Classroom Champions: Gatesville's Alayna Washington

GATESVILLE, Texas (KWTX) When Gatesville senior Alayna Washington has a task in front of her, she is going to give it her all.

“I’ve always wanted to be the best I could be, and especially knowing that in high school, it really counts for you for college as far as getting in, and the benefits you can get from it,” said Washington. “Just being top of what I can be has always sparked me to want to be better.”

That focus and determination has helped her to excel academically as well as athletically. Not only does Alayna sit at number three in her class, but she also placed fifth in the state in her weight class for powerlifting, placed first in the 200- and 400-meter races at last year’s district track meet, and was named as an all-district player in basketball.

“Out of almost 200 kids, being third is a huge accomplishment. She's a kid that I’m never going to have to worry about,” said Gatesville basketball coach Ryan Ocheskey. “One of the things I’ll tell my kids is you're a student-athlete. (Being a) student comes first.

"Another thing that I’ll usually tell them is that if I can't count on you to do your stuff in the classroom, then how can I count on you to carry out my game plan? She is just one that I’m never going to have to worry about with that.”

As serious as Alayna is about her current studies and athletic endeavors, she may be even more focused on her future. She will have the opportunity to study and serve her country at West Point next year.

“I’m expecting it to be really cold, and a very structured environment,” said Washington. “With lots of people that are headstrong and determined, I’m very excited to go up there. But the last couple of years, I have really wanted to pick that up and pursue it. (At) the beginning of this year, I decided I wanted to go to a place where I can get a good education and where I can serve my country in the future.”