For Whitefish Bay senior distance running ace Camille Davre, her true valedictory will come in the spring, when she hopes to add to her already impressive total of seven WIAA state track championships.
But a state cross-country title would have been the icing on the cake, the cherry on top, the molten hot fudge on the frigid cold vanilla ice cream.
Davre almost but didn't quite get there on Oct. 29, when for the second year in a row, she took second in the WIAA state test at The Ridges Golf Course in Wisconsin Rapids.
She turned in a time of 18:24.7, as DSHA junior Meghan Scott was just a little stronger the last 1,000 meters in winning in 18:10.5.
Coach Mike Miller was a bit philosophical about it all.
"Unfortunately, she slowed down that last mile," he said. "Meghan also slowed down, too, but she slowed down less. It was a bit frustrating. It doesn't take anything away from her career in cross-country. It was just on that day, Meghan was feeling perfect, and Cami just struggled a bit (down the stretch).
"It was really too bad. We had it all scripted so well. It was just one of those days, and it wasn't for lack of effort."
Davre's effort marked the fourth consecutive season she was in the top five (she was fourth her sophomore year and third as a freshman). Her efforts led the Blue Dukes to an 11th-place finish in the 20-team field with 257 points with one of the youngest squads in the field.
A remarkably young Sun Prairie team dominated the team standings with only 82 points.
According to Miller, the individual race outcome really had more to do with Scott than with Davre.
Davre beat Scott in early season meets at Arrowhead and Marshfield.
"But the last month, she (Scott) has been a completely different runner," Miller said. "I was actually afraid that she might run away with this thing."
Scott and Davre ran with Muskego sophomore star Kate Jochims (third in 18:30.1) early on. Scott and Davre broke from Jochims at the 2-mile mark, and things were still looking good at the 2½-mile mark.
"Everything was as planned except that last half-mile," Miller said.
Miller said Davre was fine on the awards stand and noted she is still contemplating whether to run in one of the big postseason regional and national cross-country competitions. She will spend the winter formalizing college plans as many top schools, including Wisconsin, Michigan and Oregon, are courting her.
"Right now, it's a matter of challenging herself," Miller said. "See how far she can go. See what it's like out of her comfort zone. I believe she's going to be very motivated for the track season."
Miller was also pleased with the team effort as freshman Maggie Keiper looks like she will be the future of the team after taking 15th in the team standings and 27th overall (out of close to 190 runners) with a time of 19:23. Other scoring runners included senior Ellie Hall in 64th (109th) in 20:30, freshman Alexa Bartschat in 80th (130th) in 20:45, and freshman Anika Horowitz in 96th (146th) in 20:59.
Also running were freshman Zoe Styler in 99th (149th) in 21:01 and junior Josie Helf in 101st (151st) in 21:02.
"Eleventh was a good finish, and Maggie was just the fifth freshman to finish," Miller said. "It was also good that Ellie (Hall) was able to finish well. She was a major reason we got back to state. We wouldn't have gotten here without her."
Senior boys runner David Potter finished his second state run in a solid 70th place in 16:57. Miller said it was a great race for him considering he lost a good part of his summer training due to an unexpected leg surgery.
"It was a weird year for him," Miller said. "Last year, he was in better shape, but I still thought it was a remarkable year considering he didn't get the miles in he thought he would (over the summer)."