Canyon del Oro sophomore Bridgette Doucet finished second at the Division II girls cross country meet in the fall and has a very good chance at winning her first state title in two weeks at the state track meet.
Winning, however, is not her focus. Having fun is.
She got to experience both at the Sabino Invitational on Friday, anchoring CDO's 3,200-meter relay team to a win in 10 minutes 5.34 seconds.
"I think it's exciting, but I don't want to call it anything yet," Doucet said about her chances of winning a state title. "If something happens and I win, I'll be really happy. If I don't, I'll still be really happy just for making it.
"I just feel like God gave me this crazy idea that I should be a distance runner, and he's just kind of led me through everything I've ever done."
Doucet, who was named the Star's Southern Arizona cross country runner of the year, has the best area times in the 800 (2:20.66), 1,600 (5:12.30) and 3,200 (11:36.88) which are all in the top four of Division II.
That's not bad for someone who is less than a year into being a distance runner. Longtime Canyon del Oro coach Rick Glider said when Doucet first came out for track, she wanted to be a sprinter.
But since Doucet has made the change to distance running, she has become one of the best runners Glider has seen in his 21 years as a track and cross country coach. She owns the No. 3 all-time marks in school history in her three events, according to Glider.
"She's having a phenomenal season," Glider said. "She's running very well and exceeding expectations.
"She's such a hard worker," he added. "She'll go do her workout and come back and help the other kids."
Doucet said she has liked distance running all along and loves the camaraderie within it. She said there hasn't been much of a transition for her, aside from needing a different mindset.
"When you're a sprinter you can just go out there and give it your all for 200 meters or 400 meters, and then you're done," Doucet said. "But, when you're doing two laps, four laps or eight laps, you really have to get your brain in gear to say, 'I'm not done yet, but I will be done soon.'"