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Salwey saving her best for last

Standout Rugby hurdler hopes her senior season will produce great results

May 1, 2009
Matt Mullally

The track season is short enough, and when you're a senior, it seems to go by even faster.

At least, that's how Rugby's Ashley Salwey sees it.

The standout hurdler was on a mission from the get-go, qualifying for state in both the 100 and 300 meter events in her first two outdoor meets.

"(The past seasons) I haven't started well, and it takes me a while to get going, but I entered this season with a different mindset,'' Salwey said. "I wanted to put my best foot forward right away."

She certainly has.

Salwey has placed at state in the 300 hurdles in each of the past three seasons and has qualified the past two in the 100. Her goal this season is to place fifth or better in both.

It's a lofty goal, but one she is poised to go after. "This is why you compete, to challenge yourself and see what you can accomplish,'' she said.

Rugby girls coach Bill Jansen said Salwey is blessed with good speed and an internal drive to keep pushing to become better. "She's a dedicated athlete, and more so this year. I can tell she's really preparing herself for a good finish,'' Jansen said.

The 100 and 300 hurdles are two different style races. The 100 is shorter and requires a quick start and good technique. "You can't overstride,'' Ashley said. "You try to go over each hurdle on the same leg and three strides between."

The 300 is a longer race, requiring more endurance. "I don't look at it as one with 10 hurdles, but 10 little races, focusing on just one hurdle at a time,'' she said. "I like it more because I don't have to think so much, just run."

While placing high at state is one of her goals, holding the school record in both events is also on her priority list. Salwey has the 300 meter record and is an eyelash away from having the 100 as well.

Ashley's contributions to the Panther program don't start and end there. She is also close to qualifying in the 200 meters and runs a leg of the short relays.

Jansen said her leadership also makes her a valuable member of the program. "She's not a real vocal leader, but she's in tune with her teammates and knows which ones may need some encouragement now and again, and she will give it to them,'' he said.

While her focus is on her final high school season, Ashley still has more meets in the future. Salwey plans to compete in the sport at the University of Mary in Bismarck.

It's going to be exciting and also challenging, she says. But for now, it's about ending this season on the right foot. And so far she's off to a good start.



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