The senior from Southern Durham deserves to be noticed for the many fast times she has put up in the long sprint races.
As an athlete or a coach, you always try to control everything that you can control: training, race preparation, rest, nutrition. (At least, you SHOULD by trying to control all those things, if you want to reach your full potential!) However, you can't control what your opponents do, or how good they are, or how many of them will be great in any given year. In Aalayah Faulcon's case, there is no doubt that she would have been a superstar in most years, with her marks of 24.61 for the 200 and especially 54.75 for the 400. I sometimes feel that she has gotten a bit less recognition than she might deserve, though, because she has performed over a three-year span during which six North Carolina girls have broken 55 for the 400. For that reason, she has never won an individual state championship. Still, Aalayah is the 11th-best 400 runner in state history, and she has been able to get some national recognition for her times. Aalayah has a stated goal (in this video) of breaking 54, and she will have a few chances to do so this summer if she continues to compete in club track. Regardless of that outcome, she will always be one of the best the state has ever seen.