GLEN ROSE – Glen Rose sophomore, Ally Andress will be playing the role of Cinderella at the UIL 3A Track and Field Championships. A Cinderella title is commonly bestowed upon a team or player that has qualified for a tournament as a low seed or as one of the final entries.
The biggest difference between those who have "snuck in" and Andress, is that the Glen Rose sophomore can, and has already has, bested the best.
Andress set a career-high in the high jump this season when she cleared 5-foot-8. A height that would have been good enough to win the Regional meet outright. Instead, she enters the State Championships as a wildcard addition after her jump of 5-foot-5 at the Regional meet placed her third and on the outside looking in at the State meet.
The jump, although three inches below her best on record this season, was still good enough to rank her third out of the nine qualifiers in the state - just two inches behind the 5-foot-7-inch jump of Lauren Purdom from Whitesboro High School. Purdom enters as the No. 1-ranked jumper based on Regional meet heights.
Last year, the high-water mark in the 3A girls' high jump was just 5-foot-4.
Bridge City's Alexus Henry cleared 5-foot-8 in 2014.
Prior to those two, state champions were crowned after a 5-foot-6-inch jump in 2013 and 5-foot-7 in 2012, respectively.
In 2011, Liberty High School's Lauren Cook won by two inches over Silbee's Ashley Johnson. Cook's 5-foot-9-inch clearance during that meet is the highest bar a girl has cleared in 3A over the last five years.
Cook's jump was three inches higher than the 5-foot-6-inch state champion's clearance in 2010.
Sophomore, wild card or automatic qualifier aside, Andress' stage is set. Thursday, May 12 at 4 p.m., she will take lift-off at Mike A. Myers Stadium in Austin.