Fast feet and strong spikes

April 20, 2004, midnight | By Elena Chung | 16 years, 9 months ago

Senior sprinter speeds her way to track success

Senior Alysia Isong grabs the baton from junior Narique Dixon but drops it in the second leg. Scrambling to recover, she scoops the baton off the ground and sprints to catch up on the Blair track. Seconds later, track and field co-captain Isong has closed the gap, ultimately helping the 4x100m relay team capture first place on March 23 against Seneca Valley.

Coach Hugo Harrison wasn't surprised with her victory. "She doesn't stop from achieving because of her never-die attitude," he says.

Coach James Short attributes her victories to her commitment and personality. "I think her determination and dedication brings a lot to the team. She's dependable and committed to track," he says.

Isong is an all-around competitor, willing to run in almost any event. While her specialties are the 100m and 300m hurdles and the 4x100m and 4x200m relays, Isong is critical as a versatile athlete. "Whatever they want me to do, it's what I do," she says.

Isong started running in elementary school but stopped during middle school. When she came to Blair, she joined the track team as a way to keep in shape but soon grew to love the sport, she says.

Running is a challenge, she says. "It's like I love it at times, but I hate it at times. When I'm not running, I want to run. When I'm running, it's a lot of hard work," Isong explains.

To Isong, running isn't just about muscle but also about attitude. "Running is a lot about mental ability as well as physical. You have to believe in yourself," she says. "You have to have the confidence."

Winner of the most improved player award in indoor track, Isong and her coaches believe she can always shave seconds off of her times. While her best time in the 300m hurdles is 53 seconds, Harrison is confident she'll reach 50 seconds flat by the end of the season.

As co-captain of both winter's indoor and spring's outdoor track teams, Isong takes her leadership role seriously, says Harrison. "She sets the bar by example," he says. "She doesn't ever quit."

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Elena Chung. After several failed attempts to start a school newspaper in elementary school, Elena Chung, a senior, has finally fulfilled a lifelong goal to write for a paper. When she's not hunting down sources or finishing loads of work, she enjoys taking photos, cooking, reading, watching … More »

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