Girls Athlete of the Week: Ali Kallner

Ali Kallner held off Maryvale's Yarithza Soto over the last 200m at the Greenway Invitational to cap off a very successful weekend. Arizona Milesplit Photo.

Ali Kallner was selected as this week's athlete of the week for posting a state leading 3200m time at the Scottsdale Distance Classic and coming back to win the 800m at the Greenway Invitational.

Life is 10% of what happens to you and 90% of how you react to it. Ali Kallner has figured this secret out in a big way this season. “Last year I struggled with mental toughness and attitude," she recalled. Wanting to fix that she made a conscious decision during the offseason. She was bound and determined to think positive and let the rest take care of itself. “I took my mind off the times," she explained, “Instead of that, I'm just focusing on being competitive and letting that take care of the times for me." In fact, it helped her enjoy the sport more as well, “I didn't like racing, now I love racing!"

One couldn't help but notice the joy in Ali after her race Saturday. After winning the 800m she had a grin the size of the Rocky Mountains that she will be running in next fall. While her legs may have been tired from the 3200m on Thursday, no one was able to hold with her over the last 200m of the race.

While she wanted to win she also wanted to pull Kassidy Deardorff (Deer Valley) and Megan Reniewicki (Arcadia) to PR's, a feat they both accomplished. Ali doesn't just help her competition. “She pushes us," Grace Kallner, Ali's sister, said with a proud smile. Long time teammate Rachel Thomas added, “When we are negative, she is positive. She makes us do that extra repeat."

Having already hit her time goals for the season Ali is looking forward to seeing where she can go from here explained that, “It's all uphill from here." She is looking forward to getting into more races with the Jones sisters and Allie Schadler, “I like being in races with people faster than me, it puts me in a good spot to get a good time." Stay tuned to Arizona Milesplit to hear how she does.