Soaring to success: Allyson Weiss jumps to third at nationals
Allyson Weiss starts her freshman year at East Ridge High School this fall.
She’s one of the best jumpers in the state.
Weiss, then an eighth-grader, finished sixth in the triple jump at the state meet in June. She holds East Ridge’s school records in both the long jump and the triple jump.
She took her hops to the national level this summer.
And yet again, she flew.
Weiss finished third in the 13-and-14-year-old division in the triple jump at the USA National Junior Olympic Track and Field Championships in Houston in July.
“It was an incredible experience,” Weiss said. “It was fun getting to know and competing with the best athletes from around the country.”Weiss said she was happy to finish third, but has jumped further in the past, meaning she’s capable of even more.That’s hard to believe for someone who just started to jump as a sixth-grader.“It rarely happens in the jumps where you get an eighth-grader that’s beating the field the way that she does,” East Ridge girls track coach Lloyd Ness said in June. “It is very rare in the jumps that that would happen.”Weiss is a rare talent.The Junior Championships in Houston last month was the third national competition she has competed in. She was also invited to train in the Bahamas this summer with a team called Project Triple Jump.“It is a great experience being able to travel the country to jump,” she said.Weiss started jumping for the East Ridge Athletic Association when she was in seventh grade. That’s when she realized she seriously wanted to pursue it. Weiss loves everything about the sport.“I like the challenge of learning the technical aspects of the jump,” she said. “I like the people I meet, I really enjoy my coaches, and I love the fact that it is not a subjective sport. I like that I am the one responsible for how I perform.”She’s performed incredibly well to this point in her career. Weiss credited two sources with the majority of her early success in the sport. The first is her family.“They are always supportive and they know track is very important to me,” Weiss said.The second is her group of coaches, which includes Kelsey Joson, Keita Cline and strength trainer Aaron Sidner.“I trust them with everything they tell me and I know they are doing the best for me,” Weiss said.Weiss has committed herself to the sport. She would train six days a week during meet-less weeks during the high school season, though she had to dial back her training a touch during the summer because of soccer commitments.Still, while the Junior Olympics was her final meet of the summer, she only takes a few weeks off before restarting her training in preparation for the indoor season.She has goals on her mind, and she’s not afraid to work for them.“By the time I graduate from high school I would like to break the state high school record, win outdoor nationals, and compete internationally,” Weiss said. “It has always been a dream of mine to make it to the Olympics, but that is still a long way off.”At the rate Weiss is mastering the sport, the wait may not be as long as she thinks.