Brycelyn Ruddick enjoyed competing on the track and field and cross-country teams at Brownstown Central because they went “hand-in-hand.”

“In cross-country you have to have a lot of endurance to be able to run 3.1 miles and to be able to keep that pace up,” Ruddick said. “In track my freshman and sophomore years I ran with the distance girls, and that kind of went hand-in-hand with having as much endurance and being able to keep up with the person ahead of you.”

Ruddick said the lowest time she ever ran was a 23:31.

“I like hills; that’s my personal favorite,” she said. “Bedford North Lawrence and Hardy Lake are probably my two favorite courses.”

For running, Ruddick said she believes practice is the most important factor to success.

“In the summer we would usually practice in the mornings so it was not as hot,” Ruddick said. “Once we got in school we would practice after school and it was a little bit of a difference. I think it’s harder to run during cross-country season because it’s so hot.

“In track it’s cooler. If you’re going to practice like you’re going to compete, than you’re going to compete even better. You want to make sure you keep up with your good work during practice, and not slack off. That way you’ll be able to compete more when it comes to meet time.”

On the cross-country course, Ruddick came strong out of the gates.

“I usually ran the first mile as my fast one,” Ruddick said. “In the second mile I would keep up with the person I was running with, and in the third mile I would go and try to excel. Probably the hardest thing was learning to pace yourself.”

After running on the track team her first three years, Ruddick was only able to high jump this spring because of an injury.

In the high jump, Ruddick focuses on her approach to achieve maximum height.

“You have to make sure you have an extra bounce, and more speed when you get near the bar, and whenever you jump you want to make sure you have your hips forward and lift yourself up to get over the bar,” Ruddick said.

Ruddick, who is right-handed, said you always want to jump off your front leg.

“Your right leg should be closest to the bar and that should be the one you jump off of,” she said.

At most meets, Ruddick started jumping at four feet, and her career best was 4-foot-6.

“I’ll usually skip at first, and then your last five steps should be your fastest,” Ruddick said.

One of Ruddick’s favorite parts of sports is the camaraderie with her teammates.

“I like the closeness of the team,” she said. “That’s my favorite thing about any sport, the closeness of the girls and being able to be close with the coaches and everything.

“The boys’ track team does a really good job of coming over and supporting the girls team. The coaches that are over there are really helpful, like coach (Tom) Ritz. He’ll be over there and he’ll help out with everything.”

To succeed in sports, having a strong mental game is just as important as the physical assets.

“In high-jumping you need to believe in yourself that you will jump, and you will get over the bar,” Ruddick. “You need to believe in your teammates that they will excel and help in scoring more points.”

[sc:pullout-title pullout-title=”At a glance” ][sc:pullout-text-begin]

Name: Brycelyn Ruddick

Parents: Carla and Jason Hehman and the late Butch Ruddick

Siblings: Carl, Peyton, Reece

Sports: Track, four years; cross-country, four years; girls basketball manager, four years

Athletics highlights: Track, Mid-Southern Conference champs 2011, 2102; basketball, MSC champs 2014-15

Favorite away track: Bedford North Lawrence

Organizations: Booster Club

Plans after high school: Attend Indiana University

Favorite food: Pizza

Favorite TV show: “Friends”

Favorite singer: Carrie Underwood

Favorite movie: “Hairspray”

Favorite teams: Indianapolis Colts, Indiana Hoosiers

Favorite book: “The Fault In Our Stars”

Favorite quote: “The more you’re like yourself, the less you’re like anyone else, which makes you unique.” — Walt Disney


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