Reagan’s class of 2015, Allysha Davis, made her mark on our Track & Field team where she was ranked 6th in Texas and 26th in the nation in the 100M. She was a Team Captain and part of one of the fastest 4×1 relay teams that progressed to the State meet. The next step for Allysha was the University of Pennsylvania, a competitive Ivy League, where she competed in both Indoor and Outdoor track. CLICK HERE for some of her notable accomplishments and personal records at Penn. She graduated from the prestigious Wharton School of Business and currently now works as a Global Business Group Account Manager for Facebook. She shared her experiences and how resilience has helped her achieve success on and off the track.
Q: How did you get started in running? Who was your inspiration?
A: I started running in seventh grade after coming to the conclusion that basketball, after 10 years, was not the sport for me. I liked that I finally found something that I was actually good at, but overtime, I truly fell in love with the thrill of racing, getting a new PR, and the competitive yet fun and diverse culture and community that the sport builds. Allyson Felix was my inspiration growing up- she is a Queen and I loved how she carried herself with grace and grit on and off the track.
Q: What lessons from your running career benefit you now in your professional life?
A: Resilience. Throughout both college and high school, I experienced many injuries that interrupted my track seasons, ranging from a couple weeks to a year of being off the track. In times like those, it’s easy to feel discouraged and question if you can make the comeback, but ultimately, all of those moments made me stronger, pushed me to work harder and reframe my mindset, acknowledging where I was but more importantly how far I had come. This resilience has definitely helped me in my professional life whenever I run into a roadblock and need some encouragement.
Q: What were your most memorable experiences at Penn in the Track & Field program?
A: Penn Relays hands down. The campus, city and stadium are FULL of energy, the competition is insane and overall, the feeling of competing at the Relays is unmatched. It’s one thing to compete at home, but another to be surrounded by thousands of people from all over the world roaring as soon as the gun goes off. Truly a sight to see and something that I hope all track athletes experience.
Q: What was the biggest challenge moving from high school to a competitive Track & Field program like Penn?
A: The biggest challenge was training at a D1 level while also juggling college academics and the other extracurricular activities that come with college as well. Hard is an understatement, the days were long and your body and brain hurt a lot of the time, but I would not have traded it for the world and my teammates definitely made the transition easier.
Q: What was your favorite memory from Reagan Track & Field?
A: My favorite memory has to be qualifying for the state meet in the 4×1 with some of my best friends (Alana Howard, Sydney Hargrove, and Zskaira Williams) my senior year. I pulled my hamstring in the area meet a few weeks before regionals, and had never cried more in my life. My teammates promised me that they would get me back to the State meet and that day, we ran our hearts out and qualified- they met me at the finish line with the biggest hug. I felt so supported, loved and grateful to be able to finish my high school track career with some of the greatest girls.
Q: What advice would you give to Rattlers who want to continue athletics in college?
A: Be bold and don’t sell yourself short! Until my senior season, I wasn’t on many college radars, especially those outside of Texas. I knew that I wanted to run in college, but I also needed to go to a university whose academic programs were just as strong as their athletic programs. After acknowledging that, I personally reached out to Penn and other universities that may have seemed like a “stretch,” but whom I thought could provide the college experience that I wanted. I thought that the messages I was receiving from Penn in response were automated but they actually ended up being directly from the coach, eventually leading to my recruitment! To you current rattlers and future college athletes, don’t be afraid to go after what you want, you will never know the possibilities otherwise!
Thank you Allysha for sharing your experiences and lessons learned. We congratulate you on your successes and wish you the best in your future endeavors! #RattlerPride