on the team to finish well, but is more focused on giving the harriers a taste of competition and working on bonding as a team.
Following that opening meet, the team will have a little time off before taking on regular-season action closer to home, starting with a meet in Alamosa on Sept. 6.
The following weekend, the team will head to Bayfield, and on Sept. 20, the Pirates will welcome area teams for a home meet.
On Sept. 27, the harriers head to Mancos, followed by a trip to Doherty in Colorado Springs the following weekend.
On Oct. 10, the team will head to the Eric Wolf Invitational in Monte Vista and will close out the regular season the following weekend, on Oct. 17, in Delta.
Regional action is set to be completed by Oct. 18, and state action takes place the following weekend in Colorado Springs.