Runner’s high: One senior’s story


Sam Sampson

Senior girls varsity runner Xiomara Robinson races through the last quarter mile of her 5K at the Sheridan VA Medical Center state cross country meet on Saturday, Oct. 22, 2016.

With seven seasons of cross country, six seasons of outdoor track, and three seasons of indoor track under her belt, Xiomara Robinson is entering her senior seasons with even more dedication than her previous years of running. In sixth grade, Robinson’s parents encouraged her to go out for cross country and she ended up falling in love with the sport–and the team’s camaraderie-–and has been racing ever since.

Since her high school career began, Robinson has had three seasons of running during the school year while training tirelessly throughout the summer. This is her fourth year in a row of training practically year-round. Most recently, Robinson’s last year of cross country has wrapped up and she’s getting ready to train for indoor.

To list one of Robinson’s accomplishments over the years, she currently holds the sophomore girls 5K record at the VA course with a time of 20:54. She’s also earned countless ribbons and medals from a variety of races over the years. Art Baures, Robinson’s track and cross country coach of four years, described Robinson’s intrinsic talent for racing: “Her strength is her lungs; she processes oxygen as well as anybody I’ve ever coached, and her real talent is her ability to maintain a very solid pace throughout all of her races and her training.”

In order to All-State in cross country or track, runners must be in the top ten in the state. Robinson has All-Stated a total of three times, in indoor track with the two-mile as a sophomore, in cross country as a junior and in outdoor track last year with her 4×800 meter relay team comprised of Robinson, graduated senior Janika Sweeney, sophomore Josie Fettig, and junior Pippin Robison. The girls All-Stated in outdoor with the 4×800, and even broke the Sheridan High School girls 4×800 indoor record with a time of 10:07.11.

Robinson is very passionate about running because it’s more than a sport to her. Running gives her time to ponder, study, and process daily life. “I go for a run and it relieves my stress and lets me think about a million things at once to the point that I don’t even realize I’m running,” she said.

Now that she has concluded her high school cross country career, Robinson will begin training for indoor track with high hopes and standards. As for her personal goals, she plans to break 5:20 in the mile and 11:30 in the two mile. Robinson can’t decide which sport she enjoys more, but she knows that once track season is in full swing, she will experience cross country nostalgia. “During cross country I miss track and during track I miss cross country,” said Robinson.

During the indoor track season Robinson also plans to compete at the 39th annual Simplot Games, which will be held February 16-18 at Idaho State University’s Holt Arena in Pocatello, Idaho. About 2,100 high school athletes from 19 states will travel to this event, but in order for these runners to qualify, they must attain a specific level of performance determined by coaches. Robinson has qualified for this event for the last three years in a row, running the mile at Simplot during her freshman year and the two mile her sophomore and junior years. Right now, she’s leaning towards competing in the two mile at Simplot again rather than the mile, but she will decide for sure once she enters the season and Simplot grows closer.

Aside from running, Robinson enjoys snowboarding at the slopes of Meadowlark, Big Sky, and Jackson Hole, and hiking all over Wyoming’s mountains. After high school she wants to minor in Spanish and major in pre-med with microbiology concentration at Montana State University in Bozeman, Mont. She wants to become a pathologist, which is a physician who interprets and diagnoses the changes caused by diseases in tissues and body fluids. She was inspired to pursue this field of helping others in Stephanie Penrose’s biology class. Based on the remainder of her high school seasons, she will decide whether or not she will run in college but Baures seems to have faith in her post-high school training. “I wouldn’t put any limits on her,” said Baures. “Who knows what she’ll do?”

Robinson is the daughter of Irving and Carmen Robinson.