Nearly three years ago, Ally Watt made quite the first impression when as a freshman she sprinted to 5A state titles in the 100- and 200-meter races.
Three years from now, she'll hope to keep making headlines, albeit in a different arena.
On Wednesday, the Pine Creek senior will sign her national letter of intent to play soccer at Texas A&M, a setting she says will maximize her potential as she seeks to play at the highest level.
"My main goal is to play soccer at the national level, and first by getting to the Division I (college) level," Watt said. "Everything is coming together for me. Soccer has always been my true calling and is more of a passion for me."
Watt will be one of many student-athletes to sign their NLI on Wednesday, the end of a long journey that combines years of hard work and sacrifice along with the life-altering choice on where to attend college.
For Watt, the final decision didn't hinge on one factor. She first had to decide what sport suited her best for the future. Then came the college decision.
"I feel like A&M was the best place for me," Watt said. "The staff and the team are like a family, and I'm not even there yet. I don't know what it is, but I felt really at home when I was there on my visit."
Last season, Watt scored 13 goals in only 11 games on the soccer field, helping Pine Creek to the 5A semifinals. In track, she once again won the 100 and 200 state crowns while also helping three relay squads to the top step on the podium.
"I've coached many great athletes, but not at her level," Eagles girls' soccer coach John Frederick said. "We've had really fast players, but it's a discipline. It's more than just being fast. There is hard work and discipline to be at her level. On the soccer field, Ally had more than just speed. It wasn't just about her running around everyone. She could dribble and create to the point where everyone else was almost caught watching her."
As she prepares for her big day, Watt also has her eyes on the national scene. She's among many vying to keep her spot on the U.S. Under-20 Women's National Team, having recently returned from the squad's training camp in Sanford, Fla.
On Jan. 30, she helped her cause by scoring twice in a 4-1 win over Florida.
"High school has been a great journey," Watt said. "It has been a great experience, and I wouldn't have it any other way. But with soccer, it's what I've done since I was younger. It made me want to keep doing more. I don't know where I'd be without soccer."