Female Area Athlete of the Week: Chaney wins Mid-State title for 7th win in 2020
Calia Chaney hasn’t lost in 2020.
The Pequot Lakes freshman won the cross-country triangular at Perham in 19:00.7 last week and followed it with a win at the Mid-State Conference Championship in 18:58.3.
“It’s her mentality,” Pequot Lakes cross-country head coach Jeff Brever said. “She goes out and tries to win every race. She’s ran against some of the elite runners in the state and she has been able to pull away in the last mile. Just that competitive spirit.”
Her other wins include a 18:53.24 time in Menahga, a 19:33.82 win in Crosslake, a 18:51.06 win in Emily, a 19:51.6 win in Detroit Lakes and a 19:37.9 run in Perham.
Last season, Chaney finished eighth in the Class 1A state tournament in 19:02.6, behind other area runners Kira Sweeney of Wadena-Deer Creek and Kyanna Burton of Staples-Motley.
“It’s definitely been a lot more difficult this year,” Chaney said. “Since there are only three teams at a meet, I haven’t had too much competition all year, which has definitely been harder. My times have been a little slower than last year.”
Not being pushed by the competition that bigger meets provide contributes to slower times. However, Chaney has run under 19 minutes three separate times in 2020, including in the Mid-State Conference Championship at Ruttger’s Bay Lake Lodge.
“I think overall it has been a good year for our team,” Chaney said. “Very weird which has definitely played a role in how we all ran. We have to just know that there is always next year — at least for me since I am a freshman. I just have to keep thinking that there are people in a worse situation with all this going on.”
In a lot of her races, the only person she is chasing is the coach driving the golf cart and leading the players around the course.
“I just have to imagine the golf cart is another person that I am trying to catch up to,” Chaney said. “So I just have to pretend someone is in front of me, to make sure I am not slowing down.”
Brever says it’s a blessing to have someone as young as Chaney lead the team like she does with her performance.
“I wish we could bottle it in some of the others,” Brever said. “She brings it in practice, she brings it into the meets. If we can just follow in her tracks we are in some good standings.”
Her attention to detail makes Chaney easy to coach.
“You ask her to go run five miles and she’ll go run five miles on the exact dot,” Brever said. “She listens very well and that’s part of her success.”
Chaney’s favorite part of cross-country is the competition combined with the team atmosphere it brings.
“We are a team, but we are also individuals,” Chaney said. “So we know we can push ourselves and also push each other in a friendly competition way.”
Chaney’s older sister Carly also runs cross-country and the two of them embraced after the Mid-State Conference Championship. Carly placed seventh.
“It’s really fun having my sister race with me,” Chaney said. “We definitely get really close during the season — always being together and running together. Also driving in all the car rides to practice. It’s really fun to have that relationship.”
Chaney hopes to bring the same mindset into sections which for Pequot Lakes girls is Monday, Oct. 12.
“I got to make sure I can push myself and keep up my undefeated record,” Chaney said.
Last year as an eighth-grader, Chaney was the top runner for a Pequot Lakes girls team that qualified for state and finished eighth. She won the Section 7-1A individual title in 18:32.6. They won’t get that chance to compete in state this year, but can still claim the Section 7-1A title.
“It’s definitely very sad,” Chaney said of no state tournament. “We know that we have to still try and be section champs. It is what it is.”
Other notable performances:
Cross-Country: Emma Reader, Pillager, won the meet in 22:21 at Brandon.
Amber Collins, Wadena-Deer Creek, won the meet in 21:06 at Wadena.
Emily Miller, Crosby-Ironton, won the meet in 21:48.8 at Detroit Lakes.
Soccer: Mikayla Houdek, Little Falls, scored two goals in a 5-0 win over Melrose
Kendal Swantek, Little Falls, scored two goals and one assist in a 5-0 win over Melrose.
Swim/Dive: Ella Rausch, Little Falls, won the 100 free in 58.73 and the 50 free in 27.10 in a 95-73 win over Mora.
Layla Waltman, Little Falls, won the 200 medley in 2:38.39 and 100 breaststroke in 1:23.27 in a 95-73 win over Mora.
Tennis: Carly Chaney, Pequot Lakes, won both her matches 6-0, 6-0 at No. 2 singles.
School: Pequot Lakes
Highlights: Won Perham Invite in 19:00.7 and Mid-State Conference Championship in 18:58.3