Little wonder coach Dave Gowing calls Alyssa Post “a captain for the sprinters.”
The Waubonsie Valley senior has put team first for Thursday’s Minooka Class 4A Sectional, where she will forgo her individual specialty — the open 400 — to focus on three relays.
Post might argue it’s also a matter of seeing the writing on the wall — or website.
“I was looking on the DyeStat, IL rankings and the 400 is so competitive,” Post said. “I could try to go for it and might make it downstate, but the goal is to get there and qualify for finals so you can run on Saturday.”
Her season best is 1:00.07, which won the Upstate EightValleytitle last week. It ranks her 40th in those state rankings, though, and is .63 of a second off the state qualifying mark.
With a taper and good weather, she could probably beat that time. If not, she would need a top two finish at sectional to advance.
“With the weather we’re gonna have (it might be tough),” Gowing said of the cool and rainy forecast.
“She said she wanted to do the relays. Our 800 was in the top 10 (in state) earlier this season and has a good chance of placing.”
Post will be joined by the same three girls — sophomores TatianaMoore and Brion Hughes and freshman Dana Dwyer — on all three sprintrelays, the 400, 800 and 1,600.
Post, who runs the second leg of the shorter relays, anchored the1,600 quartet last year that made it to state. She held off severalcompetitors to insure the Warriors’ second-place finish at sectional.
“She got us there,” Gowing said. “She’s a beast.”
The team within the team is more fun, Post said. Gowing thinks hisquartet has the potential to qualify all three for state.
When it comes to leadership, he said Post took her cue from formerteammate, standout Morolake Akinosun.
“(Post) took the torch from her,” Gowing said. “She has a great workethic and sets the tone in the weight room and at practices, whereshe’s always the rabbit for the greyhounds, always out front. We’regonna miss her next year.”
That was by design, Post said.
“I used to tag along with Morolake and coach Gowing and listen to whatthey were talking about,” she said.
Despite the youth on the relays, Post likes their chances.
“Tatiana and Brion both ran at state last year in the (1,600),” shesaid. “Dana is feeling (pressure) about sectional but she can’t let itget in her head. She’ll be fine. We’ve been working hard on ourhandoffs in practice and that’salways the key.”
And the weather?
“Coach always has us practice outside in bad weather and some of the
younger kids complain and wonder why we can’t practice indoors,” Postsaid. “Like (Gowing) always says, ‘This might be what it’s like atsectional.’”
Post, who wants to teach special education, will attend Illinois Statenext year but this is it for her track career.
“I thought about walking on up until December,” she said. “Coach toldme they’d probably want me to run the 800. I’ve seen (teammate)Allison (Wilson) do that race and it inspires me to go all-out oncearound the track (in the 400) but that’s enough.”