KINGMAN - After running in the 2010 AIA State Championship Cross Country Meet as freshmen, the Kingman High girls cross country team - now as seniors - returned for the first time since on Saturday in Phoenix.
"I was focused on getting them to enjoy the meet," KHS coach Anne Bathauer said. "They worked hard to get there and they got the experience of going as a team. It was a great accomplishment for them, and I'm very proud of them."
The Lady Bulldogs came in 28th place out of 29 teams, but they had to run without their No. 1, Amanda Williams. She sprained her ankle last week and couldn't join her team in the meet.
"We tried real hard to get her ready," Bathauer said. "No one was more upset about her not being able to run than she was. She was a huge support for the girls who did run."
Paulina Delgado was the top runner for KHS, getting through the 3.1-mile course in 22 minutes, 57 seconds for a 126th-place finish out of 200 racers.
"Paulina is a stellar athlete," the coach said. "She plays soccer and runs track, too. You'll see her run for a state title in the hurdles."
Haley Moore took nearly two minutes off of the sectional time she posted on Nov. 1, finishing in 23:30 for 149th. Moore was the Lady Bulldogs' eighth runner in 2010 and didn't run in that state meet.
"Haley had a great race," Bathauer said. "Her hard work and tenacity to make it where she is at is a tribute to her."
Alexis Bathauer finished 162nd, Olivia Anderson 167th and Rachael Fondren 193rd for KHS. Bathauer's time was 23:58, Anderson's 24:03 and Fondren's 25:45.
"The results may not show it, but they ran really well. They ran in mid-pack. I just wanted them to do their best, and they did," the coach said.
Bathauer has been head coach of the KHS cross country program for the past 20 years. Though she hasn't turned in her official resignation, she's leaning toward calling her tenure a completed work. She said she wants to be able to watch her twin boys, Matt and Mike, play in their football, basketball and baseball games.
"I've missed a lot of their games to coach other people's kids," the coach said. "It's been my privilege to coach all those kids over 20 years - so much so I call them my other kids."
Allred, Swenson impressive
Brendon Allred finished in 32nd place in the D-III state race for Lee Williams, and Kara Swenson was 35th in the girls race, which was also run Saturday in Phoenix.
Allred and Swenson saved their best for last. Allred ran his best time of 17:19, and Swenson shaved off 46 seconds with a run of 21:16.
Both are sophomores, and the Volunteers appear to have a bright future in cross country.
"Both runners did an amazing job," LWHS coach Joan Abraham said. "They are looking forward to returning next year with the experience of the course, the pressure and the expectations."