Stating that Glen Rose High School senior Ally Andress had to settle for second place at the state track and field meet says a lot about her outstanding high school career.
After all, this was not “just” a silver medal. It was her second career silver medal, in addition to the gold medal she earned last year.
Andress went into the state meet last Friday afternoon at Mike Myers Stadium in Austin as the defending Class 4A girls state high jump champion. This time Andress placed second, with a height of 5 feet, 5 inches.
“Two weeks ago (in Lubbock’s Region I-5A meet) I jumped 5-8, and I hadn’t jumped that since I was a sophomore,” Andress said. “Friday wasn’t my kind of day. I wouldn’t carry my speed through the whole jump. I think it was just nerves.”
The other GRHS state qualifier, senior Drayden James, placed sixth in the boys 300-meter hurdles event on Saturday afternoon. The Region I-4A champion recorded a time of 38.93 seconds, compared to the 37.12 seconds posted by Kenneth Bodwin of Stafford in winning the state championship.
The gold medal winner in the girls high jump, Megan Daley of Fredericksburg, jumped 5-6, and the bronze went to Kaia Saylor of Aubrey, with a jump of 5-4. Daley was last year’s silver medalist.
“I was definitely feeling more pressure to win it again,” Andress said.
Andress won last year’s high jump state title with a height of 5-6. She had matched her personal best of 5-8 in winning the Region I-4A meet in Lubbock on April 27, qualifying her for a third consecutive trip to Austin. Her third-place jump at the state meet as a sophomore was 5-6.
“I’m a little disappointed in the outcome,” Andress said. “Looking back, I can say I had a very successful four years of Glen Rose athletics.”
That’s a well-known fact, with Andress earning all-state and academic all-state honors as a key performer for the Lady Tigers in her other two primary sports — in both basketball under head coach Ramsey Ghazal and in volleyball under head coach Sandy Langford.
Andress said it’s “kind of sad” to know that her high school sports career is over.
“Really, going into my freshman year I would never have expected myself to accomplish what I did, and to have grown so much as a person,” Andress said. “Not only physically, but mentally as well.”
Andress described the post-competition conversation she had with Langford, who is also the head girls track coach.
“She just teared up and said that was the last time she would get to coach (me) — and we both teared up,” Andress said.
Next for Andress will be at 2:30 p.m. Friday in San Antonio when she plays at Trinity University in the Texas Girls Coaches Association's Legacy All-Star girls basketball game for graduating seniors. She will play on the Blue Team in the division with players from high schools from Class 4A down through Class A.
Beyond that, Andress has a chance to extend her legacy at the collegiate level as well, when she joins the nationally ranked Texas A&M women’s basketball program on scholarship starting this fall.
She said she still loves basketball, but will also welcome the summer break before embarking for College Station.
“This will be my first break (from sports) since probably (last) summer,” Andress said. “It just goes from one sport to the next. I love doing sports, but also family time and time for friends.”
GRHS boys track coach Jacob Marwitz noted that the 38.93 hurdles time was the best time of the year posted by James.
“He had put more focus on starting fast through the first three (hurdles) and relaxing on the next two then finishing the last three,” Marwitz said. “He worked hard on that the two weeks between the regional and state meet.
“We are proud of him and the work that he put into dropping his time and running his best going on the biggest stage and the last meet of the year.
“He came out as a senior and accomplished a lot in his first and only full year of track. Drayden is a talented athlete and really put in a lot of time and work and it paid off for him.”
Second place in that race went to Cameron Everts of Lampasas (38.06) and third was Major Martin of Celina (38.17). The top eight, all posted personal-best times.
James also lettered for the Tigers in football and basketball his senior year. He earned first-team all-district as a defensive back in football, and second-team all-district in basketball.