Lisbon High School’s Chase Collier clears a hudle during a regular-season track meet at Lisbon High School in Lisbon earlier this season.
LISBON — Chase Collier has been all so close to bringing home a state track title during her Lisbon High School career.
Third place twice, fourth a few times, and several ribbons that she can place on her bedroom wall since her freshman year — not to mention all the Mountain Valley Conference awards she has received — have all been nice memories.
However, the one thing missing for this Greyhound senior hurdler and long jumper is that gold medal, the one that signifies a champion.
And it’s something Collier wants.
Her track story began the summer prior to attending fifth-grade. She moved toward the sprinting events immediately.
“I started doing track in the summer track program, and they put me into the sprints, and I did well. It stuck with me,” Collier said.
As she advanced through middle school, she watched and cheered on the high school program, where winning Mountain Valley Conference titles was the norm.
Longtime track coach Dean Hall was impressed with Collier’s work ethic from the start.
“Since her first year, she has been the backbone of our hurdlers, one of our sprinters and an ideal jumper,” Hall said. “She knows how to win with class and lose with class.”
She won events throughout her freshman year. Then, when states came around, she picked up her first ribbon with a seventh-place finish in the long jump. She also finished ninth and 13th in the 300- and 100-meter hurdles, respectively.
“I remember my freshman year, going to states not expecting to win. As the years go on, you get a different experience. As you get older, you want to win that event,” Collier said.
As her career progressed, her times became faster as she grew into a dangerous hurdler. She took fourth at states in the 300 hurdles as sophomore, third as a junior and recently finished second at the MVC Championships. In the 100 hurdles, she improved to seventh her sophomore year and third last season.
The hurdle events create different stresses for the soon-to-be Clark University freshman, where she plans on majoring in pre-health chemistry, with hopes of one day becoming a pharmacist.
“Both of the hurdles are the most difficult for me, but in different ways. The 100 hurdles are my first event, and once I get that over with my nerves go away. It is such a rapid, fast-paced event. Hitting a hurdle can hurt your time.
“The 300 hurdles are different. You have to keep up the stamina. You have to pace yourself. That last stretch is dreaded, but you’re tired and you have to keep up your pace and finish strong.”
And her favorite event?
“The 300 hurdles are my favorite, and when I finish it I feel like I accomplished something. It is definitely a love-hate relationship,” Collier said. “Hurdles are such a unique event and sets you apart from everyone else. Hurdles are something I associate myself with. It has been my thing in high school, events that I have done every track meet.”
“She is not afraid of hard work,” Hall said. “She is the ‘ultimate warrior.’”
The long jump has long been a sprinter’s event, and is something Collier enjoys.
“The long jump is fun because you run, throw yourself in the air and try to go as far as you can. It is a fun event for me. Not a lot of stress. You just run and jump,” Collier said.
She also participates in the 4-x-100-meter relay.
“There is a stress factor in the hurdles, making sure the handoffs are right, and stuff like that, but it is the team thing that brings it together for me,” said Collier, who remembered last week’s MVC run, where Lisbon finished third in 54.58 seconds. “In MVCs, we PR’d by three seconds and our handoffs were perfect. That was awesome.”
Lisbon came up a bit short in this year’s MVC meet, giving the Greyhound seniors two first-place finishes and a pair of seconds in their four years.
Hall was impressed with Collier’s leadership after finishing second to Monmouth.
“She led the Lisbon girls team over to congratulate the girls from Monmouth … her poise and grace will be difficult to replace,” Hall said.
“We are a close-knit team. We are not a huge team, and everyone knows each other. We joke around with each other and we practice year-round. You know everyone at Lisbon. They are your friends. That is what’s great about Lisbon.”
On Saturday at Foxcroft Academy, Collier will look for that elusive state title.
“Winning a state title would mean a whole lot to me. It is a goal for me,” Collier acknowledged. “I expected to keep getting better, and I have accomplished that from my freshman year to now. From this season to my junior year, the growth hasn’t been what I wanted, but my stats compared to my freshman year have improved a lot.”