By Taylor Grafft
Freshman Avery Tudyk has had quite a bit of success since moving to Liberty Hill in February of last year. In eighth grade, she broke the Liberty Hill Junior High Long Jump record and last week, broke the high school Girls Long Jump school record at the District Meet with a jump of 16 feet and 8 ½ inches.
“Being almost 100 percent new to Liberty Hill when I broke the junior high record made me feel really great,” said Tudyk. “I was not only slightly surprised, but very delighted with myself and getting to know that I’m capable of great things.”
After qualifying for the Area Meet in Brownwood on April 16, she’s hoping that the early success will just be a precursor and starting point for a long and successful career.
“I am still in shock that I have made it to Area,” Tudyk said. “I knew I was capable, but it was just a complete shock. When Miller said, ‘You’re going to Area baby!’ I immediately burst into tears and started jumping up and down like a kangaroo! My mother and I were both crying together after I was done. Also to be a freshman and achieve such a high honor has made me want to keep going as far as my legs will jump. It has made me drive to be an inspiration to people younger and older than I am.”
Tudyk says that she has always been athletic and competing ever since she could walk. She also has a family history of athletes that starts with her mother, Kelli Tudyk, who gives her advice and teaches her new techniques.
“In high school my mother also did track,” Tudyk said. “She did the Triple and Long Jump just like me. She was very successful in those days so when she tells me to try something in the Long Jump I try it, because I know it could potentially help me.”
Tudyk described herself as a pretty dull knife in a cabinet full of sharp knives when she entered the high school track world earlier this season. She’s now confident in her abilities and credits her coaches for helping her achieve such great success.
“Although in eighth grade I had some success, I still needed more coaching to get up there in the high school world,” Tudyk said. “My coaches have not failed me once in doing that. Coach Miller always says, ‘Ride your jump Tudyk.’ Coach Miller is my long and triple jump coach, but Coach Peterson and Coach Junkin have also played a big role in keeping me in shape and fast.”
Tudyk says it doesn’t always come easy for someone who wants to be successful in the Long Jump. She says that her work ethic and drive to eat right and stay in shape are vital in making sure you can do your best at meets.
“In order to be successful in the Long Jump you have to eat right and work very hard,” Tudyk said. “If you want it bad enough you’ll put your whole body into it. You have to be athletic and lastly you have to just love sand all over your body!”
Another important factor for Tudyk before she practices and competes is being prepared mentally. She says one of her biggest strengths is not letting the pressure get to her right before an event.
“I mentally prepare myself before I compete by telling myself, ‘You can do this. It’s just another practice’,” Tudyk said. “I also say ‘Area, area, area, area’ or whatever big meet is coming up next. My main mottos are ‘You’re almost done’ and ‘No complaining. No slacking.’”
Tudyk says that track has given her confidence and a way to test herself physically and stay in shape. She also competes in basketball in the fall and says that basketball is a great pre-season work out for track because it helps build up her stamina and strength.
“Track has impacted my life greatly,” Tudyk said. “Track not only always leaves me with something to do, but it keeps me in very good shape and it always makes me feel accomplished and good about myself.”
Even though she is only a freshman, she says this year’s success and experience has been a positive sign for a bright future.
“My freshman experience has been such a great one for me,” Tudyk said. “Having so much success at my age has made me want to go further and push harder everyday.”
Tudyk has already put some thought into her short-term goals for this season and long-term future.
“My big goals for the conclusion of this season are to break my previously broken school record (a record she broke last week at the District meet), and I would also like to move on to Regionals,” she said.
As for her long-term goals she says she wants to eventually make it to the State Meet and continue breaking records at Liberty Hill. She also hopes to get a track scholarship in a few years.