LAUREL COUNTY, Ky. —
North Laurel has not seen many athletes like Ashley Woolum. North Laurel track coach Kevin Bradford hasn’t seen any.
“She is by far the best all-around track athlete that we’ve had,” Bradford said.
The holder of numerous North Laurel records, Woolum currently ranks No. 1 in the state in long jump and triple jump. She also holds the No. 4 ranking in high jump and No. 11 in 100 meter hurdles.
“(Ashley) has always been a pleasure to coach. She will do whatever you ask of her. Just a very easy-going attitude and she works hard,” Bradford said. “You tell her something to do and she will do it. You give her a new drill or a workout and she jumps right to it.”
Woolum first joined the high school track team as a sixth grader. At first she didn’t stand out to Bradford. The only thing that set her apart from the other middle schoolers was the amount of Mountain Dew she drank, Bradford joked.
“About halfway through the season we put her in a hurdle race and it just clicked. You could see her competitive juices start kicking in as well,” Bradford said. “It would be a month or so before we realized this kid is an exceptional athlete.”
Woolum competed in the state meet as a sixth grader and placed sixth in the triple jump. It would be the first of many trips to the state tournament for Woolum.
Woolum said she wasn’t even sure she wanted to join the track team, but it may have been a little peer pressure that persuaded her.
“I wasn’t even going to do it, but my friend Tara Egner said it would be fun. At the end of school we would always race,” Woolum said.
Eastern has not told Woolum exactly what events she will be competing in at the college level.
“I know I’m going to be a jumper and whatever else they want to put me in,” Woolum said.
The highlights of Woolum’s career included a runner-up finish in the triple jump at the KHSAA State Track Meet.
“Going to the state is always (a highlight) and I enjoy hanging out with the team,” Woolum said.
The Eastern track team is led by Rick