Salute To Seniors : Ashley deHechavarria - The Bolles School

The 2014-2015 school year has provided some great highlights in both cross country and track across the Sunshine State. In the coming weeks many of our seniors will head out to start their college careers both athletically and academically. We wanted to salute them one more time in this special feature and say thank you for your support over the years.

What was your most memorable race/moment?

My most memorable moment was from the cross country state meet in 2010 when we gave our runner-up medals to American Heritage after they had a mix up with their chips. They rightfully earned the runner-up title. It made me really proud that our team did such a nice gesture.

Who would you consider your biggest competition over your four years?

Pine Crest. They have really kept us on our toes all these years. They are great competition and great friends.

What was your greatest accomplishment?

Placing 7th in the 3200 meter at the 2015 2A state meet and also being captain of three consecutive cross country state championship titles.

If you could do it all over again what would you change about your running career in high school?

Honestly, I'm very happy with the running career I've had in high school. Although I have experienced many obstacles along the way, these obstacles have taught me some very valuable life lessons. I have learned to be persistent and appreciate my health, I have been a part of 4 state championship titles in cross country and track, and I have made some amazing best friends. I really can't complain. I wouldn't change anything.

What were the most difficult obstacles you had to overcome?

Over the years, I have struggled with some health issues. My junior year of cross country I struggled with breathing issues due to gluten allergies and my senior year of cross country I was diagnosed with Mononucleosis.

What will you miss the most?

My cross country family (my teammates and my coaches)

What advice you would give to younger athletes?

I would tell younger athletes to always keep trying no matter what and to stay positive. During my junior year of cross country, I had breathing problems and I really thought I would never be healthy enough to run very fast ever again. I would tell them to keep trying and working to achieve their goals. Everyone experiences a slump, but it can always get better with hard work and dedication.

What influence has your coach had with respect to your performance and overall life goals?

Coach Ryan is basically my cross country dad. He has helped to shape the runner and the person I am today. Over the last 6 years, he has taken me from a 31.02 minute 5k runner to a 19:11 5k runner. No matter what health issues I was struggling with at the time, he never gave up on me and believed in my ability. He has helped and encouraged me to continue running in college next year. I am so thankful for Coach Ryan. He's the best.

What are your college plans?

I will be running Division I cross country and track at Colgate University. I'm super happy to continue my running career and look forward to this new experience.

Who would you like to say thank you to?

I would like to say thank you to Coach Ryan, all the amazing Bolles coaches, and my supportive teammates. I would also like to say thank you to my parents, especially to my mom who left no stone unturned to get me healthy and running fast again.

Is there anything else you'd like to add?

I love my teammates. My teammates are my best friends. They are so supportive and no matter what, the most important aspect of Bolles cross country is the team. Thank you girls for being awesome!

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