As the only seniors on both the girls and boys cross country teams this year, three Colfax girls displayed leadership and perseverance as they ended their high school running days at the state meet in early November. According to head coach Joe Doucette, Heidi Lieffort, Mallie Doucette and McKenzie Anderson were all great teammates and were good examples for the younger kids. All three have a little different story concerning their running days.
Lieffort played volleyball through middle school and decided to move into cross country in high school, basically to stay in shape for the spring track season. It was a pretty good choice for her as she ended up running at the state meet with her team as a freshman and subsequently twice more before she finished. Her best conference time in those four years came as a sophomore at 16:56, earning her Second Team All Conference honors, and in four sectional meets, her best time was 17:48 her freshman year. Her fastest time at the state level came as as a freshman when she ran 18:00 for 110th place. She was a part of three conference championship teams and two fourth place teams at the state level.
“It was a great four years for me,” Lieffort said. “The coaches made all the practices fun, which is hard to believe because running is hard work. I had great teammates who pushed me and in the end, we were successful. It was a nice feeling to end my cross country days at the state meet.”
Mallie Doucette came about running for the team a little differently. After lettering in volleyball as a setter her freshman year, she decided to make the switch over to cross country as a sophomore, possibly to help the team out when the coach wasn’t sure if they would have enough girls for a team. She ran on two conference champion teams and at the state level twice, and was the all important fifth runner in for the team at this year’s sectional meet to help them finish second and make the trip to state. Her time of 18:09 and 44th place finish was her best of all three sectional meets. Her sophomore year, Doucette was the fifth runner in for the team at the conference meet at 18:00 for 21st place, again scoring points for the conference title. Her best time at state came as a junior at 18:49 and she ran the course at 18:25 this year. Looking very relaxed (and relieved) after her final race, Doucette commented on her three years:
“I ran with a good group of kids for three years,” she said. “Cross country was a great way to stay in shape and getting to state was a big achievement for our team.”
Anderson struggled with leg injuries throughout her high school career, and didn’t get a chance to compete this season but attended all the meets to support her teammates. She was a big part of the team in past years, finishing 26th at the conference meet in 18:31 as a freshman and 51st her junior year at 20:43. She ran a 21:19 for the sectional runner up team her junior year but didn’t get to run at state due to those leg problems. She had the opportunity to compete in the Griak Invite at the University of Minnesota her junior year, placing 305th with a time of 27:02.
“I wish I could have competed more, but I’m glad for how well my teammates did these past four years,” she said.