Prep girls' track: Atisme prefers getting off the track as quickly as possible

Prep girls' track • Atisme will try to defend her state titles in the 100, 200 and long jump.
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Listen to the words Alissa Atisme says about the 400-meter dash and the time it takes out of her life, and you might think this was someone forced to run around the track as some sort of physical education requirement for a high schooler with other things on her mind.

But those words, upon closer examination, reveal a rare talent.

"It's only a minute," Atisme said.

You see, not everybody can run once around the track in 60 seconds or a little bit more.

The truth is that Atisme prefers the shorter sprint races (100 and 200 meters), as well as the long jump, and she will be favored in all of them this weekend at the Class 1A girls' state track meet at BYU.

The Layton Christian senior is the defending state champ in each of those events and has achieved personal records this season near the end of her high school career.

"I'm really excited," Atisme said about the state meet. "I think it will be fun. I've got a couple of PRs, so I'm happy."

Atisme says she averages a time around 12.5 seconds in the 100-meter dash and got her personal best of 12.3 at a meet at Ogden High. As for the 200 meters, where she averages around 26 seconds to the finish line, she set her own new standard of 25.75 at the BYU Invitational.

As for the long jump, an event in which she won state last year with a mark of 16 feet, 9.5 inches, Atisme's personal best this season is 17-2.

"It's always a challenge," Layton Christian coach Bobby Porter said about Atisme's goal of defending all three titles at state. "She has a target on her back."

Porter adds that Atisme also has her best time this season in the 400 as well.

Oh yeah, the 400.

"I don't like the 400 at all, but my coach says it will help me," said Atisme, who plans on walking to the University of Utah track team next season.

"I wanted to show her versatility, show she can do the 100, 200 and 400," Porter said.

In fact, Atisme is very versatile when it comes to athletics. She played soccer and basketball before the track season rolled around and also is involved in student government, leading her coach to call her a "renaissance woman."

But suffice it to say that the 400 isn't at the top of Atisme's wish list. But if she is able to win that race this weekend, the possibility of taking four individual state championships in one day is a real one.

"I just have to stride and not push it too fast at the beginning," Atisme said. "I tell myself, 'It's only a minute.'"