LAKEWOOD -- Pine Creek junior Alleandra Watt burst onto the Class 5A track and field scene as an ambitious freshman in 2012. She became the school’s first state champion in the 100- and 200-meter dash that year and hasn’t looked back since.
Watt, one of the premier sprinters in America, anchored the fastest 800-meter relay in Colorado history Thursday in prelims. Pine Creek broke George Washington’s record of 1:38.09 by a full second with a time of 1:37.05. Watt dusted the field on the last leg in finals Friday as the Eagles won their second straight 800-meter relay championship.
“It was great to defend our title from last year and to be able to break the record,” Watt said. “We were so close last year, but it was more just a good time racing with my team again and to get some points up on the board.”
“Relay records, four people have to do what they’re supposed to do perfectly,” Pine Creek coach Max Oliver said. “That’s just a testament to these kids that they can do that.”
Watt, who also anchors the 400-meter relay, helped lead the Pine Creek girls to the fastest time in prelims with a new school record of 46.86. The Eagles would love to overtake George Washington’s Colorado record of 46.51 in the event during Saturday’s finals, but know it won’t be easy.
“Setting the record Saturday is probably a little tougher,” Oliver said of the 400 relay. “Everyone’s tired and really our goal tomorrow would be to win and if the record comes, it comes.”
Watt seems poised to give them a chance. The junior, who is also the leading scorer on the Pine Creek soccer team, has fresher legs this weekend after taking the past two weeks off from soccer to focus on track. The Eagles are playing tomorrow in the 5A semifinals against Ralston Valley, but Watt won’t be able to attend because of track, she said. Watt knew she had to make sacrifices to be able to have a crack at claiming the state titles in the 100- and 200-meter Dashes.
Watt, who placed second to Regis’ Ana Holland in the 200 and 400 meters as a sophomore, handled high-level fields in prelims of the 100 and 200 on Thursday. She ran 11.68 in the 100, 0.23 seconds ahead of Denver East’s Chyna Ries, and 23.59 in the 200, 0.43 seconds clear of Ries again.
“First goal is obviously to just win them,” Watt said of Saturday’s 100 and 200 finals. “I want to PR again and have legible times that aren’t wind-aided. All my PRs are wind-aided, but mostly my goal is just to win, because I know how great competition is and I want them to push me and I want to push them.”
Asked what makes Watt so good, Oliver said, “Genetics. She works really hard at it. She’s limited by her time commitments. She’s not really training year-long, but its genetics and then good coaching. We have the best sprints coach in the state and I believe that wholeheartedly. Whatever the potential is, he gets it.”
Watt has great potential and talent on the soccer pitch as well, as she is already a Texas A&M University commit in soccer. She hopes to play both sports at the next level and said the A&M coaches would love to add her to the mix in both.
Former Wheat Ridge soccer and track star, Annie Kunz, currently competes for the Aggies in both sports. Watt wants to follow in her footsteps.
In the immediate future though, the Pine Creek junior desires to add to her already lofty track legacy Saturday with 5A crowns in the 100 and 200, and 400 relay.
Oliver knows Watt can do special things anytime she steps on the track and said the best is yet to come.
“I don’t think we have any idea just how fast she is capable of,” Oliver said excitedly. “I think she has a big top end still with a lot of room to grow. She’s split time with soccer this year and she’s not a full-time track athlete and so there’s still a lot of potential there.”