BY MIKE BLACKERBY
Catholic freshman sprinter Chloe Truss displayed her unrefined but undeniable speed at the Division II-AA state track and field meet in Murfreesboro last May.
She won in a flash – three times, in fact, to complete the rare sprints sweep.
It took her just a combined 133.85 seconds to win the 100, 200 and 400-meter runs.
For her efforts, she’s the 5Star Preps Female Track and Field Athlete of the Year for 2023.
Catholic coach Sean O’Neil said Truss is just scratching the surface of her vast abilities.
“It looks easy when she does it,” said O’Neil.
“She runs so fasts it’s easy to forget that was her first state championship. She has got a ton of talent and raw speed, but there’s so much room for improvement.”
Truss opened her day at the Middle Tennessee State University with a win in the 100.
She got off to an uncharacteristic good start and ran a personal-best time of 12.00 seconds to edge heralded junior Jaloni Cambridge (12.19) of Ensworth.
“The 100 isn’t my best event, so I knew if I won it the rest of the day would probably go pretty good,” said The 5-foot-5 Truss.
“She wasn’t favored to win the 100,” said O’Neil.
“But she’s a competitor and she will do whatever it takes to win.”
Truss squared off against Cambridge again in the 400.
Cambridge, who is also one of the top Class of 2024 basketball players in the country, was the defending state champion in the event.
But Truss got to the finish line first once again, edging Cambridge in 56.95 to 57.09.
Truss said she was aware of who Cambridge was, but hardly intimidated by the veteran.
“Due to AAU I’ve always had to race an age group up,” said Truss. “It (racing against older runners) is something I’m used to.”
Still, Truss said she had to dig down deep to pull out the 400 win.
“It (the 400) is my best event, but my least favorite because it’s so long,” said Truss.
“Even though she surprised me in the 100, I tend to think her best event is the 400,” said O’Neil.
Truss completed her trifecta by winning the 200 in 24.90. Teammate Elly Jones took second in 25.69.
Truss said she was stunned to win any, much less all three of the dashes.
“I really didn’t expect to win any of the races,” she said.
“As a freshman, it was really surprising.”
Truss capped the state meet by running the anchor leg on Catholic’s third-place 4×400 relay team (4:06.49).
The Lady Irish were sixth when Truss took the baton for the final 400 meters.
O’Neil and Truss are already looking forward to next season and even faster times.
O’Neil said her potential is unlimited.
“It’s scary,” he offered.
“We just need to clean up some technique issues. She has got a lot of extra motion in her upper body and we’ve got to get her more consistent in her starts.”
Truss said it’s all about refining her technique from here on out.
“I think I can definitely improve my starts and running stride overall all,” she said.
“But this has been a great year and my teammates have really helped.”