And by season’s end, Callister had established herself as the best runner on the best team in the area, making her a unanimous choice as the All-Area Girls’ Cross-Country Runner of the Year as voted by the editors and sportswriters of the Glendale News-Press, Burbank Leader and La Cañada Valley Sun.
“Personally, I’m very happy [with this season],” Callister says. “This year, I came in just wanting to do my best and improve my times, and I was able to do that.”
Callister’s four years running on the Crescenta Valley cross-country team might best be characterized by improvement.
“She’s been very successful,” Crescenta Valley Coach Mark Evans says. “The big thing is just continuing to improve. She decided she wanted to be a runner.
“She’s definitely improved every year. And she’s not done.”
Example enough comes in her performances at the meet that every squad Callister has been a part of has been driven to qualify for.
As a freshman having helped Crescenta Valley qualify for its first-ever state berth, Callister was victimized by the massive field, stumbling early in the race at Woodward Park and never fully recovering. She would finish 113th in 20 minutes 13 seconds, the sixth Falcon to cross the finish.
A season later, she dropped nearly a minute off her time, finishing 43rd in 19:18 as her team’s No. 3 finisher, the same result as her junior season, when she once again improved her time, knocking off 17 seconds.
As a senior, she dropped below the 19-minute mark, clocking 18:27 to take 25th in the race as her team’s frontrunner.
“When I was a freshman, I set the goal of wanting to make it to state all four years,” she says. “I was really excited [when it finally happened].”