“For a lot of athletes, running is about the medal or the time or the championship. For Ally, running is about the journey,” said Ryan Marklewitz, St. Andrew’s science teacher, Middle School cross country and swimming coach, and Ally’s coach with her USA Track and Field club team, Element Performance. “She is constantly analyzing her performances, determining what she’s doing well and what she needs to improve, then dives right back into the work better than before because of the lessons she has learned. Not because she has to, but because she wants to.”
Ally was named a Washington Post Honorable Mention All-Met after a breakout freshman season that included a second-place finish at the Landon Invite and first place at the Private School County Championships. During Thanksgiving Break, Ally ran in the Foot Locker Northeast Regional Championships in New York, finishing ninth out of 160 girls in the freshman/sophomore division.
Her goal for the 2019 cross country season is to win the ISL Individual Championship. Her ultimate goal for her high school career is to lead the region in cross country and qualify for the Foot Locker National Championships in San Diego. To achieve her goals, Ally said she will need to continue the off-trail training habits she developed over the summer.
“Just keeping up with the little things, like resting and staying hydrated, can be big game changers,” Ally said. “But also making sure I am eating the right foods and getting proper sleep makes a difference. I didn’t think about that as much this past year as I do now. My focus now is not just on running, but on proper rest and nutrition as well.”
Whether she’s out on a long run or competing in an event, Ally said she aspires to have fun and run hard.
“One thing that motivates me to run now is just wanting to do well going into the fall season, but also pushing myself in general,” she said. “I feel like in cross country I have to push out of my comfort zone if I want to do well.”
In turn, Ally has inspired her teammates on the trail.
“Ally always has a positive mindset about everything and always pushes me to try my hardest,” said Shannon O’Grady ‘22. “She is also really kind and considerate to everyone on the team.”
In addition to her daily training with Element Performance this summer, Ally attended the Nike Smoky Mountain Running Camp, where she logged eight-mile days with fellow girls cross country athletes from around the country. She also interned with the CTTL’s Science of Teaching and School Leadership Academy, where she learned Mind, Brain, and Education Science strategies that she plans to apply as she balances her training and school work.
“Ally finds serenity and beauty in the work, but she’s also never completely satisfied,” Marklewitz said. “She is always striving to be better because chasing perfection makes her feel whole, and that’s why she will continue to be great."
Ally’s first meet of the 2019 cross country season will be the Woodward Relays Sept. 7 at Georgetown Prep. See the full girls cross country schedule below and follow @saes_sports on Twitter for updates on our student athletes.
Sept. 7, 2019
Sept. 14, 2019
Sept. 21, 2019
Georgetown Prep Classic
Oct. 12, 2019
Skip Grant Invitational
Oct. 19, 2019
Derwood AG Farm
Oct. 26, 2019
Derwood AG Farm
Nov. 2, 2019
Nov. 9, 2019
Foot Locker Northeast Regional
Nov. 30, 2019
VanCortlandt Park, Bronx, New York
Foot Locker Nationals
Dec. 14, 2019
Balboa Park, San Diego, California