Glen Rose High School girls track coach Sandy Langford said that state high jump qualifier Ally Andress is ready.
Andress has been working hard, focusing on the little things that can make a difference entering her next test, at the Class 4A state track and field meet in Austin.
The state meet is Thursday through Saturday at Mike Myers Stadium on the campus of the University of Texas, but the Class 4A girls high jump won’t start until Friday at 1 p.m.
“Ally has been practicing very well these past two weeks,” Langford said of the junior multisport standout who is making her second straight state high jump appearance. “She looks strong, confident and has fresh jumping legs. Going into the state meet, it is going to be competitive.”
One competitor, from Argyle, is expected to be among her top high jump rivals in Austin.
“Her and the Argyle girl both cleared 5-6,” Langford said. “At any point anyone can easily clear two more extra inches. High jump is such a nail biter because more times than not it comes down to one inch at the state meet. Everyone (there) is good, it just boils down to who is on their mental game that day.”
Andress won the Region I-4A high jump event in Lubbock with a height of 5-6 to advance to state. She also competed in the regional triple jump and placed third, one spot shy of qualifying in that event as well. The top two in each regional event qualify for state.
The competitors in Lubbock had to endure brutally cold conditions that included sleet and high winds that made it feel even colder than the actual temperature, reportedly was in the 30s.
Andress said that while she was competing a few weeks ago in the high jump at the 90th annual Clyde Littlefield Texas Relays at UT, she thoroughly enjoyed soaking up the atmosphere and being other elite athletes. She even described one women’s open division runner in particular as being inspirational.
“She was so fast, it was awesome,” Andress said of the athlete, who was competing for Nike in one of the hurdles events.
The Texas Relays, like the state high school meet, are held at Mike Myers Stadium.
Andress was thrilled in a brief magic moment at that Texas Relays meet when she looked up at the stadium’s giant video screen — and saw herself on camera.
“It was crazy,” Andress said.
Last year as a sophomore, Andress qualified for the Class 3A state high jump competition with a height of 5-5, earning a silver medal as the runner-up. Andress and Abigail Lally of Merkel both cleared 5-6. Lally ended up being the state gold medal winner, based on fewer misses at the previous height.
Glen Rose had two other girls in the regional meet and one from the boys team, but none advanced to state.
Senior Jaylan Evans and sophomore Shalyn Wedel both competed in the regional girls pole vault. Wedel also competed in the 400-meter dash.
Yuri White, a GRHS senior, was in the boys regional shot put competition.