Scotts Valley High junior Ashlyn Boothby is on pace for another historic record-setting season with the Falcons’ girls’ cross country team.
The defending Santa Cruz Coast Athletic League and Central Coast Section champion has won two league dual meets and four invitationals, but the season is far from over.
“I was really looking to push myself and see where my limits are,” she said. “I still haven’t achieved all my goals so there’s still some work left to do, but it’s been a lot of fun, so far.”
Boothby set two course records this year, including a 15:54.0 finish at the Ram Invitational and 13:25.0 at the Artichoke Invitational, which was previously held by former San Lorenzo Valley standout Anna Maxwell at 13:31.0.
“It’s just insane because I’ve looked at all the times that Anna Maxwell, Niki Hiltz and Vanessa Fraser all set when they were in high school,” Boothby said. “I always thought to myself, ‘I want to be able to do that.’”
Hiltz and Fraser continued their running careers at the professional level.
“If I’m running as well as they did in high school, that’s pretty exciting that I’m kind of on track to doing what they’re doing, in a way,” Boothby said. “It’s super special to get that record because I always saw their high school times as super insane, and fast.”
When Vanessa Fraser was at Scotts Valley, there was also Niki Hiltz of Aptos and Maxwell competing in the mix.
“It’s kind of amazing because I thought about when Vanessa was here, all those runners that she had around her all the time,” Hoffman said. “Ashlyn’s kind of on an island by herself and it doesn’t seem to bother her.”
Boothby was nominated three different times for California MileSplit Girls Cross Country Runner of the Week this season.
She’s excited for the recognition, however, she’s mainly focused on her own goals, not really the publicity part of it.
“But it’s definitely exciting that I’m getting my name out there,” she said. “Hopefully for colleges to see because I have some big goals for college, as well.”
Hoffman said Boothy is one of the top runners in the state who not only trains smart but she’s both coachable and team oriented.
At the Asics Clovis Invitational on Oct. 8, Boothby qualified for the championship race, yet she wanted to race alongside her teammates in the small school finals.
“There was no discussing that one, you’re picked for the championship you run in it,” Hoffman said.
Boothy was going for a personal record at Woodward Park in Fresno and also has an outreach goal of breaking the 17-minute mark. She placed seventh in 17:44.3.
“It’s frustrating because I don’t really know what happened,” she said. “Everything was set up to where I could do really well. I had all the competition there, I was feeling ready and then I just wasn’t able to perform that day.”
Still, she’s hopeful to reach that feat at the CIF State Championships on Nov. 26.
“She had a disappointing day at Clovis, in her eyes but every now and then you gotta have one of those,” Hoffman said.
For now, Boothby’s goals are for the Falcons to repeat as SCCAL and CCS champions with a chance to qualify for the CIF State Championships.
She also wants to repeat as the league’s individual champion and chase down Fraser’s school record of 16:53.0 at the Pinto Lake Course in Watsonville.
Hoffman said his ace runner has a drive to be the best but she doesn’t take short cuts. He added that Boothby knows it’s going to take hard work and there’s times they go back-and-forth because he needs to slow her down.
“She’s always trying to push herself,” Hoffman said. “She has some good goals and they’re all obtainable.”
Boothy will also try to repeat as CCS individual champion but the race will be at Crystal Springs Cross Country Course in Belmont, which she doesn’t fully enjoy running on.
“It’s all in the sun, it’s hot and dusty, super hilly,” she said. “I did it last year for the first time and it was just miserable. It felt like the longest race I’ve ever done.”
The Falcons have one more league dual meet against Soquel on Oct. 25 before heading into the SCCAL Championships on Nov. 3.
“I’m gonna keep the grind set on, gonna keep training hard,” Boothby said.