Amy-Eloise Neale is a senior at Glacier Peak High School.
She is a runner.
She is majestic and regal and graceful.
Her feet hit the ground as gently and relentlessly as a November drizzle.
Her long strides don’t just cover ground – they inhale it.
Through it all, her face remains as placid and serene as a baby’s when it falls asleep on its mama’s shoulder.
It’s not unusual to see a high school athlete of whom it can be said ‘he/she is ready to play at a higher level’.
I’ve seen three such athletes this year.
I’ve been saying this about Miss Neale since she was a freshman.
Recently she was competing at Shoreline Stadium in the WESCO Championship, winning the 1600 Meters on Wednesday, breaking her own Meet record in the process.
Two nights later, she won the 800 Meters, breaking her own Meet record by three seconds, finishing more than 100 yards ahead of her nearest competitor. Her time was the second fastest in the nation this year.
Shortly thereafter she won the 3200 meters. You’ll have to forgive her not breaking her own Meet record again…..the 3200 was contested a scant thirty minutes after she’d won the 800.
A half-hour after the 3200, she was anchoring the 4x400, the last event of the night.
My role throughout the two days was to introduce the top eight finishers of every event to the stadium crowd.
After the last race was over, I still had two race results to announce, followed by the final team standings.
By the time my duties were done and I was ready to leave the stadium, most of the lights had been turned off. The clean-up crew (aka The Meet Organizers) was hard at work sweeping up and putting equipment away. A couple of coaches and parents lingered.
As I turned to leave, I took one last look at the track.
There was a sight I’ve seen each of the last four years when I was leaving this event.
A solitary figure, alone in the darkness, was taking cooling-down laps.
It was Amy-Eloise Neale.
She is a runner.
There’s no question about it.