WAMEGO Don’t get Christi Douglas wrong.
She’s quite excited the Class 1A state title her Seabury Academy cross country team won Saturday at the Wamego Golf Course, the first state athletic title in school history.
But she can’t help but think the future might be even brighter.
“That’s the exciting part of all of it,” Douglas said. “They’ll all be back next year.”
Most of ’em will be around the following year, too.
Paced by sophomore Kate Albrecht’s fourth-place finish, the Seahawks won state with 43 points, 13 better than runner-up Tribune Greeley.
Albrecht was fourth in the 4K race in 16:14 and was followed in the team placings by Maddie McCaffrey (10th, personal-best 16:52), Heidi Dumesich (12th, personal-best 17:11), Phoebe Grabill (33rd, 18:28), Addie Graham (39th, 18:50) and Elish Gibson (65th, 20:45).
McCaffrey is the only junior in the bunch, and Graham is a freshman. The others are sophomores.
“I think they all can improve,” Douglas said. “That’s the beauty of this sport: Everybody can improve.”
Douglas said she was most impressed by the Seahawks’ “mental toughness” on the challenging, hilly course.
“Their goal was to first of all to get in position to win at the beginning,” Douglas said. “In the middle, they were going to try to attack the hills, then use the downhills to keep passing. They did that. It’s a really tough group of girls. Their goal was just to hand in the lowest number they possibly could, and they all really did that today. They really put it out there. They all ran really well, really focused.”
They also, Douglas said, didn’t seemed fazed by the big stage.
“They didn’t really seem nervous before the race,” Douglas said. “They were just really focused and had a lot of fun with it.”
Maybe that was due to youth?
“Maybe next year, when people know about them, they’ll be a little more nervous,” Douglas said with a laugh.
Seabury’s boys did not qualify as a team.
Running individually, Seabury’s Brandon McCaffrey placed 12th in the 5K race in 18:18, and Marcus Allen was 52nd in 20:16.