By ANDY LOIGU
Warren Hills sophomore Alexa Westley took the lead halfway through the race and never looked back on Saturday, as she captured first place at the New Jersey Meet of Champions in the grueling 3,200 meter run. She broke her own school record with a 10:35.41 time and finished ahead of the runner-up by 15 seconds.
“I never looked back, I was afraid to lose my pace,” she said. “I just felt amazing when I went ahead and really confident.”
Westley increased her lead from 30 to 60 meters at the 2,000 meter mark and kept forging ahead, never slowing down.
“I knew she could win,” said Warren Hills head coach Ken Kurpat. “She did everything we asked her to do and she was ready for this race, both mentally and physically.”
Westley, who also plays varsity basketball for the Blue Streaks, is only in her second season as a track athlete.
She is the fourth Meet of Champions winner from Warren Hills and the first since Kristen Hafford won the pole vault in 2005.
Westley’s best regular-season time in the 3,200 was 10:55.53. She also ran the 1,600 in 5:04.45.
She also anchored the Blue Streaks’ 1,600 relay unit, which ran the eighth-best time in North Jersey Section 2 Group 2 in 4:10.
In field events, Warren Hills received sectionals seedings from Kailey Dorsch, a sophomore triple jumper, senior basketball player Olasubomi Ajayi in the discus throw, and senior Kaitlin Bell, who cleared 4-10 in the high jump.
Ladies and gentlemen, Elvis has left the building.