Senior standout leading the way for Mariner | Cross country
Senior Abbie Steinhauer is leading the way for the Mariner girls cross country team.
Steinhauer, who finished 12th at the Class 4A state meet last year, easily took first place in a four-way Wesco meet against Edmonds-Woodway, Shorewood and Oak Harbor Oct. 6 at McCollum Park in Everett.
The Mariner standout finished the 5k race in 19 minutes, 12 seconds. Other top finishers for the Marauders included freshman Kara Sevigny (eighth), junior Suzy Pace (18th) and senior Hong Lam Van (19th).
Steinhauer said her goal this season is “to be able to get to state and to do well at state. … maybe top 10.”
Mariner cross country coach Mike Grover has worked with Steinhauer since she joined the team.
“She’s progressed really well each year,” Grover said. “She gets better.”
Last month, Steinhauer took first place by nearly a minute at the Montasano Inviational and helped lead the Marauders to the team championship.
“The girls team is pretty good this year,” Steinhauer said.
One of the keys to Steinhauer’s success is a fast pace that helps to neutralize some of the other runners’ kicks, according to Grover.
“We’re trying to increase her speed finishing the race,” Grover added. “We’re working on that. Her form is much improved. It makes her more efficient.”
The arrivals of Sevigny and Pace have added depth to the squad. Sevigny, a freshman, has moved into the team’s No. 2 spot, while Pace, a standout track and field hurdler, decided to come out for cross country instead of soccer.
In Grover’s experience, many soccer players make great cross country runners.
“Soccer players are notoriously great cross country runners,” he said. “They have stamina and endurance. … She’s a very multi-talented athlete. Her primary goal is to get strong for the track season.”
The Marauders face tough competition in the Wesco 4A with Glacier Peak, the 3A state champion who moved up a class, Kamiak, Lake Stevens and Stanwood.
But depth is enabling Mariner to have one of its better seasons.
“If we can finish in the top half of our league, we can be pretty happy,” Grover said.
The boys teams is what Grover describes as still in its infancy stage. In order to start moving up, Grover said that the team needs to train year round.
Senior Alvin Nguyen placed 15th overall in the Oct. 6 Wesco meet.
“He’s been our top performer,” Grover said.