KINGWOOD — The father-daughter track duo at Preston High set out to make an impression last weekend at the state track meet in Charleston.
Junior runner Allie Martin has been competitive her entire life, according to her father and coach, Paul Martin. Her high work ethic got Allie into the state meet and this is nothing new for her father.
“I was showing some friends some pictures when she was 9 at this little 9-and-under track meet we had at our school and in this picture, she had this fierce look like the was about to hurt somebody or something. She’s always been that, she’s very competitive in everything she does, from academics to anything,” Paul said.
The duo has been involved in any sort of running for so long, Allie said she has been at it since she was still in diapers and is appreciative of the bond it has created with her father over the years. She got her start while running for fun by sprinting, then worked her way up into competitive distance running.
“It actually makes us closer. He just says to try my hardest and do my best,” she said.
Officially being a part of the same team since her middle school years, Paul has been the primary coach for Allie her entire career, but sees extreme value in bringing in the best runners across the state to work with her, including the West Virginia Flyers, a distance track club, for the first time last offseason. During track practice, one of Allie’s primary training partners is her cousin Tyler Martin, and he is credited to be a great asset to her continuing development.
Allie was hard at work by participating in indoor track meets primarily, at Youngstown State. One of the things Allie and Paul have worked on this season is consistency and intensity of workouts, and it has paid off. The hard work and dedication isn’t exclusive to just them, though.
“Her mom (Kelly) has been very instrumental. They travel somewhere every weekend, even if it’s just the rail-trail in Morgantown. They’ll go run on the rail-trail or somewhere that has a forgiving surface every Saturday or Sunday, religiously,” Paul said.
Although it may seem Allie’s life is exclusively dedicated to distance-running, what she enjoys most off the track is her friends in school and her animals on the farm. Spending time with horses and goats has her wanting to go to college to become a veterinarian in the future, and is just beginning the process of selecting a school to attend in the near future.
She can only get better for next track and cross-country season, and her father already has plans on how to move forward.
“I think it’s going to be a year of transitions, kind of moving towards college and being firmly entrenched at the high school level, too,” Paul said. “She’s got some pretty big goals. I think if everything goes right and stays healthy, she can accomplish a lot of those.”
Allie did pretty well for herself at the state meet, beginning with the 3,200-meter run Friday night, finishing 3rd with a time of ( 11:11.87).
On Saturday, she began with the 1,600-meter run, finishing 4th with a time of 5:11.28. She followed that up with the 4×800 relay with teammates Sophia Saurino, Ella White and Abby Nolan, finishing 2nd with a time of 9:56.91. She ended her meet with the 800-meter run (3rd, 2:20.94).