By PAUL HINES email@example.com
---- — WALTONVILLE – Chelsea Miller ended her glittering girls track career in storybook fashion.
The Waltonville senior who competes for the Sesser-Valier/Waltonville track team finished her career with 10 state medals and one state title.
For the hyper-competitive Miller, her career wasn't entirely complete until the final race of her career on Saturday afternoon at the 1A state finals in Charleston. Miller had already placed second (100 meters) and seventh (long jump) earlier in the day. She lined up for the 200 meters chasing the previously elusive state title.
The gun sounded and less than 26 seconds later she was a state champion. Miller won the event in a time of 25.74 seconds.
“When my name popped up (first) on that scoreboard, I can't even describe how awesome to see your name up there that you have just won state,” Miller said. “Especially my senior year, my last race my senior year was just incredible.”
Sunday afternoon Miller celebrated the achievement. Waltonville organized a parade through town with Miller riding atop a fire truck. The red fire truck honked and wound it way through the town and ended at the high school campus. Cars followed the truck into the parking lot and dozens of well-wishers piled out congratulating and celebrating the senior's accomplishment.
”It feels awesome to know that I have all these people behind me and that have supported me over the years,” Miller said. “That's the best feeling in the world to know that you have people behind you that want you to do well.”
Miller is the first state champion in Waltonville sports history.
“This is something she's worked hard for the past 15 years as far as worked towards being the best you could be at track,” Waltonville athletic director Eric Witges said. “You could just see in her eyes this year she had one goal, and that was to win the state.”
Rachel Schwartzkopf, who coached Miller for SVW, said she separates herself from other athletes with her competitive drive. She hates to lose – at anything. Occasionally, Schwartzkopf's track team will take a break from the normal workout routine and compete in other activities like soccer or relay game. Miller refuses to lose.
“She doesn't like lose,” Schwartzkopf said. “It doesn't matter how silly the game is.”
Soon she will turn her focus to the collegiate level. Miller recently committed to Southeast Missouri State University in Cape Girardeau, Missouri.
“I love the coaches down there,” Miller said. “They're great.
“I'm just ready to go be coached by a college coach.”
At finals Event Finish 200 meters First 100 meters Second Long Jump Seventh