It’s one thing to go into a season as a defending state champ. It’s quite another having no idea a state title is within reach.
That sums up where East Valley’s Logan Hofstee found herself a year ago.
“I never thought it was going to be a breakout season,” Hofstee said. “As a sophomore, I got my feet wet. But I had no idea.”
Hofstee was a State 2A runner-up as a sophomore, finishing a distant 20 seconds behind Jessica Frydenlund of Anacortes. Then last fall she beat her by 23 seconds.
Just a natural 43-second turnaround.
“Really, on any given day, it could have gone either way,” Hofstee said, downplaying her impressive showing.
“She put in a lot of hard work,” EV coach Lauren Bergam said about Hofstee’s preseason a year ago. “She put in a lot of miles.”
Hofstee knew what the preseason preparations required this summer. And she hopes it pays off not only in a state title defended, but even more.
See, Hofstee is preparing for races well after state. She became the first EV runner to qualify for the Nike Cross National meet in Portland last year, finishing 38th.
Hofstee wants to see if her goal of top 10 is realistic this season. So, while she’ll definitely be out to take care of business at state, much of her training through the high school season will be tailored for the national meet.
“Nationals is more important to her,” Bergam said.
She’s been spending a lot of time working on speed so she can have a better finishing kick.
Hofstee had to work around it at state last year. Frydenlund was known for a lethal kick, so Hofstee did her best to put much room between the two by the time they reached the final mile of the 3.1-mile championship race.
The strategy worked. But to fare better at nationals, she needs to have some speed for the final 800 meters.
“I haven’t really focused on it in the offseason because I think my kick will develop,” Hofstee said. “I’ve done a lot more volume in my training and some weightlifting. I’ve really gone after quality.”
Bergam has noticed a difference.
“She’s had a good summer,” Bergam said. “We’ve worked on longer tempos, a high effort of sustained miles.”
Hofstee wants to break the 18-minute barrier this season.
She is an example to her teammates on the course and in the classroom. She’s never had anything lower than an A. The 4.0 grade-point student is in contention for the school’s highest academic honor – valedictorian.
She’s already decided where she’s headed for college. She gave Gonzaga an oral commitment in the winter.
She chose Gonzaga over Northern Arizona, one of the top running schools in the nation, and Boise State, among others.
“It’s a perfect fit for me,” Hofstee said. “They put an emphasis on family and enjoying running and life. It was a match made in heaven for me. You have to go where your heart will be happy and that was with the Zags.”
Hofstee is hopeful her team will qualify for state with her this season. As it turns out, the Knights should have a good shot. Instead of qualifying regionally, the Greater Spokane League will receive two team berths to the State 2A meet at Sun Willows Golf Course in Pasco.
West Valley is likely the favorite.
“I think we’re going to surprise some people,” Hofstee said. “We’ve been running for each other. Our chemistry has been great.”
Said Bergam: “I have a lot of respect for her dedication and love for the sport and her teammates.”