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Plenty Of Potential

By Staff | Dec 13, 2013

Seven first places in 2013, a new course record and top-three performances at the Class AAA, Region II meet and the Class AAA state meet – Jefferson’s Abby Colbert won just about everything, and she’s only a sophomore.

For her outstanding cross country season, Colbert has been named The Journal’s Female Cross Country Runner of the Year.

“She’s fierce, she’s having fun and she has no idea what talent she holds,” Jefferson coach Suzy Munnis said.

Munnis said Colbert’s untapped potential was clear at the state meet when University’s Amelia Paladino crossed the finish line in first place and proceeded to the medical table. Colbert, on the other hand, finished about 30 seconds behind Paladino and declined any help to the tables. Instead, she waved to her coach and parents and walked over to accept congratulations. She was tired, but it certainly didn’t show.

“I ran my hardest race, but I feel like I could’ve done just a little bit better,” Colbert said. “I was tired, but a part of me was telling me I wasn’t tired.”

Colbert had dominating performances all season and went on a first-place streak for four races at the end of the season. She blew the competition away at the Buffalo Wild Wing Stampede, Jefferson County Championship, Eastern Panhandle Athletic Conference meet and regional meet. She still has two more years ahead of her.

“She hasn’t even gone into that other gear,” Munnis said, excited to see what happens when Colbert does push herself more.

The want for more has already started. After the Stampede, Colbert wasn’t pleased with her 20 minute, 34 second victory on the difficult Hampshire course. So what did she do?

She set a course record at the Jefferson County Championship with a 18:44 time and returned to Hampshire for the regional meet to shave almost a minute off her time.

“I was begging my coach all week to look up the records,” Colbert said. “Breaking it wasn’t the hard part. Breaking it by so many seconds was the hard part.”

She wasn’t going to be satisfied just setting a record. She’d been there, done that when she set records for the mile and two-mile runs. She wanted to blow the record away.

But that’s who Colbert is. She sets goals and achieves them.

“I like making my goals and trying to get them,” Colbert said.

“Most of them aren’t even realistic,” she added with a laugh.

The sophomore already has two first place titles at the regional meet and a second place at the state meet in addition to being runner of the year for the second straight year. So what’s next for the speedy little Cougar?

“To break 18s, maybe 17:30,” Colbert said. “I’m expected to get first place so that’s already a goal.”

All of Colbert’s success wouldn’t be the same if it weren’t for her constant fan club at every meet. Always in her corner are her parents, who can be found cheering from the sidelines at every meet, sometimes her twin sister and usually her grandmother.

“My mom hates missing my races,” Colbert laughed, adding she’s pretty sure the only two races her mom ever missed were because her sister broke her arm.

“It is extrememly amazing. I don’t know what I would do without them,” she said.

With two more years left in her high school career, only good things should be expected from the dominating Cougar…and probably some running through puddles.

“I love running through water,” she said with a big smile. “Sometimes, I try to get it in my mouth.”