- Friday 31 January, 2014
When meeting someone for the first time, it’s common for Allyson Downs to offer a cordial and confident greeting followed by a warm smile and witty conversation.
The outgoing fifth-grader at Mifflin Elementary in Mansfield, Ohio, likes to laugh and she likes to make everyone around her laugh, and she happens to be very good at it.
So it may come as a surprise to some to learn that rather than becoming a comedian, she has her sights set on becoming a geologist because she enjoys learning about rocks and minerals. She also enjoys spending time with friends, bike-riding, watching movies with her parents, Mike and Brenda Downs, and her brother, Jarrod Downs, and eating her mom’s scrambled eggs, but only when they’re not what she refers to as “too cheesy.”
She also relishes reading, and as a fourth-grader last year, she was recognized for reading more than two million words during the school year. One of her favorite books is “Dragonsdale” by Salamanda Drake, and there just may be some parallels between the book’s main character’s desire to fly on a dragon and her own desire to fly in a junior dragster.
Allyson, a third generation racer, won three races and finished first in points in 2013, and as a result, she is the 2013 Novice Junior Dragster champion.
While she plans to stay behind the wheel of her junior dragster next season, she would like to graduate to a full-sized dragster in the years to come, and even though her proud but protective dad responded to that with an emphatic “We’ll talk about that when the time comes,” he sees – and we all see - how she proves herself every time she straps in, lines up and points her pint-size powerhouse toward the finish line.
By Mary Lendzion