With her final Big Sky Conference championship race on the line, Montana State senior Heather Demorest didn't want to leave anything left in the tank, especially on her home course in Bozeman.
"I guess the hardest part was with half a mile to go, I just felt like I had nothing left,” said Demorest after the race. “But I had to dig down deep and really search within myself for some strength and it came."
After a slow start to Saturday's race Demorest made a move to get in front of the pack, Weber State's Summer Harper followed with and it was obvious these two runners would set the tone.
"For me I’ve always been a little stressed about my kick I guess,” said Demorest. “I’m not the fastest at the end so I knew when I had to separate and Summer went to.”
"When Heather started pulling away, she made a move so I had to decide to stay where I was at and be complacent and happy with where I was at or go with her and I decided to go with her,” said Harper about the race.
In the end it was Harper who took the win just eight seconds faster than Demorest, but the Darby native said she had no regrets about the race.
"I gave it all I had so I’m really happy with it and it came down to the end and I left nothing on the course and it was a good way to finish out on this course," said Demorest.
Demorest's Bobcat career ends with several milestones. She is the first Montana State woman to earn all-Big Sky honors since 2011. Her silver medal finish is the best by a Bobcat runner since Faith Harvel took 2nd back in 1994.
"It means a lot,” said Demorest. “This is my senior year for cross country and I wanted to go out with a bang. I gave it all I had and I’m really happy with how it turned out."
Of course the fall isn't over for Demorest. She'll be competing at the NCAA Regional meet November 15th in Utah. And with a good a good race there she hopes to qualify for Nationals.
“Regionals is definitely where the team wants to peak,” explained Demorest. “So I felt like I kind of needed a confidence boost going into regionals, so that helped and I think I can only get better.”