Running toward a big season |

Running toward a big season

Junior Alicia Nelson has high expectations

Luke Graham
Alicia Nelson takes some slow strides after Thursday's evening practice. The junior is expected to be one of the Bulldogs top cross-country runners this season.
Jerry Raehal

— Success breeds expectations and expectations distinguish athletes.

It’s a notion Moffat County cross-country runner Alicia Nelson is now, in her junior year, dealing with.

Nelson has already been one of the most successful runner’s at Moffat County in the past couple years.

As a freshman she finished in the top 25 at the state cross-country meet. As a sophomore she finished seventh in cross-country at state and third in the mile during the track and field season.

But now, with two seasons of experience under her belt, and a realistic shot at finishing in the top 5 at the state cross-country meet, Nelson is dealing with high expectations for the first time in her brief high school career.

“My freshman year I was in the top 25, then all of a sudden I finished seventh my sophomore year,” Nelson said after practice Tuesday. “I guess I’m expected to do well again this year.”

While the high expectations are somewhat new to Nelson, hard work isn’t.

When Nelson wasn’t working from 7 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. painting for her grandfather, she found time to run throughout the summer.

“I ran a lot this summer,” she said. “I ran a lot on my own.”

Although a majority of her training was spent by herself, Nelson managed to help organize runs with her team two days a week.

And in between the 30-minute interval runs, Nelson also did some team building – something she said is a key to this year’s team.

This included a trip to a Grand Lake camp, where she spent a week training with nine other members of her team.

“She listens to everything we say,” cross-country coach Todd Trapp said. “She put in the miles and she continues to put in more miles. She’s dedicated and, of course, she has the talent.”

Although the modest Nelson won’t reveal expectations aside from wanting to improve on her times, when the mention of a state championship comes up a coy smile comes to her face.

“It would be awesome,” she said. “That’s something to work for.”

Although Nelson won’t say how high she can finish, Trapp has no problem placing her.

“Most of the races we go to she has a great chance at winning,” he said. “I know she wants to defend her regional title and I can see her in the top 3 at state.”

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