Her track coach says they call her Miss Dependable because she never missed a practice and could be depended on to perform well on the track. But the 2021 track season didn’t start out that way according to part-time coach Gerard Alexander.
“Ashiyah got off to a slow start coming out of basketball and it took some time and some heart-to-heart discussions to get her motivated. But she seemed to get re-generated over spring break and came out and really hooked it up from April on,” said Alexander who helped coach the girl’s track team along with Denise Gray and former Beggs and Texas standout Rodney Tate.
In what has to be a Herculean effort, Lewis and her four other team mates went on to capture the Class 3A state track title by sweeping the 4X100, 4X200 and 4X400-meter relays where she ran the third leg in each event. She talked candidly about the slow start of the season for her.
“I wasn’t really mentally ready for track this year. Maybe it was the adjustment from basketball or maybe it all seemed kind of new since we hadn’t run in two years. But as the season got going and we started winning our relays at every meet, I think we got the feeling we could win those events at state. The coaches also reminded us that if we kept working hard, we could win it and we proved ourselves in the end,” said the junior speedster who was also part of the gold-medal 4X100 relay team her freshman year.
“At the state meet it was really crowded and I didn’t really like that and then as we started warming up, it started raining. But that was okay because it rained on us that freshman year we won the relay. Then it got hot and humid but we were used to dealing with that too,” said Lewis who is also in the National Honor Society.
As noted, Ashiyah also plays basketball which she says she actually likes better but feels her skills are better used in track. She says it runs in the family as her parents and siblings are all athletic and her mom also ran track in high school. Although she did run some sprint events during the track season, she didn’t qualify for state in any of them and that’s something she’s setting as a goal for next year. She plans to play AAU basketball for the first time this summer.