Competing with Grace

Sophomore overcomes ankle injury while preparing for pole vault at Thursday’s state meet


Stu Mair

Grace Ridgeway runs in the 100 meter dash at the Lovejoy Invitational. Ridgeway, a multi-sport athlete, will compete Thursday at the state meet in the pole vault.

Drew Doig, Staff Reporter

Sophomore Grace Ridgeway will travel to Austin to compete in the UIL 5A state track meet on Thursday, May 12, despite suffering an ankle injury at the regional championships.

The meet will take place at Mike Myers Track Complex in Austin, Texas, and run through Saturday, May 14. There is a 20 percent chance of rain throughout the meet, and the weather will reach a high of 90 degrees.

Ridgeway’s event takes place on Thursday at 5 p.m. Ridgeway won the event at regionals on April 29 with a vault of 10-6 vault, but injured her ankle on her last attempt, leaving her unable to run in the 300 hurdles or the 4×100 relay. Ridgeway’s personal best in the pole vault was 11-7 to win the area championship on April 22.

“This week we are doing everything in our power to get Grace back to full health and strength,” head coach Logan Kelly said.

By Wednesday morning, Ridgeway said her recovery had taken a positive turn.

“Swelling has gone down, and I was able to pole vault and sprint in preparation for tomorrow,” Ridgeway said.

Ridgeway is currently seeing an orthopedic doctor, a physical therapist, and an athletic trainer, who are all coordinating with her in order to get her back to full strength.

This was not the first ankle injury for Ridgeway.

“In eighth grade, I had a worse ankle sprain and I tore three ligaments in the same ankle that I just hurt,” Ridgeway said. “I had to go through eight months of physical therapy to be prepared for track.”

As she prepares for the meet, Kelly is helping Ridgeway in order for her to be at her best for the meet.

“He tells me to leave my heart out on the track,” Ridgeway said. “He has also been preparing me mentally and he always encourages me.”

Kelly describes Ridgeway as a “gamer.”

“You don’t get too many athletes in your coaching career that have the ability and heart that Grace possesses,” Kelly said. “It is a rare combination, and I am excited to see her compete at the state meet.”

Grace said she has a ton of support from family, friends, and coaches as she prepares for state.

“I have the best coaches in the whole state of Texas and they have done a great job of preparing me,” Ridgeway said. “I have so much support from my family and friends, and they have given me a lot of motivation to do well this year.”