State Gazette Cross Country Female Runner of the Year: Dyersburg Lady Trojan Adallani Lopez

Sunday, June 9, 2024

JASON PEEVYHOUSE

jpeevyhouse@stategazette.com

After helping lead her team through the 2023 fall season, Dyersburg High School girls cross country runner Adallani Lopez has been named the State Gazette Girls Cross County Runner of the Year for this past school year.

Dyersburg Head Coach Marty Newsom said Lopez brought dedication and work ethic to the Lady Trojans this past season.

“She was a leader in just about every facet of training,” Newsom explained. “I could always depend on her to show up and do her best. She was always striving to get better each race.

“She may not win it every time but her goal was to P.R. (set a personal best) every time and steadily improve.”

Lopez had her highest finish of the year on Aug. 29 when the sophomore finished 17th at the Dyer County Invitational.

“Hopefully, by her junior year, we have her sitting right where we want her to be,” Newsom said. “I think she is well on her way.”

Newsom agreed it is good to see this kind of dedication to the sport which Lopez has displayed.

“These days, its rare to find someone who already has that kind of work ethic and dedication already instilled and in place,” the Lady Trojan head coach said. “That’s a big hurdle for most coaches – getting someone who is dedicated to their sport and to practice on their own and not only when the team is together.”

Newsom added Lopez tries to spread her work ethic to her teammates.

“She tries to instill it in her teammates,” Newsom added. “That is just icing on the cake for coaches.”

This early in Lopez’s high school career, Newsom and the sophomore runner have been working to help her finish races better.

“It’s the acceleration and sprint at the end,” Newsom said. “She made tremendous progress with that.

“And, knowing when to start that acceleration was a huge factor for her.”

As a junior heading into this season, Lopez will be looked towards to continue what she has done during her freshman and sophomore seasons.

“Just keep doing what she’s doing,” Dyersburg’s head coach said. “Being a leader for the team and setting goals for herself as well as those around her. Those things just come naturally for her.”

Newsom added Lopez is very coachable.

“And, not only is she coachable, she is a pleasure to have anywhere around you on and off the course,” Newsom added.

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