Sprinter Alliyah Allwood represented Ocoee High at the state track meet last weekend.
Alliyah Allwood has been in Florida for less than a year after moving from her native Jamaica, but she has already made a strong impression. Allwood was the only track-and-field-athlete from Ocoee High to make it to state last weekend, thanks to her 12.28 time in the 100-meter dash at regionals. At state, she placed 13th in the preliminaries for Class 4A.
How exciting was it to make it to state in your first season in Florida?
Well, I worked toward going to state, and when the results came back, I was happy about it — I was excited.
What do you do before each race?
When I warm up, I listen to music. A couple minutes before the race, when you’re in your lanes, I always whisper a prayer.
What kind of music do you enjoy?
I love gospel (music), especially when I train. And I also like J. Cole.
What needs to go right each race for you to perform your best?
I need to get out of the blocks strong and keep everything focused and intact.
What’s the best running-related advice you have gotten?
They always say that, no matter what the circumstances are, just go out there, have fun and do your best. Don’t watch anybody else — run your own race.
Coming to Florida from Jamaica, what’s been the biggest adjustment?
Florida is different — a different environment, different surroundings, different education system. Everything is kind of new to me. I’m just getting assimilated to the whole life in America.
What is your favorite class or classes at Ocoee High?
I like English with Mrs. (Dana) Long or anatomy with Coach (Brittney) Walker.
Do you plan on going to college?
I want to go to college for forensic pathology. I like the idea of telling the cause of death for a person. … I just always imagined myself in that field or even a nurse.
Have you found any Jamaican restaurants in this area that compare to the food at home?
I mean, slightly. I think it’s called Negril (Restaurant), on Silver Star Road near Hiawassee Road.
Have you seen any good movies lately?
I liked “Black Panther” — I like the culture, the themes, the villains. I liked everything about that movie.