McKaylie Caesar finishes 23rd in her final race of her historic high school career

By Patrick Dillon @PDillon_SGN

CLOVIS – McKaylie Caesar’s long distance running career will go down as the greatest for any Lindsay High School runner.

Caesar competed in her fifth state competition of her career on Saturday, May 25, for the 101st CIF Track and Field State Championships where she entered her final high school race ranked 23rd in the 3200-meter. While breaking into the top 10 again had to be the goal for the senior runner, it wasn’t meant to be. Her finish matched her ranking of 23rd with a time of 11:05.27.

“It is discouraging how it had to finish, but I am excited for the future and what I am going to be able to do,” Caesar said.

Caesar was barely able to contain her excitement all week as she prepared to exit her high school career with one more race at the highest level possible. Unfortunately, the day before her race on Saturday she came down with a 101-degree fever.

All day on Friday Caesar remained in bed and drank fluids to stay hydrated. Then, on Saturday, she began to feel better, but still had aches and chills. But she was not going to miss her last race, no matter how horrible she felt.

By late morning, Caesar’s temperature had fallen and a wind began to blow through Buchanan High School’s Veterans Memorial Stadium. The wind along with her ailments did not stop her from getting out to one last fast start. She ran in fifth place through the first couple of laps, but then began to look drained of energy. She fell back to 12th soon after, but toward the end began to lose momentum.

“It was exciting to run my last race, but also sad,” Caesar said.

The accolades Caesar has accomplished over her three years overshadow this one performance. In cross country she won the East Sequoia League Individual Championship all three years, and won back-to-back Division IV Championships after placing fourth in her first year in 2016. She made the state tournament all three years, and placed a career best 10th place finish this past fall. On the oval track she swept the 800-, 1600-, and 3200-meter Individual Championships all three years. She won three of the Division II titles, two in the 800-meter, and one in the 1600-meter. Her dominance spilled over into the East Area Qualifier as she won the 1600- and 3200-meter—not a bad resume for a runner who tired out running as a fill in for her sister Maddie.

Caesar accomplished a lot over the three years of competing for the Lindsay Cardinals, but it is not the championships which she’ll remember the most. Instead, it is the thrill of competition she had with her teammates, and other runners.

“All my teammates who have pushed me to be the best, my dad coaching me, and running in all of these great races,” Caesar said.

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