In 2013, the Los Alamos Hilltopper girls track and field team has a chance to cement its place as one of the elite programs of all time.
Leading up to this season, that move was led by one of the most charismatic athletes the program had ever seen, Chase Ealey. But now, the responsibility of leading the charge toward state-level immortality falls on a much more low-key team captain.
The Hilltoppers’ efforts heading into the final two weeks of the season are being guided by senior Laura Wendelberger. Wendelberger has carved her own niche in Hilltopper history, but unlike her predecessor, has done so with considerably less flair and with good ol’ fashioned sweat.
But even though Wendelberger is set to make her fourth appearance at the state meet for Los Alamos, the pre-championship jitters have already begun to set in.
“It’s kind of nerve-wracking,” she said. “But all I can do is run my best. I won’t let people’s expectations change my mindset.”
With Ealey, the two-time high-point athlete at the state meet now having a standout freshman year for Oklahoma State University, those looking to see if Los Alamos can pull off the 5-peat will have their eyes set squarely on Wendelberger.
History has shown, however, that she should be up to the challenge.