Alexandra Allen leaves Warren G. Harding High School with a legacy.
"She brought track to another level on the girls side," WGH track and field coach Charles Penny said.
Allen heads to the University of Akron to be the best scholar-athlete possible.
Tribune Chronicle file
Warren G. Harding’s Alexandra Allen competes in the girls 100-meter hurdles this past season.
Allen, who graduated with a 3.8 GPA, will major in pre-law and run for the Zips. Her goal is to graduate and eventually open her own law firm.
She chose Akron over the University of Cincinnati because she wanted to stay close to home and because Akron had a good law program.
"I feel comfortable running with people from Akron because I know they work hard there," Allen said.
However, it was the hard work Allen and former WGH runners Ja'Quana Threats and Angelique Cunningham, who has been a standout for Ashland University.
The last two seasons, the WGH girls have earned all-Ohio honors in sprint relays.
"She and Ja'Quana did wonders for our track program," WGH track and field coach Charles Penny said of Threats and Allen. "It's starting out with Cunningham with her leadership skills. Then, Ja'Quana and Alex took off with their athletic ability. Hopefully, more young girls will see they can get a scholarship in track and it's their main sport.
"We have talented girls in Warren. For so long you hear, boys football, boys basketball, boys track, boys everything. We have just as good as athletes on the girls side. Her getting out and showcasing her skills made it cool to be a good athlete. For a girl, it's tough, putting in work in the weight room, getting away from certain groups and cliques. Maybe not being so pretty all the time. Your life is consumed with athletics. It's tough."
Hard work is the key to success, Allen said.
"All the athletes have to believe in themselves and work as hard as the coaches are pushing you," Allen said. "If they work hard, they'll be good."
She made state in the 100 hurdles, but Penny said she can expand her repertoire at Akron.
"She definitely had the ability to be a 400-meter hurdler," Penny said. "She's be very well in both hurdles and the sprint relays as well."
Allen was exclusively a sprinter her first year at Harding. Then, during indoor season of her sophomore season, Penny moved her to hurdles.
"I was a little nervous at first because I didn't want to fall," Allen said. "He told me I could do it. I felt like I had to give it a try and try my best."
"I made a move to make her a hurdler," Penny said. "Her mentality she had transfered into the hurdler. In her career, she got faster every year."
Next year, Allen hopes to see WGH's Trumbull County streak reach four and beyond.
"Within the next couple of years, I hope Aminah Wesley and Emily Stevens can carry out the legacy and help the team win another Trumbull County Championship," Allen said. "It's so important we keep going forward because no one actually believes we can do it.
"If they believe in themselves, it can happen. We need athletes who believe in themselves and work hard."
As for Allen, she has worked hard in and out of the classroom.
"It shows our academic programs at Harding are successful," Penny said. "We have academic tables, monitoring groups. It shows all those avenues for success are out there if they so choose. If used wisely, they can be successful. It shows that these athletes can go to the next level and be successful student-athletes.
"So many times you hear of great athletes from our school that go to college and flunk out. They don't make it a year. Successful people like Alex, Angilique, Deaver Williamson, Andrew Zitnik, Marteze Roper, to name a few, are high-level kids and they're succeeding at athletics and academics."