Ganado runner returns to state with victory in mind
Nov. 7, 2013 at 5:07 a.m.
Ganado senior Ashley Bridges admits a bout of nerves contributed to a less-than-top-notch performance last year when she competed at the state cross country meet in Round Rock.
"I was kind of overwhelmed, I guess," Bridges said. "I was mostly nervous because it was such a big stage to compete on."
Bridges will have the chance for a do-over Saturday when she heads back to Round Rock for the UIL state cross country meet at Old Settler's Rock.
Since her freshman year at Ganado, the all-around athlete has participated in cross country, volleyball, basketball and track and field events.
During the fall, two of those sports overlap.
"That's really one of the hardest things I've ever had to do," Bridges said. "But I've been doing it since my freshman year, so I'm used to it now. I'm definitely tired at the end of the day."
Being the only girl in a family full of boys and the daughter of a football and baseball coach, Bridges has been exposed to sports her entire life.
"We were always out in the yard playing football and baseball," she said.
Ganado's volleyball team went to the first round of the playoffs before being taken out by Burton last week.
Not even a week later, basketball practice began for Bridges, so there wasn't much of a break.
"It's helped with conditioning - basketball helps me get in shape for track," she said. "All my sports help me get in shape for other ones."
Bridges also went to the state level for track for the 3200-meter run last year.
After placing first in the 2012 regional track meet for Class 1A in the 3,200-meter run, Bridges said she again didn't run her best time.
"That's why I'm really wanting to do better this year, so I can make up for that," she said.
As the No. 1 ranked student in her senior class and a whiz at math, Bridges has already been accepted to Texas A&M.
Right now, she's signed up to major in business, but that's not her dream.
"I'm thinking about being an athletic trainer," she said. "It's such a big part of my life - I don't want to lose it."
Six runners, including Bridges, from the Crossroads area qualified for the state cross country meet.
Louise's Jacob Seabolt came in third place in the Class 1A boys division at the Region IV cross country meet last weekend in San Antonio with a time of 16:43.1 for the 5K course.
Bridges' time was 12:13.5 for the 2-mile course, placing her in third for the 1A girls division. She came in 10th last year at same competition.
John Von Dohlen, of Goliad; Cassidy High and Will Maraggia, of Industrial; and Amberlee Munsch, of Weimar, also qualified for the state meet.