We are pleased to announce the formation of the Laramie Valley Jackalopes, a cross country and track & field team for youth. The Jackalopes will kick off their inaugural cross country season this fall.
Sid and Carrie Murthy planted the seed that would bloom into the Laramie Valley Jackalopes when they gathered a small group of fourth and fifth grade boys last fall to train and compete in cross country. Founded by the Murthys and Kathleen and Mike Selmer, the Laramie Valley Jackalopes program plans to provide kindergarten through fifth grade children with a fun and challenging introduction to the sport of cross country. The High Plains Harriers local running club are their partner in getting the Jackalopes off the ground.
Practices will be on Tuesdays and Thursdays beginning August 30 and will run through October 20. They will be held at a variety of locations around Laramie and include music, a variety of fun activities and games, and age-appropriate workouts. Registration is open now; more information is available at https://www.facebook.com/LaramieValleyJackalopes and interested individuals can also contact LVJackalopes@gmail.com.
The Jackalopes will kick off their program with a “Meet the Coaches” picnic on August 28.
The Jackalopes have a large group of advisors that will help guide the program. They include Peggy Gribble McCrackin, founder of the She’s a Runner Girl Program, Laramie Middle School cross country and track coach Travis Miller, Laramie High School cross country coach Greg Schabron, and University of Wyoming assistant cross-country coach Nick Costello.
UniWyo Credit Union and Trihydro are the first two sponsors of the Jackalopes.
The Laramie Valley Jackalopes also have plans for a track & field program in the late spring and summer of 2023.
The Laramie Valley Jackalopes are a 501(c)3 charitable organization, and donations to the club are tax-deductible.
Quotes from Program Director Mike Selmer:
“We want our young athletes to embrace teamwork, self-improvement, and a spirit of fierce, but friendly, competition.”
“Our goal is to provide a valuable and memorable experience for each child in our program. To that end, we are striving to have a high coach-to-athlete ratio.”
“Laramie has a large, vibrant, and supportive running community and we’re grateful for the enthusiastic response we’ve received to this effort. It really shows how generous people here are with their time and resources.”
Quote from Coach Carrie Murthy:
“I love working with kids, and I get a tremendous amount of satisfaction from teaching the joy of self-improvement, that we can do hard things, that we can conquer challenges. These lessons serve kids–and adults!–well in all areas of life, and help kids increase their self-confidence in a healthy way.”
Director and Coach spotlights:
· Head Coach and Program Director Mike Selmer brings 20 years of youth and high school coaching experience to the Jackalopes. As a youth coach he helped guide young athletes at every age level, many of whom competed at the USATF National Junior Olympic Championships. At Glenelg High School in Maryland, he coached numerous individual and team champions at the county, region, and state levels.
· Coach Carrie Murthy was a standout track and cross country athlete at Glenelg High School and Winthrop University in South Carolina, specializing in steeplechase and distance events. She was the Big South Conference Scholar-Athlete of the Year in 2005, and the 2006 NCAA Woman of the Year for the Big South Conference.
· Coach Sid Murthy ran in high school and in college for University of Maryland Baltimore County. A classic track and cross country aficionado who brings a depth of knowledge about world class athletes and their training to the club, his coaching philosophy prioritizes fun over high-pressure competition.
· Coach Kathleen Selmer competed in track at the University of Maryland, including a top-three finish in the 400 meter hurdles in the Eastern Regional Championships. She has worked with children as a Head Start educator and in managing her own pre-school. Kathleen is a noted “streak runner” who ran every day for more than eight years before breaking her shoulder last fall. She’s now well into her second streak.
· Coach Kali McCrackin Goodenough started running cross country as a 7th grader and never looked back. She ran cross country throughout high school, helped coach the She’s a Runner Girl program during college, and became a co-director for She’s a Runner Girl in 2015. Kali ran her first half marathon in 2019 and is looking forward to more long-distance races in the future.
· Coach Patrick Eastman is a recreational runner and member of the High Plains Harriers. He has run distances from 1 to 50 miles—mostly trail events. He is the former director of Jelm Mountain Run, one of Laramie’s long-running trail races. Patrick started running as an adult and is pleased to have the opportunity to help bring the joy of running to Laramie kids.
· Mike Selmer (Program Director) – email@example.com, 307-703-0024
· Kathleen Selmer (Coach) – firstname.lastname@example.org, 307-703-0003
· Carrie Murthy (Coach) – email@example.com, 240-888-1953
· Sid Murthy (Coach) – firstname.lastname@example.org
· Kali McCrackin Goodenough (Coach) – email@example.com
· Patrick Eastman (Coach) – firstname.lastname@example.org
· Greg Schabron (Advisor) – email@example.com
· Travis Miller (Advisor)- firstname.lastname@example.org
· Nick Costello (Advisor) – email@example.com
· Peggy Gribble McCrackin (Advisor) – firstname.lastname@example.org
· Jason Gonzales (High Plains Harrier President) – email@example.com