Gabbie Love (417) won the girl's 800m and Allie Love (416) won the girl's 3200m at the North Texas Winter 800m/3200m
Valentines Day is right around the corner and as the phrase goes, love is in the air. Well, at the North Texas Winter 800m/3200m, love was on the track - - The Love family.
In the track and field world, we are used to two-sport athletes on the boy's side of the sport. Sprinters and jumpers often double as football and basketball players who happen to pick up track to stay in shape or showcase their other talents with our sport.
The same goes for soccer players on the girl's side of the sport doubling in distance running and we've seen several soccer girls finding success in recent years. That's where the Love sisters come in
Colleyville Heritage freshman Allie Love began to establish herself early during the 2020 cross country season. She ran 18:04 in her first 5K at the Timber Creek Falcon Fast Invite way back in September; that effort resulted in her third consecutive win to start her high school career.
With that start, Love became a force throughout the season helping Heritage become one the best teams in Texas. The young star would run to district and regional championships, eventually finishing seventh overall at the UIL 5A state meet.
As the track season has begun, little went 5:05.12 in the 1600m a few weeks ago on January 9th after playing two games in a soccer tournament earlier that day.
Saturday night, she has established herself even more when she ran a 10:55.89 to win in the 3,200m against some of the top distance runners in Texas.
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However, Saturday evening was the introduction to another Love who came running away with a win. Gabbie, the eldest of the two Love sisters, is also a big time soccer star, but this weekend she not only ran the first race of the season, but the first race of her high school career.
Gabbie entered the race excited and nervous, but had no clear strategy or experience to gage and relate this experience to. "I watched some races before me and I saw some people go out too hard and get passed at the end," she said.
Going through the first 400m, Gabbie was was in fourth place a good 10 meters behind the leaders. Looking like she was executing a tenative plan on what she observed, she maintained that distance throughout the race, until the final 120m. Coming off the final curve, she appeared to have more life in her legs and endurance to push through the finish as she put on a major kick to catch the leaders to the finish line for the win in 2:15.35.
The competitive spirit we saw in Allie and Gabbie over the weekend is something that they are both accustomed to on the field and on the track, "I just go out there and run as hard as I can and that's my goal for anything I do in life is to do as best as I can," Gabbie said.
"We love to train against each other, it's a really positively competitive environment where we try to push each other to do the best that we can and it's just a really good relationship," Gabbie said. Allie seconds that sentiment, "It's just a great relationship we have with each other." With two sports in common, the Love sisters push each other. Judging by the way the compete, one can only imagine what the soccer and running workouts can be like. Allie said, "We can push each other, but it's not to the point where it gets out of control."
There is no question where the athleticism and competitiveness comes from. Their father was a runner in high school and continues his physical fitness lifestyle. Despite his 6'4" height and muscular build, dad still has the fitness to go on weekly long runs with his girls. Gabbie describes him as big and strong and says, "he can really scoot;" specifically about their eight mile ventures, Allie says, "he's pretty good" and goes start to finish with them.
As phenomenal as Allie has been in soccer and in her first season of high school running, she may be one of her sister's biggest fans. "I was just so proud of her, great race - first race ever."
When the Loves are on the track, beware!
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