Brewer preparing to add to Skyline runners’ record book
August 27, 2014
By Neil Pierson
Maizy Brewer’s 2013 cross-country season was one to behold – she set sophomore class records at three distances for Skyline High School, and finished just outside the top 10 at the state championships.
As much pleasure as Brewer took from her individual performances, however, leading the Spartans to a 10th-place team finish at the Class 4A state meet was an even bigger accomplishment, and she wouldn’t have been so good without her teammates.
“I just think we had a really close-knit team last year and that was the key,” Brewer said. “It kind of all fell into place, but it was a surprise.”
Brewer is doing her best to make sure 2013 was no fluke. She put in two months of work on the track with Junior Olympics, and after a 10-day break where she completely stayed away from running, began training with her Skyline teammates four days a week.
And as high-school tryouts begin this week, Brewer may be expected to be more than just a pace setter for coach Brendan Hyland’s Spartans. Last year’s team leaders, Samantha Krahling and Alex Daugherty, graduated and passed the torch to girls like Brewer.
“I’ve really tried to model myself after them athletically because they’re so talented and they never give up, and they’re so humble, too,” Brewer said of Krahling and Daugherty.
Brewer comes from an athletically-gifted family: Her father, Chris, is a second-degree black belt in taekwondo, and her entire family has been immersed in the sport for years. Maizy began learning at age 6, and earned her first-degree black belt from True Martial Arts studio in Sammamish.
Brewer said taekwondo has helped her become a better runner. She’s built mental strength by learning from her dad, whom she credits for having a great deal of discipline.
“I used to have a lot of doubts about my abilities,” she said, “and sometimes have a hard time trusting myself with something difficult.”
Brewer got into competitive running on the late side, joining the track team at Beaver Lake Middle School because her friends were doing it. She was a sprinter at first.
“I was convinced I would never run more than one lap around the track,” she said with a chuckle.
Before her freshman year at Skyline, she decided to add cross country to her repertoire because she figured it would help her train for track. Upon meeting Hyland, she told him she preferred speed over endurance.
The coach got the last laugh, though. By the end of the season, Brewer realized she wasn’t a sprinter.
Brewer turned in some solid but unspectacular cross-country times as a ninth-grader, then took flight as a sophomore. Her times in the two-mile (12 minutes, 9.99 seconds), three-mile (18:58) and 5,000 meters (18:27.90) all broke the school’s sophomore records. The latter mark, in fact, came at the state meet on the undulating hills of Pasco’s Sun Willows Golf Course, and her 11th place effort there set Skyline’s overall record.
Because of her late start in long distances, she’s still trying to find the same success on the track. As a freshman, she contributed to Skyline’s seventh-place state finish in the 1,600-meter relay. But she didn’t get past the KingCo meet as a sophomore in the 800, 1,600 or 3,200.
“The learning curve is tough,” Brewer admitted. “I never anticipated the difference (with cross country) … and it takes a toll on your body.”
Mckenzie Deutsch and Emily Sullivan are the other returning members of the Spartans’ 2013 state squad, and Brewer said it’s definitely “a reachable goal” to get back there again. As for individual goals, she’s looking to break the 18-minute barrier for the first time and qualify for the Nike Border Clash, a high-school all-star event, for a second straight year.
She has some additional fuel as her younger sister, Clara, will be a freshman at Skyline and plans to run as well.
“I’m excited to spend these last few years of high school with her,” Brewer said.