The realization was enough to cause Molly MacPhee a moment’s wistfulness.
She knew her high school career was nearing its end. And she knew it would soon be the last time she would compete with and against her sophomore sister, Marcy.
“I will miss track a lot, the whole experience,” said Molly. “I think I’ll miss it most because of my sister. It’s been a fun two years.”
They are two peas in a pod, these daughters of former University High cross country coach Glen MacPhee and his wife, Delora.
Both are 300-meter hurdlers who lined up next to each other in lanes three and four of Thursday night’s qualifying race for next week’s regional meet at Spokane Falls Community College.
“I think we’re more alike than different,” Molly explained. “I’m just a little older and a little slower. We’re both funny, positive and energetic. We’re so out of control sometimes.”
The taller Marcy may be faster, but Molly said she is tougher. And their times have been comparable. The elder MacPhee set a Strandberg Invitational meet record of 46.2 a year ago. Finishing second this year behind new record holder Becca Paulk of LC, Marcy timed 46.4 and beat sis by .5 second.
The 46.9 was some three seconds faster than Molly had run this year as a prelude to Thursday’s regional qualifying effort. Something about the Strandberg, she said, brings out the best in her.
“They weren’t going to run Molly because her times weren’t there,” said her dad. “Somebody mentioned that, because she was the record holder, she should defend her title.”
Actually, it was Marcy who began hurdling first, prompting Molly to take it up last year.
The first of Central Valley’s four-year varsity track performers, Molly originally was a 400-meter runner who helped the Bears’ 1,600-meter relay team qualify for state her freshman year.
“I kind of thought it would be a good idea and I blew her away last year,” said Molly.
She finished third at 45.8 in regional to qualify for state, only to later be disqualified for dragging her trail leg around the hurdle.
“At first it was kind of annoying, because I’d done it first,” said Marcy. “Now I just think she’s someone I have to beat.”
Indeed, her better speed has enabled her to supplant Molly on the 1,600-meter relay team and lower CV’s year-old Strandberg record of which Molly had been a part.
Their rivalry is friendly, but the family has always been competitive, whether racing in the front yard or seeing who can be first to reach the car from the house.
Molly’s success has been because of her attention to technique, said her coach, Dennis McGuire. As a result she is a better 100 meter hurdler and qualified for regionals in that event Thursday as well.
Marcy’s has come because of her speed and reckless attack of the hurdles making her better suited for the longer race. She also has benefited, said her dad, from an earlier start in athletics by tagging along with her older sister.
They’ve been multi-sport performers, Molly in cross country and gymnastics, Marcy in cross country, soccer and basketball.
Marcy still has two years left to embellish her athletic accomplishments. Molly’s athletic days are numbered but her loss will be felt.
“She’s one of our first four-year track athletes and a leader,” said McGuire. “I’ll miss her when she’s gone.”