Patience that involved fighting back from summer injury in the fall, training through winter, and then waiting even longer to deploy all that work for the ultimate goal of winning the outdoor Meet of Champions title.
On Saturday Gonzalez took on the defending champion Abby Loveys, who has had her own amazing senior year, and laid down a big kick to bring home the win with a 67.3 last lap and time of 4:47.21. Loveys finished second with a 4:49.49.
"I'm still kind of very shocked, it's all a lot of shock right now," Gonzalez reflected post-race, "I've been in second for a lot of big races and finally getting that win just means the world to me."
Her time of 4:47.21 is ninth in meet history and she moves up to 26th in the country so far this season.
We had a preview of this match-up the previous weekend at Group 4 Championships when Loveys and Gonzalez went head to head in the 1600m. Loveys won that race with a 4:47.96 but Gonzalez definitely showed the crowed, and herself, she was in the running for this Meet of Champions title when she stuck with the Randolph senior for a close second at 4:48.33.
When asked what she learned from that Group Championships race Gonzalez stated, "How I finished definitely gave me a lot of confidence knowing what I was capable of. Knowing that my training, that I adjusted and was a little nervous about, paid off and worked."
That training adjustment she's referring to is partially explained by how she focused on working through the winter season rather than racing for titles. Other than some relay work she didn't race individually and kept patient with her sights on the Outdoor Meet of Champions.
Girls Meet of Champions Top Finishers
|1||Chloe Gonzalez||11||North Hunterdon HS||4:47.21|
|2||Abby Loveys||12||Randolph HS||4:49.49|
|3||Katie Hamilton||10||Westfield HS||4:53.86|
|4||Jerika Lufrano||12||Union Catholic Reg. HS||4:57.40|
|5||Lauren Wagner||12||Voorhees HS||4:59.27|
|6||Sarah Naticchia||10||Haddonfield Memorial HS||4:59.86|
|7||Emma McGill||10||Voorhees HS||5:00.38|
|8||Laura Baeyens||11||Watchung Hills Reg. HS||5:03.21|
That's just some of the patience Gonzalez displayed throughout her junior year. She missed out on summer training due to injury and missed key mileage time for her cross country season. She didn't race until October but managed to pull together a great season and eventually finished second, to a familiar Abby Loveys, at the XC Meet of Champions in November.
Gonzalez won't be racing at New Balance Nationals Outdoor and decided to end her season with this big win. She'll be back next year to attempt more Meet of Champions titles and defend her Outdoor 1600m.