From the pages of
The Sublette County Journal
Volume 4, Number 23 - 2/3/00
brought to you online by Pinedale Online

SI Names Three County Residents to Top 50 Athletes List
Many more left off. Why?
by Jennifer Binning

In the December 27th issue of Sports Illustrated, three local athletes were named in the popular magazine's cover story, "50 Greatest Sports Figures From Wyoming." Nestled among the broad based list ranging from cowboys to pro football players, were Pinedale's Lat Straley (Nordic skiing) and John Burrough (pro football), and Joe Alexander (rodeo) of Cora. SI also noted Corte McGuffey and Todd Skinner, two athletes with deep roots in Sublette County.

After this issue of Sports Illustrated hit the newsstand, the Sublette County Journal began to field phone calls from residents wondering why some other local athletes were not included. Sublette County has produced many top ranked athletes over the years, and the Journal wondered what criterion was used to pick the athletes in the Sports Illustrated article. Calls to the Editors at SI were not returned.

After a very informal poll, the Journal found at least eight Sublette County athletes who should have been recognized in the SI article.

The Straley family of Pinedale produced two other children who were exceptionally talented athletes. Latner's brothers Zane and Monte were nationally ranked Nordic ski racers as well.

Connie and Perry Binning also produced two talented athletes. Holly Binning Thayne was a member of the World University Biathlon Team several years ago, and a member of the United States Biathlon team. Little brother Darin went on to be one of the youngest National Champion biahletes in the country, as well as competing in the 1988 Calgary Olympic Games.

Another member of the Skinner family makes the cut as well. Ntala Skinner was a member of the first ever women's Olympic Biathlon team.

Sonny Korfanta's daughter Karen was also slated to compete in the Olympics as an alpine skier when she broke her leg just prior to the event in the 1960's.

Kathy and Dennis Almquist's daughter Amy also was a Junior National Champion nordic skier while in High School on Pinedale.

Eb Richie of Boulder was named Rookie of the Year as a professional bull rider in the late 80s before he returned to his family's ranch south of Boulder, and finally Jenny James of Daniel, who grew up riding in her fathers cutting horse arena, was a National High School Rodeo Champion in 1996.

This is by no means a complete list of the exceptional athletes produced by Sublette County, but we at the Journal feel these athletes deserved to be included in the Sports Illustrated article.

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Copyright © 1999 The Sublette County Journal
All rights reserved. Reproduction by any means must have permission of the Publisher.
The Sublette County Journal, PO Box 3010, Pinedale, WY 82941   Phone 307-367-3713
Publisher/Editor: Rob Shaul