Arrow-right Camera

No. 1 Runner Says Anything Can Happen At State

She’s the best runner from the state’s best region. Yet don’t expect Emily Hawkins to take that fact and extrapolate it into another state cross country championship for her family.

“State will be very competitive, so I’m not predicting anything,” Hawkins said about Saturday’s 4A meet in Pasco.

“Given I’m the No. 1 from a tough region, I should be one of the favorites,” she said. “But you never know what’s going to happen on a particular day.”

Hawkins won the girls Region IV-4A title on Oct. 29, following in the footsteps of former Ferris teammate Jennifer Smith, now at the University of Colorado.

Hawkins’ brother, Isaac, now at Stanford, followed up his 1996 regional title with his second consecutive state championship.

Emily ran No. 3 for Ferris much of last year, behind Smith and Jill Johnson. She placed ninth at region and 12th at state; good results, but not Isaac-like.

Emily chose to make her senior year something special, putting in extra miles over the summer and soaking up constant pointers from Isaac.

Her season has been nearly flawless, her health solid except for a flu bug that kept her out of a Greater Spokane League meet.

The regional meet included seven teams ranked in the top 10 in the state coaches poll. Hawkins ran the 5,000 meters 30 seconds faster than the field.

Ferris’ team didn’t qualify for state, leaving Hawkins and Johnson as the team’s representatives at Sun Willows Golf Course.

“Jill and I should get more individual attention,” Hawkins said of the state meet. “Jill’s a good person to push me and help me get faster.”

Ferris girls coach Wayne Gilman said Hawkins’ regional time is competitive with the best from other regions. Gilman said no Saxon girls runner has placed higher than third at state.

, DataTimes ILLUSTRATION: 2 Photos