For the past four softball seasons, Lincoln Southwest Coach Mark Watt has had the luxury of having an insurance policy at the top of his lineup.
Caelyn Christiancy, a senior speed merchant, has been paying dividends ever since Watt penciled the freshman into his starting lineup in the fall of 2014.
The confidence Watt placed in his lead-off hitter has paid off handsomely. Over her four-year career at LSW, Christiancy got on base early and often.
By the time she hung up her spikes and called it a high school career last fall, she’d swiped an even 100 bases. Along the way, the fleet-footed baserunner had recorded the school’s three highest single-season totals. That’s not including the singles that she stretched into doubles, and the doubles she'd legged into triples.
When it came time to consider nominees for one of the two Star City Sports Youth Athlete of the Year awards, the Silver Hawks’ lead-off hitter was again at the top of Coach Watt’s list. The Lincoln Silver Hawks senior joins Lincoln East High School senior Rachel Weber as the recipients of this year’s SCS awards. They are two of the seven winners of Girls & Women in Sports & Fitness (GWSF) awards to be honored Wednesday at a banquet at The Champions Club.
Next fall, Christiancy will take her softball skills and academic prowess to South Dakota State University, where the first team Class A All-State performer will major in psychology and join Coach Krista Wood’s Jackrabbits softball team.
Flashing the leather
Patrolling center field at Southwest, she quickly became her pitcher’s best friend, using her blazing speed to rob opposing hitters of hits and home runs.
Combined with great anticipation and judgement, the cerebral Silver Hawk uses her speed to contribute greatly to both sides of the ledger.
“She set a state record with 206 runs scored in her career, and holds LSW career records for single-season triples (six) and stolen bases (35),” Coach Watt said of his three-time Super State outfielder.
She carved her name into the Lincoln Southwest record books in three categories: steals in a season (35), career steals (100), and single-season triples (six).
Last fall, the first team Super-State performer contributed to LSW’s Class A state tournament runner-up finish by hitting .453 with 15 doubles, 3 home runs, and 24 stolen bases.
Christiancy is also a gold-medal hurdler for the Silver Hawks track team. She won the All-Class Gold 300 hurdles title last spring, and was second at the state meet in the 100. Entering her senior season of track this spring, the heralded hurdler will be attempting to improve on personal-best times of :43.8 in the 300 meters and :14.47 in the 100 meters. Those times rank sixth and eighth, respectively, on the state’s all-time charts.
In addition to excelling on the softball field and in track, she was a backup guard on Southwest’s state championship basketball team last season.
Excellence in the classroom has contributed to her performance in athletics. Her grade-point average of 4.31 ranks 33rd among the 487 high school seniors at Southwest.
Her stellar work ethic can be traced to her family members’ encouragement, she said.
"My parents had a big role in developing my work ethic, as well as my older brother Parker. All three always push me to do my best and have taught me that extra work is essential in becoming the best athlete you can be," Caelyn remarked.
She added: "My other older brother Cooper has helped me to keep working hard in the classroom and to never take the easy way out of things."