Alexa Westley simply refused to lose.
Despite three losses to Julia Trethaway of West Morris this season, Westley never lost her confidence and took what she learned from those defeats and showed the heart of a champion by producing one of the greatest performance in state history at Saturday's NJSIAA Meet of Champions at Northern Burlington High School.
Westley, a senior at Warren Hills, and Trethaway, a junior, were together at the bell in the 3,200-meter run when Westley threw down the hammer and exploded down the backstretch, opening a huge gap on Trethaway. Westley kept pouring it on until she stopped the clock at 10:15.82!
Westley, who jumped in the arms of coaches, and was swarmed by family members and teammates after the race, had just become the fourth girl to ever win three straight titles, ran the second fastest time in meet history, and the No. 6 time in state history.
The victory solidifies Westley's status as an All-Time great in N.J. history.
"I learned a little bit with each loss to Julia,'' said Westley, who is headed to Wisconsin. "When I lost to her at sectionals and Groups I noticed how she liked to go really hard at the 1,600 mark, so I was ready for that today and I took it our faster (5:04 at 1,600). "After that it was all about just staying right with her and then finishing strong. This was my last race in NJ and I won it the last two years and just kept telling myself that I had to run with everything I had to win this. I really feel the experience I have of running at this meet and the motivation to keep my title and go out on top really made a big difference.''
Westley said her time and being a three-time champ means so much to her.
"To run one of the fastest times in state history and win for a third straight time is just the perfect way to run my last race in New Jersey,''' said Westley. "It was very emotional after the race because I just didn't want my high school career to end. But I'm so happy it ended this way. I can't thank my family, friends, teammates, and coaches enough for all their support. These four years are something I will cherish forever.''