Ah, sophomores. So naïve. Talented, but yet so frustrating.

Not all of them, of course, but that is definitely the case with Mountain Pointe mid-distance runner Katelin Warren.

Warren finished fifth at the Class 5A Division I state meet in the 800-meter as a freshman, posted the fifth best time in state (second in Division I) this season and anchors the Pride's 4 x 800 relay team that ranks in the top 10 in the state.

And yet she treats the track season as if it is just something to do and fully admits that she doesn't always give it her all.

"I'm lazy and I know it," Warren said. "I don't like to practice."

Ah, sophomores. So naïve.

"So talented and she has no idea how talented she really is," Mountain Pointe distance coach David Allison said. "It boggles my mind because I never had that kind of attitude. I have been working with her on her confidence and her approach. She has some time to get it and once she does look out."

Adding to Warren's seemingly flippant interest is her commitment to club soccer. Instead of fully concentrating on running, or at least putting in some miles in the offseason, Warren tends to put soccer first.

She was an All-East Valley Region pick as a defender for the Pride this season so the talent is there, but Allison has a point.

"I'm not a soccer coach, but I don't know if she is one of the five best soccer players in the state like she is in the 800," Allison said. "I keep telling her that all of the girls she is competing against are girls who do nothing but run. She just kind of shrugs."

The thing that Warren has going for her, besides the natural running ability, is a monster competitive streak. The day of a meet, Allison sees a different person. It explains how someone can just show up on the first day of track without much of a foundation and run a 2-minute-and-20-second 800.

Then two weeks ago at one of the state's premier events - the Chandler Rotary Invitational - she clocked a 2:16.08 to finish less than two seconds behind returning state champion Yasmine Yacut of Desert Vista.

Mention Yacut to Warren and her eyes light up and she is definitely interested.

"I want to beat her at state," Warren said. "I know I have to work harder to get there, but I showed myself I could compete with her."

That's where Allison sees the progress he wanted to see from her freshman season up until now.

"It's coming," he said. "Last year she kind of showed up, didn't care to work, but would perform. There were times where she would complain, but now she understands that the work has to be there for to reach her best."

Warren admits she needs a coach who really gets on her and tells her what to do to keep her engaged.

"I don't know why I don't work harder," she said. "I'm just a sophomore and I am still learning."

Allison believes it will all click at some point for his unassuming star.

"I told her I will get her where she can be as successful as she wants to be," he said. "At some point the rest is up to her."

• Contact writer: (480) 898-7915 or jskoda@ahwatukee.com

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