With a conference championship in her sight, Allie Torres is left wondering what could have been.
“Covid ruined our season,” said criminal justice major Allie Torres. “There was a lot of potential for the team to win the conference title again, and it’s just disappointing that all the work that we’ve put in this season has gone to waste.”
A sophomore thrower on the Lady Lions track team, Torres and her teammates were just beginning the outdoor season when news of the NCAA shutdown came. As a Division III athlete, every year of eligibility counts.
“I threw all four years of high school,” said Torres. “I made the all-region and all-county team, came in first at the region championship meet and placed 4th at the state championships.”
These successes set her up for her future achievements at the USA South Track and Field Championships with the Lions in 2019.
“It’s actually kind of a funny story,” said Torres. “The only reason why I got into track in the first place is because my older sister was a thrower in high school, so I decided to tag along and fell in love with the sport.”
Four years and a diploma later, Torres found herself traveling from the metro Atlanta area up to quaint downtown Demorest in Northeast Georgia.
I went on a visit and fell in love with the school,” said Torres. “Track was just a plus.”
However, once Torres reached Piedmont she quickly got involved with Piedmont athletics and two hour-long daily practices with her new teammates.
“I know a lot of people say their high school team was closer, but with mine it’s always been the sprinters, distance peeps and throwers,” said Torres. “It’s the same at Piedmont.”
Due to the different types of events offered in track and field, it’s typical for practices to be held in different groups. The way that athletes competing in field events train is often very different from how running events train.
“I will say that the throws program at Piedmont is a lot closer than the throws program at my high school,” said Torres.
The throwers at Piedmont are one of the smaller groups within the team, and have a family-like dynamic that was built by long bus rides and track meets spent together.
“Allie’s a great teammate,” said former Piedmont thrower Tyler Fisher. “She has many great leadership qualities that have earned her the title of being ‘the mom’ of the team. She’s very respectful and encouraging, but isn’t afraid to call someone out when they’re out of line.”
However, the team’s time together has been limited and their progress paused by the global pandemic.
“Coach knows that we can’t go to the gym and lift,” said Torres, “but he does expect us to stay in shape as best we can. Many of us including myself spent countless hours at practice and the trainers to make sure that we’re at our best,” said Torres. “It’s just sad that we won’t be able to show it on the track.”
Though things did take a turn for the worse early on in Piedmont’s 2020 track and field season, Torres is maintaining a positive outlook and doing her best to prepare for next season.
“It’s said all good things take time,” said track and field assistant coach Brian Gawne. “Allie is an example of that statement. Over the course of the last two years, she has had to retool her throwing techniques. Going into her junior year, she is ready to take off as an elite thrower for our Lions.”