Clay Battelle, Local Sports, Sports

‘Ready to give it my best shot’: Chase Ammons leading state in 800-meter, looks to peak at right time heading into postseason

BLACKSVILLE, W.Va. – Clay-Battelle senior Chase Ammons has been a pretty busy guy. 

He just wrapped up a state tournament-qualifying basketball season as a Cee-Bees point guard, and now is making a strong push to return to states; not on the hardwood, but on the track. 

One would assume he’d be a sprinter, but Ammons is a distance runner, as he proved Thursday at the Clay-Battelle Rush Invitational by finishing sixth (fastest in Class A) in the 800-meter race and taking the 1600-meter with a winning time of 4:53.79. 

And according to Ammons, both sports have helped contribute to his success, starting when last year’s track season was cancelled due to COVID-19 protocols. 

“Every distance runner knows that, once your technique for running properly is in place, the key to getting faster is putting in the miles,” he said. “There’s no substitute for doing the work, so I knew that I needed to keep up with my training whether we had a season or not. So when basketball season rolled around, I was already in pretty good shape. 

“As far as basketball goes, the quick bursts and sprinting you do all game long really helps me with my kick at the end of races. I guess it’s kind of like cross-training a little bit, and I like being able to do both.” 

C-B coach Eric Ammons is excited about his senior leader’s prospects this season. 

“Chase is already having a very good year. He’s currently ranked No. 1 in the state in the 800 and No. 3 in the 1600, and he’s just now getting into form,” he said. “The basketball team making it to Charleston was great, but he couldn’t really train for the track season as much. However, Chase is such a hard worker, such a great example to the rest of the team, and it’s great to watch him improve as we get closer to the regional meet. He still has room to get faster, no doubt.” 

After finishing fourth in the mile and eighth in the 800 at states as a sophomore, Chase is anxious to make yet another return trip to Charleston in mid-June – and with loftier goals in mind, as well. 

“I don’t want to get ahead of myself,” he said, “because the regional will be a very competitive meet for sure. So I know I’ll have to run well to qualify first. But I really want to be peaking at the right time. If I can do that, while staying strong and healthy, I think I have a great chance to finish on the podium [as a top 3 medalist] in both the [800] and the [1600]. I’ve been training for the opportunity for a long time now, and I’m ready to give it my very best shot.”