It’s hard to find a team in Northern Colorado with as much tradition as Fort Collins High’s cross country program.
Since 2007, the Lambkins boys and girls cross country programs have brought home a combined five state championships and two second-place finishes. This fall, the 11th under head coach Chris Suppes, Fort Collins is looking to keep the tradition alive.
The Coloradoan continues its fall season previews today by taking a look at the cross country programs around town.
Coach: Chris Suppes
Last year: Girls were Front Range League champions, state runner-up; boys were both Front Range League and state champions.
Key runners: (Girls) Erin Hooker, sr.; (boys) Mazin Mohamed, sr.; Luke Sheesley, jr.
Noteable: Boys will be inexperienced, but expected to compete at both the conference and state level. … Girls expected to compete for a Front Range League and state title.
“We will have great teams that will be a lot of fun to watch.”
— Chris Suppes
Fort Collins cross country coach
Coach: John Prasuhn
Last year: Girls seventh in Front Range League; boys sixth in Front Range League.
Key runners: (Girls) Kelsey Alexander, sr.; Cambria Magnuson, sr.; (Boys) Ryan Doner, sr.; Danny McGee, jr.; David Messerli, jr.; Kris Skelton, jr.
Noteable: Only lost one senior varsity runner and a transfer on the girls side. … Four talented freshmen have joined the team and should impact the quality of the varsity. … Alexander should be mixing it up with the top runners in Colorado. … Boys team is a tight-knit group with personal-records within seconds of each other.
“Predictions and potential mean nothing. Only hard work and smart racing will achieve the desired goals.”
— Josh Prasuhn
Rocky Mountain cross country coach
Coach: Forrest Vaughan
Last year: Girls fifth in Front Range League, 16th at state; boys third in Front Range League, 14th at state.
Key runners: (Girls) Marisa Campain, sr.; Emily Weber, jr.; Ashley Brock, so.; (boys) Elliott Leonard, sr.; Matthew Hanson, jr.; Joshua Morse, so.; Parker Nostrand, so.
Noteable: Success will depend on development of bottom half of varsity roster and growth of underclassmen. … Four of five returning scoring runners back from last year’s state meet. … Team must run as a pack at large meets. … Girls team has most depth in school history.
“We return a very strong team and our team dynamics couldn’t be better. We have multiple individuals who are stepping forward and really sacrificing to help our team be better than ever. It will take 10 solid weeks of hard work and competition to reach our goals.”
— Forrest Vaughan
Fossil Ridge cross country coach
Coach: Craig Moyer
Last year: Girls sixth in Front Range League, sixth at regionals; boys eighth in Front Range League, 26th at state.
Key runners: (Girls) Marisa Rudolph, jr.; Allysa Warling, so.; Ellie Manning, so.; (boys) Eli Finer, sr.; Grant Fischer, sr.; Paul Miller, jr., Billy Linkenheil, jr.
Noteable: Runners are coming together as friends and teammates. … Very hardworking and Moyer calls them a pleasure to coach.
“With six varsity boys returning, our boys should significantly improve both individually and as a team. Four of our top seven girls are returning. Our few juniors and seniors will provide great leadership for a team that is young, overall.”
— Craig Moyer
Poudre cross country coach
Coach: Ross Wilbur
Last year: Girls third in Tri-Valley Conference; boys second in Tri-Valley Conference, 15th at state.
Key runners: (Girls) Shellene Rains, sr.; Hannah West, sr.; (boys) Justin Weinmeister, sr.; Alexander Maxwell, sr.
Noteable: Team has a good foundation to build on. … Added several new members. … Expected to be an emotional season with the loss of teammate Manuel Reyes who died in an automobile accident in January.
“I am extremely excited for this upcoming season. Although we are ‘rebuilding’ in some ways, both the boys and girls have the potential to surprise some people.”
— Ross Wilbur
Windsor cross country coach