Bishop the fastest in the 3A East
October 21, 2021
WORLAND — Not wasting the opportunity to win a conference championship on his home course, Worland Warrior Jack Bishop won the 3A East individual title at the Green Hills Golf Course on Oct. 15.
Bishop, a junior, finished the 3A East conference race with a time of 16:51.92, a season-best, to finish first.
“He was awesome and ran so well,” said WHS cross-country coach Tanya Kienlen. “When he came through leading it, I didn’t expect it, but it gave him a pace. I was shocked that no one got out on that pace with him, and he was just able to pull away from there.”
Bishop also earned All-Conference honors by finishing in the top 10. Kiyoshi Smith also earned All-Conference by finishing eighth with a time of 17:57.05.
For the Lady Warriors, Zena Tapia and Carly Venable earned All-Conference honors. Tapia finished fifth (20:06.21) and Venable 10th (21:10.25).
As a team, the Warriors and Lady Warriors keep showing that the extra work in practice is paying off as many set personal records.
“Overall, I was super proud of our team. We’re really attacking conference and state, and these kids have had workout after workout, and they’re not backing down. Their training is continuing to show improvements. Out of our 16 boys, eight walked away with PRs. Our team took the initiative and left everything out on the course,” said Kienlen.
Originally, the 3A East meet was scheduled in Douglas, but last week’s snowstorm required the meet to relocate. Worland stepped up to host, and it not only benefited Worland not to travel but gave them another opportunity to work on some racing strategies on a course they’re familiar with.
“Huge compliments to Aaron Abel, our AD, by throwing this meet together and hosting conference. We had spectacular weather with our fast course, and it ended up being a great opportunity for the kids. I think the kids were grateful for running on our home course.
“The part of our course that’s difficult is in between mile 2 and mile 3, and that’s where we’ve been working and strategizing a lot. That came through for us, and that was exciting for them to see that too,” said Kienlen.
The internal competition for the 3A State roster has been intense for the Warriors. All season runners have moved in and out of those final eight spots. After the conference meet, the roster is finally set as Bishop, Smith, Melvin Croft, Jacob Holiday, Tragan Swalstad, Will Bishop and Harley Redding head to state as the Warriors top eight runners.
“It was a gut-check among our team, and they all knew they had to bring their A-game. I was heartbroken for those who didn’t make it, but I was proud of how hard each of them ran. There were a few changes across the team, but everyone gave it their best shot,” said Kienlen. “How things finished made us a more competitive and better team for state.”
The cross-country season wraps up this week in Ethete, with the season’s final race on Saturday. Worland got an early look at the state course during the pre-state meet on Sept. 10.
One change to the course is the presence of mud. The 2A West conference meet was held in Ethete last weekend, and runners had to battle through muddy conditions all race long.
“We’re coming off an incredible weekend with PRs and All-Conference honors which were all well-deserved. Now moving into state, getting out strong will be critical for most of my athletes, especially with the mud. Then we’ll have to make wise decisions on passing and running with their eyes up. You do need to know where the tough parts are on this course,” said Kienlen.
Other than the mud, Saturday gives the Worland runners one last chance to put together everything they’ve worked on in practice this season.
Lander, Mountain View and Star Valley figure to be among the top three teams on the boys side. From fourth on down, though, it’s a toss-up, and the Warriors want to finish in that fourth spot.
“We’ve worked hard on all of our workouts, and we’ve focused on finishing each workout like you would at the end of the race. This is where we’ve trained ourselves to know from mile 2 to 3, you’re removed from spectators, and you need to make a move before it’s too late. The kids are going to go in with that preparation and knowing that they’re ready,” said Kienlen. “We know there are some solid teams, but we want to try and aim for that four, five, six spots.”