Abbi Qualls is what you would call and up-and-comer in the world of track for the Sallisaw Black Diamonds. Just a sophomore, Abbi runs the 100-meter sprint, the 4X100 and 4X200-meter relays and long jumps.
“She has great speed, is explosive and runs with long strides,” says her coach Richard Pratt. “She has really matured a lot this past year and is very competitive. Last year she injured her knee about two weeks before regionals and we weren’t sure she would be able to run but we got her rehabbed so she could run in the 4X200 at state. She probably could have been a qualifier in the 100 but we held her out of that because we weren’t sure how she would hold up. This year so far she has finished second in the long jump at Heavener with a jump of 14 feet 4/1/2 inches and fifth at McAlester with a jump of 15 feet and she didn’t hit the toe board square in either meet,” he laughed. “She also had a PR in the 100 with a time of 13.56 seconds at McAlester and her times have gone down in every meet.”
Qualls, who also plays the post on the Lady Black Diamond basketball team, says she started doing athletics at an early age but likes to talk the most about her running.
“At every meet I’m trying to beat my personal record in the 100 because that’s something I’m really passionate about. I’ve cut it down to the low 13s and I want to get into the 12s by the time regionals come and qualify for the state tournament. I feel like I’ve really improved my form this past year.”
In addition to the usual things that youngsters have to adjust to when they transition from junior high to high school, there was one other thing that Abbi had to get used to.
“I had never run out of starting blocks before I got to high school so that was something that I had to learn. I also found that I had to push myself in all areas including athletics and academics when I got to high school.”
In her spare time Abbi has a part-time job and is active in her church.