Soroco’s Chloe Veilleux doubles up on state titles in final year on the track
LAKEWOOD — Soroco High School senior Chloe Veilleux never looks tired after a race, but after the 4×400-meter relay, she held her hands on her knees just a little bit longer.
“My legs are a little tired from this weekend,” Veilleux said.
Veilleux already had the 3,200-meter run Class 2A state title in her pocket going into Saturday’s 1,600-meter and 4×400-meter relay events, so when she stepped to the starting line of the 1,600, the announcer reminded the crowd of her victory from two night ago and how she could repeat that performance again.
And she did. In similar fashion, Veilleux took off in a full-out sprint on the final curve, leaving her competitors in the dust.
“Sometimes, I wonder if I’m sprinting too hard or if I should’ve paced myself better throughout the rest of the race,” Veilleux said. “But it seems to work out most of the time. I just tell myself no matter where I’m at in a race, I’m going to give it every single last drop of energy I have left.”
Veilleux finished the 1,600 meters with a new school record time of 5 minutes, 17.16 seconds.
1. Chloe Veilleux, Soroco, 5:17.16
2. Hannah Wilkie, Rangely, 5:21.95
3. Quin Gregg, Lyons, 5:30.79
7. Makenna Knez, Hayden, 5:35.61
13. Leah Carrouth, Hayden, 5:52.26
“She went out and broke her own school record in the mile by three seconds, and we dropped four seconds in the 4×4 for the girls,” Soroco head track coach David Bruner said.
The Soroco senior said the reality of this being her final race at state track didn’t hit her until she preparing to be the final leg of the Rams’ 4×400 relay team.
“It’s bittersweet,” Veilleux said after her win in the 1,600. “I’m glad to be done, so happy for the win, but sad because it’s over.”
Veilleux capped off her state meet by passing one last runner on the straight of the 400 to seal the Rams’ fourth-place finish in the 4×400. The team also included freshmen Marissa Martindale and Kaydence Bruner and junior Kourtney Bruner.
1. Limon, 4:08.75
2. Highland, 4:11.85
3. Lyons, 4:11.94
4. Soroco, 4:14.86
The relay finish marked the end of Veilleux’s high school career as a track runner, which showcased her versatility and steady climb to success. During her freshman year, Veilleux reached the state podium in fifth place in the 1,600, fourth place in the 800 and eighth place in the 300 hurdles.
She returned to state her sophomore year qualifying for most of the same races, taking eighth in the 300 hurdles and third in the 3,200 meters. That was the same year she won the state title in cross country.
Veilleux sprained her ankle as a junior basketball player and, as a result, gave up the 300 hurdles to focus on distance races as a junior. She fell just short of a state title in the 1,600 and the 4×400-meter relay, taking second in both races. She finished third in the 800 meters and the sprint medley relay.
She’ll be running cross country and track at Union University next year on a full scholarship and plans to walk on to the basketball team.
“I’ve also considered doing the steeple chase, which includes hurdles and distance and speed,” Veilleux said. “I just like trying it all.”
Her hope was to take home gold in all three of her individual events at state this year, but she’ll take two out of three. Veilleux finished fifth in a competitive 800-meter race.
Veilleux ended her career as a Ram with 13 state track medals.
“There was definitely expectations the last few weeks coming into state,” Veilleux said. “Bruner was encouraging me to win the 3,200, 1,600 and the 800, so there was that pressure and team point pressure. Ultimately, I wanted to have fun, and if I ran my best, whatever happened, happened.”
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