RAWLINS – Collegiate programs have already been sending soon-to-be junior Sydney Thorvaldson, arguably the best runner to come out of Rawlins High School, what are considered “generic” letters.
Once next month ends, however, those letters will likely flat out turn into commitment offers. Various high school rules dictate that colleges must wait until a student’s junior year to officially prospect for their next auspicious talent.
So Thorvaldson – as well as any keenly aware college recruiter – must wait patiently. But, if you ask anyone, this virtuous exercise will likely become well worth it.
“It might get a little stressful,” Thorvaldson told the Rawlins Times last week.
Once again, the Rawlins Times has named Thorvaldson “Carbon County Female Athlete of the Spring,” marking the second consecutive spring she’s received the recognition. In the past, she was also named athlete of the fall, this time for cross country.
But it’s for good reason. And we’ll start by highlighting her triumphs during the winter indoor track season, when she suited up with Laramie.
In February, Thorvaldson took the Basin Nation Invitational in Gillette by storm, recording the nation’s top time for the 3,200-meter indoor run, at 10:30.26. Per that same meet, she recorded a personal best in the one mile, notching a 4:55.26.
That time also just so happened to prove second best in the nation.
Later that same month, Thorvaldson broke a 19-year record at the 2019 Simplot Games, a meet based in Pocatello, Idaho that includes national and international competitors. She’d outdo herself in the 3,200, taking 10:19.05.
Once springtime rolled around, it was almost if Thorvaldson set DyeStat’s national database for track records on fire.
Running for RHS track this season, however, was arguably just as painful as it was glorious.
“It’s actually been a pretty though season,” Thorvaldson said. “I’ve been battling injury for most of it.”
A week before competing in the 52nd Arcadia Invitational, another national meet held early April in Los Angeles. Thorvaldson said she felt slight cramping in her legs.
The dull pain would turn into the infamous shin splints, something that has plagued elite runners since the 1896 Summer Olympics. Yet she endured the pain, and still managed to nab a 9:33.51 in the 3,000, which turned into the second-best record nationwide.
Her recovery process – this included hitting the pool and stationary bike – made her miss much of the season.
And just when people started to question whether she’d come back, she was already sporting Outlaws colors for the 3A regional meet in Torrington.
In almost “no biggie” fashion, she’d unsurprisingly snatch dominating golds in the 800-, 1,600-, and 3,200-meter runs.
“It was awesome to have her back,” said RHS head coach Charli Hetherington earlier this month. “She was nervous, but it was really fun to see her back on track again and get ready for state.”
The next week, at the 3A state meet, she won the 800, at 2:17.03. She won the 1,600-meter race, at 5:00.52. And she also won the 3,200, at 10:47.86.
“I almost broke five (in the mile),” Thorvaldson said. “That’s been a huge goal for me.”
But it’s almost as if the various national meets are what she truly strives for.
“A lot of times, in Wyoming at least, I don’t have that really intense competition that they bring to those meets,” Thorvaldson said. “I think it’s just great to have that experience and learn from it.”
This is good, since Thorvaldson has another notable national spectacle on the horizon: the 2019 Brooks PR Invitational, which includes the fastest, top-10 runners in each respective event, on June 15 on the campus of the University of Washington.
There, she’ll be vying to outdo her competitors in the 3,200-meter race. To do so, she said she’ll add more cross training to her workout regiment, something she hopes will help get her back to 100 percent health wise.
“It’s just hard to find the stride again; just the quick turnover,” Thorvaldson said. “I had to work on that for quite a bit, but I hope I’ll still be in shape.”
For now, all Thorvaldson must do is remain healthy and stay the course. By then, it likely won’t be a surprise to find collegiate offers when she starts opening her mail in the fall.