Female Area Athlete of Week: Chaney breaks school record at Mid-State meet
Pequot Lakes junior earns area athlete of the week
Calia Chaney showed why she shouldn’t be forgotten last week.
The now junior for Pequot Lakes won the Mid-State Conference meet in 18:03.7 in Long Prairie which helped the Patriot girls place third.
She hasn’t competed in as many meets this season, but her time in the Mid-State meet was her personal best and school record.
“I felt pretty strong,” Chaney said. “I felt confident going in after doing some good workouts last week. I was excited for the opportunity to race again. When I raced in Alexandria a few weeks ago it didn’t go as well for me and I haven’t raced as much this year.”
Chaney said the reason for not running in as many meets this year is to focus on having more intense workouts to prepare for sections and hopefully state.
“Just trying to get a lot of quality workouts in, instead of just racing,” she said. “At a point, I was thinking this might not work, but it is paying off and I know that it is. I’ve been training more for the end of the season than for every single meet.”
The end of the season is where Chaney has shined in the past.
Last season, Chaney was third in the Class 2A state meet with a time of 18:44.99. She was third in the Section 8-2A race in 18:42.11.
“She has just become stronger from last year,” Pequot Lakes head coach Jeff Brever said. “She runs with a spirit and grit. I’ve seen her work hard every day at practice and it is inspirational. From last year to this year, she has great goals and she is accomplishing them. She’s a hard worker and you always hope to have athletes like Calia who put their heart and their soul in what they are doing at the moment. She’s been happy and healthy this season and it’s been great.”
As a freshman, she ended her season as Section 7-1A champion with an 18:48.6 time which helped the Patriots earn the Section title. Due to the pandemic, there was no state meet in 2020.
Then as an eighth grader, Chaney finished eighth in the Class 1A state meet in 19:02.4.
“The experience has helped me mature,” Chaney said. “I’ve grown as a person. Just getting taller. I’ve also grown my mind and I know how I need to prepare for a race and how I need to be thinking to push through the hard parts of a race. I get a lot of nerves when I head into a race, so just how to deal with that.”
Chaney also has become one of the leaders now that she is an upperclassman.
“I love watching her mature,” Brever said. “Especially with race strategies. I just talked with her today and she asked what she should do with sections and leaving it in her hands and giving her the reins has been beneficial. She is a veteran and has been successful. So she knows what she can and can’t do and will run her race the way she wants. Our athletes look up to her because she is a hard worker and is on time. She goes by the book and has been great with giving younger athletes rides to practice and rides home.”
Chaney added: “One thing that is big for me is trying to get the team to work together. I try to help them to think positively because that’s something that really helped me. They just need to know that they’ve put in the work and what’s going to happen is going to happen. And you just have to do the best that you can.”
A section championship and finishing better at state are two goals for Chaney as she finishes the season.
“I just need to trust myself in all the training I’ve done this year,” she said. “Trust my coaches and my teammates. And if anyone can do it, I can do it. I just want to be excited about it and not be nervous.”
Chaney wasn’t the only Patriot to impress at the Mid-State as Eli Hall won the boys’ meet in 15:41.9.
“Eli and the rest of the boys’ team have definitely motivated me because I see them improving and I want to improve with them,” she said.
Chaney said it’s been fun to watch the team gel together.
“It helps that we all have become friends,” she said. “Just knowing that we are there for each other and we’ve all put in the work and it will all pay off.”
Other notable performances:
Volleyball: Jessica Much, Aitkin, recorded her 1,000 career dig last week.
Maci Martini, Pequot Lakes, recorded 50 kills, 58 digs, six ace serves and one block last week.
Abi Martin, Pequot Lakes, recorded 122 set assists, 35 digs, five ace serves, two kills and two blocks last week.
Madison Carsten, Wadena-Deer Creek, recorded 27 kills, 24 digs, six ace serves and one block last week.
Addy Gravelle, Wadena-Deer Creek, tallied 59 set assists, three kills, 10 digs and an ace serve last week.
Ashley Kimman, Pierz, recorded 30 kills, 23 digs, six blocks, three set assists and two ace serves last week.
Hannah Barchus, Pine River-Backus, tallied 29 kills, 20 digs, seven blocks, 13 set assists and one ace serve last week.
Maggie Clausen, Staples-Motley, recorded her 1,000 career dig last week.
School: Pequot Lakes
Highlights: She won the Mid-State Conference race in 18:03.7.