Track and Field: Pequot Lakes runner claims national title
The Pequot Lakes High School track star shaved nearly a second off her state title time in the 800-meter race
EUGENE, Oregon – A state title wasn’t enough for Calia Chaney.
Roughly a week after claiming the State Class 2A title in the 800-meter race, the Pequot Lakes runner competed at the Nike Outdoor Nationals at the University of Oregon on Sunday, June 19, where she again finished first in the 800, this time with a time of 2:12.67.
Her time was nearly a second better than the race that won her a state title Saturday, June 11.
“It's definitely a cool thing,” Chaney said. “It was very exciting, and I definitely felt (that excitement) after the race, talking to my mom, and it was fun seeing my family after coming home. It’s a very good feeling.”
To qualify for the event, athletes had to finish in a certain time at some point in their high school season. Chaney met the requirement early this spring.
The soon-to-be junior has been running competitively since her sixth-grade year – both in track and cross-country – and enjoys the sense of accomplishment one feels from the activity.
“I would say it’s the competition and the feeling that you get when you're done running, even if it's just practice or a race,” she said. “You feel accomplished when you're done.
“You don't have to have a certain skill to be able to do it, either. Anyone can be a runner, and anyone can train super hard and push their bodies so hard to where they can win … Anyone can do that, which I think is super cool,” Chaney said.
Chaney also competed in the 1600-meter race at the event, finishing 27th overall with a time of 5:04.18.
Despite just winning a race on Minnesota’s highest level, Chaney said the competition at this national event was “definitely” a step up.
“I was just running with the pack of girls for a while,” she said. “When I finished, and had all that adrenaline, I was like, "Oh my gosh, I just won that, and I’m at nationals.’ … I definitely felt like (the competition) pushed me as we were going into the race, just knowing they were all super good. They were good at the state level too, but even more at nationals.”
With her sophomore track season now officially over, Chaney is taking a two-week break before beginning to train for the fall cross-country season.
“Over the summer, I am just going to run a lot of miles and get a lot of base mileage in, and once the cross-country season actually gets started, I’ll get more into speed workouts,” she said.