A pair of Silver Creek sisters will be participating in the New York State Public High School Athletic Association Class D girls' cross country meet today, at Elma Meadows Golf Course, in Elma.
For one sister it will be her third consecutive trip to the state meet, for the other, it will be her first. And given that one is only a freshman and the other is just an eighth grader, it would surprise very few if they continued to have success over the remainder of their careers.
Hannah Seiders began running for head coach Mike Janisch when she was in seventh grade while younger sister Emma took to the sport for the first time this fall after playing soccer last season.
The Silver Creek duo of Hannah Seiders, front,?and her younger sister, Emma, rear, will run today at Elma Meadows Golf Course, in Elma, in the New York State Public High School Athletic association’s Class D girls’ cross country championship meet.
"I believe that they're both excited to go," Hannah and Emma's mother Amy Seiders said. "I know that Emma looks up to Hannah, so I know that she's excited to be able to go with her."
There hasn't always been joy, however, as Hannah has realized that little sister Emma is closing in on her.
"After the Eden meet, Emma was only 21 seconds behind Hannah and Hannah had her best race probably ever, and she was very upset because Emma was so close behind her," Amy said. "She didn't realize that she was coming on that fast."
But the girls' mother noticed a change after last week's Sectional meet at Elma Meadows.
"It couldn't have worked more perfectly with Hannah coming in right ahead of Emma," Amy said of her daughters' placements at the Sectional meet last weekend. "I do think that Hannah would have been upset if it were the other way around. However, they were right there together, but it could happen at some point, so I think that Hannah's starting to realize that Emma puts her time in. She dances five days a week, so she does a lot of cardio and her legs are very strong, her core is very strong, so I think she's able to cut it as a runner now."
Both Hannah and Emma may not have been given a choice when it came to distance running, as both of their parents were themselves runners in high school, with Amy competing in the heptathlon at Edinboro University.
"She came to camp with us one year and decided that she was going to try it," Amy said. "And the first day was awful. She said I can't do this, but by the end of the week she had run 35 miles and decided she could do it. She's just kept getting better.
Both played soccer last year, and Emma decided she wasn't going to play soccer this year, she was going to run," Amy said. "It's kind of a convenience for me as well."
Given that the girls will be going up against the State's best runners, including members of Sectional champion, Maple Grove, the focus this week was on how the girls will be able to help the Section 6 team earn another state title.
"We have talked about that with the girls as well," Amy said. "Go out there and run the best race that they can possibly run so they can try and repeat. They're working with some great girls. And as far as the Maple Grove girls go, they have been really awesome. They talk to Hannah like she's their sister. I just love it. And one of our girls is actually a cousin of one of the Maple Grove girls and they see each other at the pool during the summer and they talk running."
Even with a bit of a sibling rivalry, Amy noted that Hannah has still taken time to help her younger sister.
"But I also think that Emma has helped Hannah," Amy said. "Because she's been running so well, and Hannah doesn't want her younger sister to beat her. That's definitely been a motivating factor.
"I think it's more fun for Emma, but it's more of a job for Hannah," Amy added. "She's not going to let (Emma) beat her."
The notion that Hannah was not going to let Emma beat her was never more apparent than at the Sectional meet.
"At the Sectional meet, Hannah beat her by .70 of a second," Amy said. "But really, within the last 100 meters, Emma was ahead of her at one time and Hannah just out-kicked her right at the end."
And since the Sectional meet, the girls have been getting along like Jenny and Forest, which is to say, like peas and carrots.
"I think that since they've found out that they were going to states, they've been acting goofy, doing things together and talking more running," Amy said. "I think Emma's just so excited to be doing what her sister's doing. I don't think she thought she'd ever be at that level nor do I think my family thought that she'd be at that level. We just always considered Hannah as the runner and Emma as the dancer. We're very proud of them."