BY: Shawn O’Brate
RIVERTON – This year’s Central Wyoming College (CWC) cross country team looks to beat the odds and return to relevancy under a new head coach with fresh, new runners joining the Rustler squad.
New head coach Rick Faure was a competitive runner throughout high school and college, starting way back in middle school when he “wasn’t sure it was for me”, but now after choosing to spend his life looking forward on the track instead of backward he finds himself with a handful of talented distance runners at his fingertips.
“The season is looking exciting,” Faure said after an early 6 AM practice this week, “we are at a point in training where, as a team, our weekly running volume is quite large but everyone is taking to it great. With some more training and experience we will be ready to take on some other schools in the region.”
Coach Faure has a lot to catch up on in a very short period of time. As a new head coach, not only has he had to recruit quickly but then put together a program that can morph the runners he has into competitive cross country superstars–something he hopes to do in his time at CWC.
“My goal as a head coach is to establish a desirable program where student-athletes are going to want to come to get better and pursue competitive collegiate running,” Faure said, “If I can bring out the best versions of every student-athlete then I believe the results will follow.”
Even Coach Faure wasn’t so convinced in his own running as a child, in fact he even stated “I wouldn’t say I chose cross country, but it chose me in a sense…I found myself winning races at a young age and I eventually fell in love with it.”
Now, Coach Faure has nothing but unwavering confidence in his new team filled with local freshmen like Lander’s Abby Gribowskas. Not only that, he has confidence in the entire CWC program because of “the support the community brings to all athletic programs” which he explained as one of his favorite parts about the college as a whole.
Long-term, Coach Faure hopes to establish a consistent region IX championship team but for now there are a few racers that he hopes people focus on and bring people together in unison as fans for the team.
“Luke Crossley…qualified for the NJCAA Track and Field Championships in the Spring so big things to come from him,” Faure explained, “and Jessica White is in phenomenal shape leading the way for the women’s team.”
Overall though, the entire team has qualities that make this a different, unified, strong cross country team that can compete with some of the bigger D1 teams in the near future.
“People can expect that the student-athletes are going to represent CWC with pride and confidence,” Faure explained.
The team travels to Leadville, Colorado next weekend to compete in the Colorado Mountain College Open but you can see them run most mornings across the street from the Riverton Middle School and on CWC’s campus throughout the week.