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State champion relay anchor and jumper Alyssa Cullen will attend Boise State and compete for the Broncos, her top choice.

By George Edgar
For West Sound SportsPlus

Alyssa Cullen is keeping busy and staying in shape amid the coronavirus pandemic.

With her junior track season wiped out last spring and ability to train at local tracks limited now to new restrictions as well as the weather, the North Kitsap senior has put together a gym inside her parent’s garage.

“I’ve been doing a lot of Crossfit, until my gym shut down,” Cullen said. “I’ve been focused on my strength building and working on my fitness. Now I have a good sized gym in my garage. It has free weights and an exercise bike. It’s similar equipment you can find in a Crossfit gym.”

Cullen is using that equipment to keep up her speed and stamina throughout the winter season, after signing a national letter of intent to Boise State University in Idaho. She chose to run for the Broncos over Colorado State University, as its program is building up its sprint teams.

“They were my top school,” Cullen said. “It’s a lot closer to home, and less expensive. The overall environment is a lot better.

Alyssa Cullen of North Kitsap anchors the Vikings in the 4x200 relay at the West Central District 2A/1A track and field meet Friday, May 17, 2019, at Bremerton Memorial Stadium. North Kitsap won the relay in 1:45.57. (Annette Griffus/West Sound SportsPlus)
Alyssa Cullen of North Kitsap anchors the Vikings in the 4×200 relay at the West Central District 2A/1A track and field meet Friday, May 17, 2019, at Bremerton Memorial Stadium. North Kitsap won the relay in 1:45.57. Cullen will continue her track and field career at Boise State University next season. (Annette Griffus/West Sound SportsPlus)

“They’re putting together a new sprint program,” she continued. “It gives me the opportunity to be part of a building program that didn’t have a sprint corps.”

At Boise State, she plans to study criminology and psychology. She is currently taking two similar classes this semester at North Kitsap.

In her sophomore year, she was hampered by injuries to her back and hips but made it back in time for the post season in 2019.

At state that year, Cullen finished sixth in the 100 dash in 12.77 seconds, and fourth in the 200 dash in 25.84 seconds. She was part of the 2A state-winning 4×200 relay team that won in 1:43.75.

At a West Coast AAU later that summer, Cullen placed eighth in the triple jump with a leap of 36 feet, and a half inch.

She was looking forward to her junior season before the shutdowns ruined everything.

“This was the year that we had a young sprint team, and the defending champs in the 4×200,” Cullen said. “I was intent to see what we could make of the team.”

Alyssa Cullen of North Kitsap competes in the 2A triple jump at the 4A/3A/2A state track and field championships Saturday, May 25, 2019, at Mount Tahoma High School in Tacoma. Cullen finished fifth with a mark of 35-0. (Annette Griffus/West Sound SportsPlus)
Alyssa Cullen of North Kitsap competes in the 2A triple jump at the 4A/3A/2A state track and field championships Saturday, May 25, 2019, at Mount Tahoma High School in Tacoma. Cullen finished fifth with a mark of 35-0. (Annette Griffus/West Sound SportsPlus)

As a freshman, she placed eighth in the triple jump at state. She discovered her sprint speed when she was trying to catch a flight at the airport.

“My youth pastor found out in the airport,” Cullen recalled. “We were racing for a plane and I was the first to get there.”

She further solidified her speed at an indoor meet at Washington State University in Pullman, when she ran 8.02 seconds in 60 meters. Cullen asked herself, ‘Am I fast, or was it a fluke?’ 

It wasn’t a fluke when she ran just as fast at her next indoor meet, fittingly enough at Boise State.

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