Scoggins enjoys the fruits of his labor

Panthers senior William Scoggins ended his high school cross country career with a third place finish at the 2A Colorado State Championship meet.

Panthers senior William Scoggins ended his high school cross country career with a third place finish at the 2A Colorado State Championship meet.
RBC I During last year’s cross country season, Rangely High School senior William Scoggins took to heart all the adages about hard work and applied them to running.
Taking third at regionals and finishing fifth at state as a junior was nice. But watching senior Ty Williams of Telluride win the Colorado 2A State Cross Country Championships three years in a row, then clinch first-place finishes in the mile and two-mile at state track last spring, got Scoggins thinking.
“(Ty) ran all the time,” Scoggins said. “He was kind of who I wanted to be like. I realized I could be good, so I set my sights on Ty. He was the biggest inspiration for me.”
So the lanky blonde teenager, whom Rangely residents got used to seeing lope in long, easy strides around town, finished the 2011 season — and just kept running. During the off-season, he challenged himself to put in up to 10 miles per day, six days per week, and rarely missed a workout. Rather than play basketball as he had his freshman and sophomore year, he decided to focus on training instead.
His cross country coach and mom, Beth Scoggins, said the choice to go all in for running was “kind of a William thing.”
“He said, ‘I want to do this,’” Beth Scoggins said. “We said, ‘If you’re going to do this, you’re going to need to make some sacrifices. We’ll support you in whatever you want to do.’ We just didn’t want him to have any regrets.”
Now, looking back, William says he has none. Of course, it helps that he just plain likes to run.
“Running helps clear my mind,” Scoggins said. “It gives me the runner’s high, I guess. Since eighth grade, I’ve always enjoyed it. But it was just something to do rather than wanting to go out and do it every day.”
By the time this cross country season rolled around, running every day was second nature to Scoggins. And after a year of doing it, the goal of winning Saturday’s 2A State Cross Country Championship was finally in sight. Scoggins’ ability and preparation had stood the test of the season. He won handily the last six meets leading up to state, including the Anna Banana Memorial Wildcat Invitational, in which top runners from Central and Grand Junction High Schools, Fruita Monument, and Denver North trailed him by eight seconds or more. His first-place finish at the Region 4 meet on Oct. 17 ranked him second in 2A standings, just behind Lyons freshman Paul Roberts.
Scoggins had seen Roberts at the season-opening Cheyenne Mountain Stampede and knew he was in for a tough race at the Norris-Penrose Event Center in Colorado Springs.
“At the gun, I was just thinking I had to stay with Roberts, keep in contact,” Scoggins said. “For the first mile, there were a few of us. After that, we left everybody else.”
“We” meant Roberts, Peyton sophomore Jake Erickson, and Scoggins. Roberts kept just ahead of the other two runners until the beginning of the third mile. The trio was descending a hill when Roberts gained some momentum and pulled ahead a bit.
Then “we went around a corner and Roberts was gone,” Scoggins said. “He was 50 yards ahead of us — we were like, ‘What just happened?’ And from there on, he kept getting further and further ahead.”
William’s dad Matt watched what happened next.
“I think William let up a little bit after (Roberts) made that surge,” Matt Scoggins said. “About 100 yards from the finish, William let Jake (Erickson) get out a little bit in front of him. At the very end, William took off — had he had another 10 or 15 yards, William probably would have caught him.”
Roberts won the race with a time of 16:25, the second fastest run on the course that day in any of the boys’ divisions. He was also the first freshman boy to ever win a Colorado high school state championship. Erickson and Scoggins crossed the line at 17:04 and 17:05, respectively.
“(Roberts is) like Olympic material — I could see that happening very easily,” Scoggins said. “He has the experience of most seniors as a freshman. He has a running family, and he’s been running since he was like three years old. He’s just a good, good runner.”
Scoggins said that, despite falling short of the championship, he was pleased with his own performance.
“I felt good about what I had done, it was a good race,” he said. “I was disappointed I hadn’t won, but I was prepared as I could be and I ran it how I needed to run it.”
The other two Rio Blanco County runners who qualified for state, Meeker senior Lathrop Hughes and junior Jake Boesch, also performed well, placing 22nd and 25th on Saturday.
“It was a good race for them, I felt like,” Beth Scoggins said. “I saw Lathrop come across and he had a great kick at the end. He’s known for his kick and he passed a couple of kids near the finish. It was a great race for both of them.”
For William Scoggins, cross country season ending doesn’t mean it’s time to put away the running shoes. Along with some Rangely teammates, Hughes, and Boesch, Scoggins will race at the Nike Cross Regionals Southwest Championship in Gilbert, Ariz., on Nov. 17. He will continue training on his own until track season begins in the spring.
“My goal now is to win the 800 (meter run) and the mile,” Scoggins said, smiling. “That one I think I can do.”