Camille Davre passed the audition.
The Whitefish Bay freshman distance running phenom, one of the most hyped athletes of the Wisconsin prep track season, was living under a microscope the last few weeks leading into the WIAA State Meet in La Crosse.
And she admitted that it got to her a little bit.
'It was a little overwhelming,' she said, '.. but I really would like to thank my parents, my coaches and my teammates who helped me get here today.. and the crowd, the crowd really helps. There was a lot of support out there and a lot of excitement, too. It makes you feel a lot more confident when people really want it for you.'
And she happily repaid their many kindnesses, as on a stormdelayed late afternoon and evening on June 7 in La Crosse, Davre had the single greatest day a Bay girls track athlete ever had at the WIAA state meet.
She first won the highly-anticipated 'race of champions,' the 1, 600 meters, came back to take her favorite event, the 800, and then anchored the 4x400 relay team of Grace Murray, Reilly Koch and Kaitlyn Jackson to a third-place finish.
All those efforts led the Blue Dukes to a best-ever third-place finish in the team standings.
'I was really proud of what I did today,' she said.
So were many others, including her coach, Ben Van Male. 'She was very mature about things all weekend long,' he said. 'She didn't seem to be bothered by the pressure at all. She just raced as she always has. Just as if she had been there a million times before.
'She set herself up in the right position to succeed.'
Her competitors thought so do.
'Cami, she's just amazing,' said Tosa East's Natalie Schudrowitz, who won the 3, 200 on Friday, June 6 and finished second to Davre in the 1, 600.
Yes, she is, as she led the Blue Dukes to a 26-point total in the state event, as Kenosha Tremper repeated as champs and Brookfield East was second with 40. Bay could have have had a much higher total, but top sprinter Kaitlyn Jackson, who had good opportunities to place in both the 100 and 200 dashes, and wh, o going into this meet, was the anchor of the 4x400, strained a hamstring two days before state.
In a tactical decision, she withdrew from the open sprints and moved to the third spot on the 4x400 where it would be less strain on the leg. She handled both her legs on the relay well, but was clearly disappointed.
'Coach said that this race (the 400) would provide the least strain on the muscle,' she said. 'I knew I had to run for my teammates (on the relay). I competed as best as I could, but I just didn't feel like myself.
'Coach told me, I'm just a sophomore and that I should believe in myself. That I would be back up here again soon.'
But soon isn't quick enough for fans of Davre. She opened her meet on Friday, June 6, with that 4x400 relay, which she led to a sixth-place qualifying spot of 3:57.28.
Then, after the interminable five-hour storm delay the next afternoon, she was able to roll out her full talent late on a damp and cool day.
She and the rest of the loaded field rolled through an amazingly fast second half of the 1, 600, as she used her patented kick to once again break her own school record with a winning effort of 4:51.27, as Schudrowitz was second (4:52.05) and state cross country champ Elizabeth Flatley of Brookfield Central was third (4:52.77).
'I was grateful that I did have that kick,' Davre said. 'It's not such a secret anymore (laughs). I use it quite a lot.'
Then a few hours later, as evening set upon the stadium, she had to turn back a late challenge from Neenah's Jennifer Parker to take the 800 in 2:13.97. Ironically, her time is just a shade slower than that of the last person to win a state track title for the Bay girls, Megan Palmer, who won the 800 in 2008 in 2:13.82.
Davre was gratified that she more than held her own against this great senior class of distance runners.
'All year, I was thinking about the 1, 600 and state,' she said. 'They're all seniors and presented really serious challenges. I'm really happy with the results because they are such great runners. I'm also glad to have gotten to know them.
'You don't really know someone before you race them. Then everything gets done and you find out how nice they really are. People like Flatley and Parker, I really want to aspire to be like them.'
Other Bay entries held up their end too, as the 4x800 relay team of Hannah Lyons, Sara Coffey, Kylee Kennedy and Koch, turned in a school record of 9:31.08 and Amelia Maradas was 13th of 24 in the long jump at 16-2 1/4. That left only the 4x400 relay. Davre still had plenty in the tank, along with the rest of the relay, as they moved up to third in the final event standings in 3:58.04. Davre was happy to do her part, especially for Murray, who was one of only two seniors on the state team, Coffey included.
Murray herself could not hold back the tears as she thought of her final race, with these, her fellow North Shore Conference team champions.
'One last medal,' she said.