Aztec runner signs with California college

Hallie Chapman joins Holy Names University track, XC programs

Matt Hollinshead,
Aztec's Hailey Chapman signs her letter of intent on Tuesday to continue her cross country and track career at NCAA Division II Holy Names University.

AZTEC — Holy Names University's cross-country/track and field program is stockpiling young distance runners, and Aztec's Hailey Chapman looks to be a key part of the school's new foundation.

"I love to run. That's what I wanted to do, and the coach really wanted me. So I was like, 'That's my ticket,' " said Chapman, who signed with the Hawks today via athletic scholarship.

Chapman said Holy Names, an NCAA Division II school located in Oakland, California, is rebuilding because multiple distance runners recently graduated or soon will graduate.

Chapman, who took a recent trip to the bay area and fell in love with it, said she can help the Hawks because of her endurance during the early portion of races.

As she prepares for the next level, Chapman said she wants to improve on maintaining good speed approaching the final stretch in races.

She said she's been able to start fast and keep a steady pace for much of her races, but has struggled to keep a consistent speed toward the end.

"I kind of tend to start out too fast and gas it too fast. And then toward the end, I'm more dead," Chapman said.

Chapman said she looks to be even more conscious of how fast she's running so she can adjust her speed before getting drained by the end.

Chapman, who qualified for state as a freshman, missed Aztec's 2018 cross-country season due to bone spurs just above her left ankle. However, she is now fully recovered and is ready for the 2019 track season in her last ride with the Tigers.

Matt Hollinshead covers sports for the Daily Times. He can be reached at 505-564-4577.