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Rawlins junior Sydney Thorvaldson blew past the competition in Saturday’s Liberty Bell Invitational in Littleton, Colorado, surprising herself by breaking the meet record by finishing in 16 minutes, 40.6 seconds.

Thorvaldson broke a 3-year old record set by Grandview (Colo.) standout Brie Oakley, who finished in 16:44 in 2016. Oakley now runs at the University of California, where she won Pac-12 Freshman of the Year honors last season.

Thorvaldson’s record-breaking performance came a week after winning the season-opening Beartrap Invitational in 18 minutes, 9.5 seconds.

After winning that race, among smoky conditions due to the nearby Pedro Mountain wildfire, she talked about how excited she was to run in the Liberty Bell.

She familiarized herself with the course over the summer and, as always, enjoyed the prospect of national competition.

“I ran the course this summer during a community fun run and it was so much fun,” Thorvaldson said after last week’s Beartrap Invite.

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“I loved it.”

Thorvaldson’s time on Saturday put her 13th nationally before results came in from this weekend’s races across the country.

Next weekend is the State Cross Country Preview Meet in Afton.

That gives runners an opportunity to experience the site of this year’s championship meet.

The Wyoming High School Activities Association previously told the Star-Tribune that state records don’t carry over to different sites, giving Thorvaldson — who set the state record at Sheridan’s Veterans Affairs Hospital last season with a 17:34.68 — an opportunity to set a new state record.

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Follow sports reporter Brady Oltmans on Twitter @BradyOltmans

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High School Sports Reporter

Brady Oltmans reports on high school and local sports. He joined the Star-Tribune in July 2016 after covering prep sports and college soccer in Nebraska. He also contributes to University of Wyoming sports coverage. He and his dog live in Casper.

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