BROOMFIELD — Emma Gee was angry … and that is putting it mildly.
Shortly after she crossed the finish line last season at the Norris Penrose Event Center in Colorado Springs and realized she wouldn’t be on the awards stand — designated for those who finish in the top 10 — she got out of the stadium as quickly as possible.
It wasn’t five minutes after her run that she was already thinking about 2014.
“This just means that next year, I’ll be out for blood,” she said after the race.
It was just proof that even the best have off days and whether it was the combination of race-day strategy, the weather, or how your body feels on that particular day, the results will show it. After all, a year before on the same course, Gee finished second.
So it is with a renewed focus that the Legacy senior will attempt to close out her prep cross country career with a bang.
“My goal is just to run strong all season and run smart so I can do well at state this year,” said Gee, who finished second Thursday at the Cheyenne Mountain Stampede — a sort of pre-state meet at the same site. “I’m really looking forward to taking on that hill again, because it can kind of be a nightmare, but if you prepare for it the right way mentally and physically then it is just a fun run.”
In no way is Gee or head coach Daniel Hummel in the business of making excuses, but to her credit, Gee did run at state last year after dealing with the flu for a majority of the week prior.
“That is her motivation this year, how she did at state last year. Because otherwise she was a regional champion, second in the (Front Range) league and she knows that there might only be a few girls faster than her,” said Hummel, who had three girls in the top 35 at Cheyenne Mountain including Abby Cohen (9th) and Kristyn Fudge (34th). “So there was no reason she was out of the top-10 last year and she has in her mindset that she can win it if everything goes her way.
“And she knows that she only has one more chance, and how much more motivation do you need than that?”
Gee, who is still narrowing down her options for running in college, will have to track down defending state champion Lauren Gregory of Fort Collins. Gregory blitzed the field last year as a freshman and is one of those girls, along with Fairview’s Maya Browning and Cherry Creek’s Jordyn Colter, that Gee will have in her sights.
“It’s always important to be aware who you are running against, but for the most part you need to be focused on what you are doing and how you are running,” said Gee, the Legacy student body president who helps pace the boys team during practices. “If you want to be successful, you can’t be looking behind you all of the time.”
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