Athlete of the Week: Ashley Smith

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Athlete of the Week: Ashley Smith

Peyton Hedges, Staff Reporter

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Freshman Ashley Smith has a busy schedule, participating in not one, but two varsity sports. Ashley is a member of both the varsity track team and the varsity tennis team, and has proved her exceptional abilities in each sport throughout the season.

Ashley started the tennis season out as the number 4 singles player, the only freshman varsity singles player on the tennis team. She eventually worked her way to the number 3 spot, which is where she is at currently.

Ashley’s tennis season has gone very well, as she has gone undefeated the whole season, and has even stepped up to play the number 1 singles spot and won. Speaking about her experience this season, Ashley said that “I’ve been really happy, everyone is really nice at tennis, and it’s fun to go to other schools and play.”

Ashley also throws javelin, shot put, and discus on the varsity track team. In her meet at the Twilight Relays she got the freshman record for javelin, and is only a few inches off of the shot put record.

Ashley says her goals for the season were “to see how well I could do as a freshman doing both sports, because that was one of the things I had to really figure out. How I could do both and still manage school at the same time.”

Ashley started taking tennis lessons when she was in the 4th grade. She later started to play on a team for the United States Tennis Association, and has been playing year-round since then. She began participating in track when she was in the 3rd grade for a CYO team, and continued through 8th grade, and recently started throwing for a track club last year.

Ashley won both of her matches at the tennis districts on Monday, and said that “The first match went pretty well, and the second match was really challenging. It was really the heat of the day and just very hot on the courts.”

Ashley played against another freshman who was seeded at the number 3 spot as well, and ended up winning 6-4, 6-4.

“It was really close and probably could have gone either way,” she said. “It was just a great match and the best I’ve played all season.”

Looking towards next year’s tennis season, Ashley says, “I am hoping to be at the number 1 seed, and I think it would be really cool to go undefeated again but we will see how it goes. I just want to get to state and improve as much as I can.”

Ashley is also going to be competing in the track districts this Thursday and Friday. To prepare for track season next year, Ashley says that she is going to be working hard this summer, hoping to reach her goals and continue to get better.

Ashley admits that playing two sports at once is a big challenge, but her love for both sports keeps her going, saying that “There are times when I will just want to go to sleep, but it’s been really fun and I wouldn’t trade it for anything, because these are my two favorite sports.”

On top of both of these sports, Ashley still must maintain her grades. She says that she usually has time on the weekends to get her work done and during the week she will come home from practices or matches and meets, do her homework, eat dinner and go to bed.

Thinking about her future, Ashley would love to get a scholarship at a PAC-12 school for either sport.

Ashley has enjoyed being a member of both the tennis and track team and her favorite part is the people she gets to do these sports with, saying that “everyone is so nice and both sports have a great community.”

Be sure to congratulate Ashley on her success this spring in tennis and track, and cheer her and the rest of the La Salle team on at districts this Thursday and Friday!