Wendy Alexander/The Madera Tribune
Liberty track athlete Annie Allen signs her National Letter of Intent to the University of Jamestown in North Dakota. With her are her parents, Lauri and Rich Allen. In back are LHS athletic director Mike Nolte, left, and track head coach Josh Garza.
In order to keep her goals of running track in college, Liberty’s Annie Allen will go halfway across the country to the University of Jamestown in North Dakota.
Allen signed her National Letter of Intent to run track at Jamestown and plans to do three events — 200 meters, 400 meters and long jump.
“Originally, I thought I had it figured out,” Allen said. “I was going to the University of Utah. I’m not going anywhere else. They (Jamestown) called me the day after I thought I had it all figured out. I got all excited and changed my mind.”
Thanks to Allen’s mother, plans were changed.
“I’ve been looking at schools in the middle of the country,” Allen said. “My parents are moving to Wyoming. My mom was going through Div. II and NAIA schools and filling out recruiting questionnaires for me. I have my mom to thank. They contacted me after she filled out the questions.”
Without her last minute change to head to Jamestown, Allen was resigned that her track days were over after she graduates from Liberty in June.
“I wanted to do track,” Allen said. “That was my goal and felt I wasn’t going to be able to so that’s why I had my plan.”
Although Allen would attend Jamestown from California, she wouldn’t be the only athlete from out of state on the team.
“They have a lot of out of state athletes there,” Allen said. “The team seems like a big family. That sold me. Moving far away, I wanted to have friends. I talked to the coaches, but I haven’t visited, yet. They seemed really nice. They promote a family-centered team.”
Another reason why Allen was looking at the Midwest for school was because her parents were moving to Wyoming.
“My dad bought a bee business in Wyoming and are planning on moving a year after I graduate,” she said. “They are just as excited as I am.”
However, one of the things that Allen isn’t prepared for are the Midwest winters.
“It’s going to be very cold,” she said. “In the winter season, I’m going to do indoor so I will be running inside. I have to prepare for that. I have to get some jackets and boots.”
Signing her letter of intent concluded a busy month for Allen. Earlier in April, she decided to go to Jamestown. A couple of weeks later, she closed out the Talon yearbook where she was the editor.
“It was so much relief,” she said. “Once I decided, my stress level went down.”
Signing her National Letter of Intent was something that Allen accomplished to make her feel she reached a major goal.
“It’s something all throughout high school that I thought it would be cool,” Allen said. “I was a freshman and someone had a signing day and thought that would be cool some day. It feels good to have one of those days. It feels like a sense of accomplishment.”