Published: May 20, 2013
The top hurdlers in the 3A girls' ranks are going to sleep much better knowing Alexa Chacon has run her final race at the state meet.
The Classical Academy senior capped an excellent career at the state championships and helped lead her team to an astonishing seventh team title in eight years in the process.
"It doesn't get old winning the team titles, because that means all the girls worked hard at their events," said TCA coach Tim Daggett, who has coached both the girls' and boys' teams for a decade. "Each year is special, and there's no question Alexa set the bar as to how it's done for the younger girls."
Chacon won both the 100- and 300-meter hurdles - it was her third straight state title in the 300 (winning in 42.75 seconds), and second straight in the 100 (14.23). Both times were 3A state records. She wasn't sure if the team had what it took to win another collective title, until she saw how they performed at state.
"I wasn't expecting us to win because of all the injuries we've battled through this season, but it didn't surprise me how bad everyone on this team wanted it," Chacon said. "We got some unexpected points from some people, and it feels great to win another championship together."
Daggett has watched Chacon grow from a freshman to a dominant senior over the last four years, but said her mindset has always stayed the same, regardless of her success.
"Watching kids develop and work hard to reach their goals is the best part of coaching; Alexa was always a natural talent, but she was still eager to learn," Daggett said. "She's an elite athlete, but she's humble and has been the heart and soul of the sprinters and hurdlers."
Chacon will attend the Air Force Academy, where she will study Behavior Science and compete in heptathlon, combining seven events, including running, throwing and jumping.
After mastering running and hurdling in high school, Chacon is looking forward to the challenges that await her at the next level.
"I did heptathlons during the summers between high school and I realized I really loved it and it was something I wanted to do," she said. "It has a lot of highs and lows, and you can have a personal record in one event and then do badly the next one. It's all about keeping your composure."
Remaining calm is something Chacon learned well running in so many big races at TCA, against the best competition in the state. She said the nerves before her last two championship races will help in college.
"I was more nervous before those races than I ever have been, because I was defending something," Chacon said. "But now I can look back at those moments and realize I wasn't timid and I gave it all I had."
The Sky Sox will host the year-end banquet for the athletes of the year per sports season and overall male and female athletes of the school year on June 10.
Justin Shaw, The Gazette