With high hopes and dreams, the seniors of Lake High School flood the halls on August 24, 2011. Among those seniors stands Ashley Snider, sporting a pair of swishy blue streak pants and a Lake T-shirt. For Ashley, that is what it has always been about, sports.
Since as early as sixth grade, Ashley Snider has been a dedicated Blue Streak, but her passion for sports began in second grade. Whether it was dribbling a basketball down the court, hitting a homerun, spiking a volleyball, or throwing a discus, playing sports has always been second nature to her.
However, it is not basketball, volleyball, or softball that is where her peak performance is. It is out on the track field with a discus in hand. Ashley has been on the track team for four years now. With a lot of talent, it is in her genes to have a deep desire to break records. When her father competed, he ranked high in shot put in high shool. Ashley couldn’t wait to add, “I’m really close to breaking a record too!"
For Ashley, her love for discus started when she was joining the volleyball team. It wasn’t enough for her, and she wanted something else to do. Stepping out on the track field, she knew instantly that she was not a fast runner and had no desire to run. She attempted shot-put, which is where a heavy metal ball is thrown as far as possible, but after trying a few times she decided to try discus. Ashley had a knack for the sport and decided to stick with it. “Originally I only wanted to do shot, but Coach Wolf wanted me to try discus and I loved it."
Just like all sports though, discus can be very dangerous. A deep scar above her left eye reveals a shocking story that took place her freshman year of 2009. It started out as a simple meet at Fitch. Everything was going as it usually did with the male throwers. When they threw, the female throwers would run them back the discs; among the female throwers was Ashley. It was a simple warm up that turned out to be disastrous. One of the male Fitch throwers didn’t hold back on his throw; it went swishing through the air at top speed, heading straight for Ashley.
Thinking the discus had landed, the girl next to Ashley was bending down, but it was not because she was picking it up like Ashley had thought. She was actually ducking out of the way. By the time she realized it, the discus had already struck her in the eye. Blood began to gush from her open wound as both of her eyes swelled up. Besides the pain, the fear was what really got her. “That night, it wasn’t so much the pain it was the fact that I was scared,” Ashley explains.
Ashley’s parents attend every single track meet. However, the one track meet that they were unable to attend, Ashley got injured. With Ashley's eyes swollen shut and her eye bleeding badly, her father showed up shortly after to take her to emergency.
Ten stitches later, the doctor expressed just how lucky Ashley was. If the discus had hit her any higher, it would have completely shattered her eye bone. If the discus had struck her a tiny bit lower, she would have been wearing a glass eye. To this day, she vowed she would not let another accident like that happen.
As for college, Ashley is still trying to decide where to go and what to major in. “I’m really undecided. It depends on if I get a scholarship for track,” Ashley admits. She was proud to say her biggest achievement was making it to regionals in discus this past season. As for now, Ashley is undecided in her future in the college world as graduation approaches in 2012. With fingers crossed, she hopes for a scholarship to make up her mind.
Though heading off to college sounds exciting, she is hesitant to leave Lake High School without a second glance. “Even though I don’t know exactly where I want to go, I’m still excited. But, at the same time I will miss my life at Lake. It’s bittersweet.”
This year, Ashley decided to join the Journalism class. Along with impeccable athletic skills, Ashley is also a gifted writer. “I joined Journalism because it sounded interesting. I took creative writing last year and people told me I was good so I decided to take Journalism.”
Although she is uncertain about her future in college, twenty years from now Ashley has it all planned out. She laughs and adds, “Married with two to three children. A dog. Hopefully, where I want to be in my career and successful in all aspects of my life.”
With this much spirit, determination, and such a bright personality, she will have no problem reaching her dreams and goals in life.