Shanae Bailey made life miserable for everyone she raced.
In the end, just her presence on the track was intimidating. Even some of the fastest sprinters second-guessed their ability to beat her. And the ones confident enough to challenge the Swenson sprinter walked away in defeat.
For the season, the junior was unbeatable in the 100 and 200 meters.
If that wasn't impressive enough, Bailey added to an already impressive resume by leading the Lions to their third consecutive PIAA Class AA girls' state track and field championship this season.
The 17-year-old won her third straight 100 and 200 titles at the state meet. Bailey also joined Jayee Wright, Anthonia "Mouse" Ballard, and Vanessa Mack on the Lions' winning 4x100 relay team. The quartet won the event for the third consecutive season.
In all, Bailey had a hand in 30 of Swenson's 52 points. For her effort, she is The Inquirer's Southeastern Pennsylvania girls' track and field athlete of the year.
But . . .
"This season started off a little rocky," said Bailey, who is being recruited by Miami, Southern Cal, and Louisiana State. "But at the end, at the big meets, it paid off - the practice and hard work."
A groin injury suffered during indoor track still bothered her in the early part of the outdoor season. In addition, Bailey had a nagging quad injury. And she was told by certain opponent that her reign was over.
"I just kept thinking positive," said Bailey, who is competing in today's Caribbean Scholastic Invitational in Puerto Rico. "I tried not to let everybody else get in my head, the people from other teams. . . . I just stayed focused."
Little did her detractors know that their words kept her hungry. She feasted on everyone the last two weeks of the season.
Bailey posted the state's fastest time, 11.74 seconds, to win the 100 at the District 12 Class AA meet.
She then separated herself from every female athlete at the PIAA state championships.
She opened the meet with an impressive 100. Firing out of the blocks, the speedster had a noticeable lead at 40 meters before winning in 11.86 seconds.
Bailey drew applause for her performance in the 4x100 relay.
Running the anchor leg, she received the baton 15 meters behind's West Catholic's Jada Steward. Bailey quickly closed the gap and ran away from Steward down the stretch. Swenson crossed the finish line in 47.84 seconds.
Bailey then dominated her opponents in the 200, cruising to the finish line in 24.53.
"When it comes to the big races - the state meet and the national meets - the races where she knows she has an opportunity to make a statement, she does it," Swenson coach Dean Lent said. "She makes a statement."