The one who isn't a bundle of nerves, who doesn't get knots in the pit of her stomach when she prepares to perform.
No, this Chase Ealey was calm, confident, even serene.
The Los Alamos High senior has conquered almost all the worlds she can conquer in prep track and field, and this is her victory lap. And what a way to start it.
Ealey broke the state record in the shot put with a throw of 47 feet, 3 inches to win the event in the opening morning of the State Track and Field Championships at Great Friends of UNM Track Complex on Friday. It was the best throw of her storied career -- one that includes being a part of three 400 relay championship teams, three individual titles in the 100, two in the shot put and two more in the javelin.
The ease at which she threw it prompted surprise when she saw it land just a few feet shy of the 50-foot mark.
"It didn't feel that good," Ealey said. "I was like, 'Eh, it's all right.' And I looked up and I was like, "Geez, that went out there!' "
It energized the senior into the running events. She led the anchor leg of the 400 relay in the preliminaries and helped break the state and the school mark in a time of 48.50. It was set a year ago, and Ealey was a part of that as well.
She followed that by taking first in the 100 prelims.
Ealey then waited out almost seven hours and a 90-minute delay because of a thunderstorm before taking the javelin with a throw of 129 feet. She did it under drastically different circumstances.
The day started out with sunny skies and an 80-degree temperature. When teams took the track at 5:30 p.m. after the weather delay, winds growled at a 40 mph clip and the temperature was in the low 60s.
It made for a difficult evening, but a win nonetheless.
"I tried not to let it faze me," Ealey said. "I know how to throw, but I was not doing the right form, and the wind really psyched me out, I guess."
Nothing was going to psych out Pojoaque Valley's Amanda Babicke. If anything, she was trained for this moment and these two days. Last year's high-point individual in the AAA meet started her drive to repeat the feat with a school record in the long jump. It also was the winning jump in the event, as she used her next-to-last try to land a 17-11 1/2 measurement.
Babicke waived her last jump after taking first in the 400 prelims in 58.44 just minutes before. It took away a chance for her to go for 18 feet.
"I wanted to, but, yeah, there's next year," the junior said. "It was hard to transition into the four[-hundred] and try my hardest."
What muted some of her optimism is the absence yet again of perhaps the most talented runner in the state. Sandia Preparatory's Krista Armstead injured her left hamstring yet again at the state championships, and she pulled up lame in her first event, the 100.
She was slightly ahead of Babicke at about the 50-meter mark when she felt a tweak in her leg, and she slowed to a trot across the line and never returned to the track. It was not what Babicke or any other sprinter wanted to see.
"You definitely feel some sympathy," Pojoaque head coach Bob Koski said. You want everybody that is capable to run in the race and you want to be pushed. We're very disappointed. I wanted those two [Armstead and Babicke] to race in the 200 and the 400. That never happened during the year."
What happened again this year was West Las Vegas' Danielle Gurule standing atop the podium as the AAA discus champion. If not for the delay, she might not have pulled it off. She admitted not feeling up for the event, so the break allowed her to regroup.
"I was tired, and not ready for it," Gurule said. "It helped me get back in the mood."
Gurule was the lone thrower to break 100 feet, and her throw of 108-0 in the preliminary round was strong enough to withstand the competition and the wind.
For Santa Fe Indian School's Summer Villegas, she wasn't strong enough to push her way past Sandia Prep's Rachel Fledderman in the 1,600 during the sunnier portion of the day. However, her time of 5:30.01 was almost 9 seconds better than her personal best.
Villegas put up a strong challenge, but when she pulled to within a couple of feet of the sophomore, Fledderman pulled away for a 3.16-second victory.
"I thought I was going to at least catch up to her a little bit," Villegas said. "But then she just started making her move. I already kinda tired just from trying to stay up with her."
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