Tiger runners are multi-sport stars for small 2A school

Published: Tuesday, Oct. 30, 2007 12:33 a.m. MDT

In a small town, everyone knows each other.

In Milford, cross country coach Don Livingston takes that axiom one step further. Not only does he know the girls volleyball coach, but she is his daughter. And Livingston counts that as an advantage.

Cross country coaches often compete with other coaches for practice time with their athletes, who often choose to play multiple sports. Practice time gets squeezed and you can imagine where cross country fits in that scenario.

We work out practice schedules, he said. We help one another to make it work.

In the city, high school coaches often don't even want their players to participate in any other sport - let alone share practice time with one in the same season. But all is well in Milford.

Livingston has a state title under his belt from last year, and two years ago the Tigers finished second - same as this year. Minicamp begins in August, where Livingston puts his girls through their paces.

They run eight or nine miles a day, he said. You gotta have kids who want to run.

Not only do they want to run but they like to stick together. Freshman Kathryn Wright, sophomore Carrie Baker, junior Areli Tapia and freshman Danielle Baker finished 13th, 14th, 15th and 16th, respectively, at state.

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And all played volleyball.

Freshman Noemi Tapia, younger sister of Areli, notched up three places with a No. 10 finish. Kaitlin Livingston, the only senior of the bunch, nailed down the No. 8 spot. And the top Tiger finisher was sophomore Andrea Mayer, coming in at No. 5.

Seven finishers in the top 16 and only one graduates? Next year looks good.

I'm pleased with how they finished, Livingston said. I think they did an awesome job.

He doubles as the boys coach, and the Tigers finished fourth at state in boys cross country. He noted the boys team didn't even make state last year, and this year their inexperience showed.

They were pretty scared, he said, But we only lose two for next year.

E-mail: wjewkes@desnews.com