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Female Athlete of the Year: Aly Drake

Posted: July 2, 2009 9:13 p.m.
Updated: July 3, 2009 4:55 a.m.
Even if Valencia senior Aly Drake didn’t play soccer, she would merit serious consideration as The Signal’s 2008-09 Female Athlete of the Year.

It wasn’t just that Drake won the 800-meter run at the CIF State Track and Field championships, it was how she did it.

Entering the first Foothill League meet of the season, Drake held the school record in the 800 at 2 minutes, 18 seconds. When she won the state title a little more than two months later, she had trimmed more than 11 seconds – 11 seconds! – off that time.

Drake credits her coaches for focusing her efforts and dividing the 800 into separate legs, with a target time for each one. It played to Drake’s sprinter mentality, which had been ingrained by running shorter races the previous three years.

When she put it all together at the state meet, the result was a time of 2:07.45, the best in the history of the Santa Clarita Valley.

She was the Foothill League champion, the CIF-Southern Section Division I champion, and now the state champion.

All in the 800. All in the same season.

She wasn’t too shabby on the soccer field, either.

In her fourth year as a member of Valencia’s varsity squad, Drake served as co-captain for the second straight season and helped lead the girls soccer team to a co-Foothill League championship.

She finished the season with 10 goals, which was third-most on the team, and eight assists, which was the second-highest total.

A dangerous offensive weapon with a background in club ball, Drake could uncork shots from almost any angle, and she had the speed to cover a ton of the field.

She was also a good passer, able to distribute the ball and run Valencia’s attack.

Her prowess on the pitch led to a partial soccer scholarship to the University of San Francisco.

Her prowess on the track covered the rest of it.

She knew that her future was set before the CIF state track meet. She knew she didn’t have to win the state title in the 800.

She didn’t care.

Drake is a consummate competitor, someone who wants to win and won’t stop working until she does.

That should serve her well at the University of San Francisco, where she will take part in both sports for the Dons.

Drake’s schedule will be loaded, but it shouldn’t be too much trouble.

Not for someone who has already accomplished so much.


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