ALBRIGHT: State not done learning about Yellowjackets’ Alyssa Sauro, just yet

Eventually, this is going to become normal…


Williamstown cross country runner Alyssa Sauro doing her dominant thing out on the trail is going to just be a regular occurrence in Mid-Ohio Valley sports fact.

Until then, her impressive outbursts of a still gathering potential are going to feel relatively new for all of us following along each time out. Sauro, by her own admission, is still learning about herself and what she can do in her sport.

“I thought I would be running in the early 19s or 20s. I wasn’t quite sure where I would be running,” Sauro said of when she got up to the high-school level.

For future reference, she’s running in the high 17s, or close-to-Tori Starcher-speed.

Which means we can’t possibly know everything she is made of just, yet. Those who have seen her run, they might have a pretty good idea of what she’s capable of, but it remains speculation until it becomes real.

Take for example, this past weekend. Those dominant numbers of hers over the first three races, well, they may have given the impression of further dominance into a fourth race. But until the predicted became the present, we couldn’t be quite sure.

Naturally, Sauro taught those around her something during said Chick-Fil-A Invitational. This time it was her ability in dealing with troublesome hazards at the beginning of the race. The course beginning downward slope challenged her establishment of an early groove toward a good race.

So how did she handle it?


She finished the race just four seconds off of Starcher’s course record, for good measure. That’s to say nothing of her new establishment of a time-to-beat at the event on her school level. Again, sorry Ella Hesson.

In the post-race interview, Sauro even called the course “fun,” despite the inconvenience. As it so happens, that was something her and head coach Mike Taylor spent time discussing about a week before the race.

“They talked about her just running the course. Where to go with her surges, when to attack the hills, and she’s catching on,” Williamstown coaching legend Larry Cassady said.

She sure is … getting the hang out it?

Do you see where this is going.

Basically, there’s still more for her to learn.

And that is just the racing itself.

It is to say nothing of the scientific advancements in healing, or how her natural biological progression, and development of more advanced running approaches as she gets older will affect her technique. Which in turn will shave seconds off her time.

These are things no one can speak of in the present, and so again, we are lacking crucial information. Not that it will be that way for long, know why?

Because, Sauro never tires of learning new things about herself. And that right there, is the biggest clue we haven’t seen the full capabilities of the Yellowjackets’ most threatening runner.

It’s also worth mentioning how highly regarded Starcher, Hesson and Madison Trippett are in her mind. Their records are constantly being threatened by the Yellowjacket. She sees them as a benchmark, something to shoot toward. Hopefully, maybe surpassing one day.

She appears to be on the path as evidenced by the start of her career and her already cheerful outlook and plans.

Now, why are there now two columns on one of Williamstown’s fastest new runners? Well, Sauro so far has shown she quite possibly has the “IT” factor when it comes to even more improvements in the future.

Heck, it is quite possible when this is all done, she could be running for Oregon U, home of Nike.

That talk, though, is an entirely other conversation in and of itself, one that we can’t even have, yet.

We don’t even know the entire athlete.

Contact Joe Albright at jalbright@newsandsentinel.com.


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