Jasmine Alli knows a thing or two about overcoming hardship.
Now, the Kennedale senior wants to become a child psychologist and help youngsters fight through their own challenges to find success.
“They’re so young. They’re so vulnerable,” she said. “They need to know they can overcome anything.”
Alli, one of the state’s top shot putters, is speaking from experience. In the final game of her sophomore basketball season, her knee, and that of a girl she was defending, collided.
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Her worst fears were realized. She had torn an anterior cruciate ligament and missed her entire sophomore track season, followed by her junior season of volleyball.
Using the same motivation that she plans to use with children, Alli refused to surrender. She won the physical and emotional battles to resume her quest of a possible UIL Class 4A state championship.
Her personal-best throw of 43-5.75 is ranked second in Texas in 4A and fourth among all levels statewide.
“I saw some flashes of her greatness last year, but to be the thrower she needed to be she had to get past her injury,” Kennedale throwing coach Jody Littleton said. “She had to recapture her technique.”
Alli said it all clicked in the middle of her senior volleyball season.
“One day I played without my brace. I was jumping and spiking without it, and I was fine,” she said. “This track season I haven’t used my brace at all.”
As a freshman, Alli won district championships in shot put and discus. She again won shot put as a junior, advancing to regional competition, also reaching area competition in the discus.
This season, focusing more on the shot put, she won a third district title and has her sights set on Austin and her first appearance at state. It’s held at the University of Texas, where she will enroll this fall.
And though she has not received a scholarship – something that could change with UIL gold medal – Alli is considering walking on to the UT track team.
Littleton believes her comeback only enhances what she would bring to a college program.
“You can’t say enough about her character,” he said.
Only two districts in Tarrant County do not participate in an area meet, 7-5A and 8-5A. Instead of sending four from area to district and then four from area to regionals, each district is sending the top two finishers in each event directly to next week’s 5A Region I Meet in Lubbock.
And while his team dominated the 7-5A meet, qualifying for regionals with 16 top-two finishes, South Hills coach Danny Dailey would still prefer an area meet.
“The kids excelled, but I’m still a proponent for area. It gives more kids postseason experience and another chance at making regionals,” he said. “Our girls, Colleyville Heritage and Grapevine are prime examples. Those kids might have qualified from area to regionals given the chance.”
South Hills won the 7-5A title, thanks largely to the help of eight third- and fourth-place finishes. In 8-5A, boys champion Colleyville Heritage had athletes place third or fourth nine times. Grapevine, the 8-5A girls champions, had 10 such performances.
“There’s no wiggle room at district without an area meet,” Daily said. “And a lot of good athletes are not advancing.”
Daily said he has already made plans to try and persuade other coaches to agree to an area meet next season.
“I just want to see as many kids have a chance to succeed as possible,” he said. “I’m not just talking about South Hills, but kids from all schools.”
Fort Worth area athletes among the national leaders, according to web site athletic.net:
▪ Jasmine Moore, Mansfield Lake Ridge, first in triple jump, 42-1.75; third in long jump, 19-11.5.
▪ Gracie Morris, Aledo, freshman, seventh in 1,600, 4:53.02.
▪ Lake Ridge 800 relay, tied for ninth, 45.92.
▪ Valencia Bullock, Lake Ridge, senior, tied for ninth in long jump, 19-6.
▪ Jalen Seals, Saginaw Boswell, first in triple jump, 50-6; fourth in long jump, 24-6.5.
▪ Sean Hooper, senior, Keller Fossil Ridge, fifth in 400, 46.42.
▪ Cade Bethmann, Arlington Martin, senior, sixth in 800, 1:51.53.
▪ Pole vault, Payton Weissmann, Grapevine, senior, sixth in pole vault, 16-9.
▪ Mansfield Summit boys 4x100 relay, seventh, 40.87.
▪ Braydon Johnson, Arlington Bowie, senior, tied for ninth in 200, 21.13.
▪ Reed Brown, Southlake Carroll, senior, ninth in 1600, 4:13.68.
▪ Robert Teer, Arlington Seguin, junior, ninth in 110 hurdles, 13.87.
Braydon Johnson, Bowie 10.44
Keishawn Everly, Trimble Tech 10.48
Cincier Holmes, Summit 10.51.
Trent McDonald, Mans. Legacy 10.52
Darien Porter, Bowie 10.54
Braydon Johnson, Bowie 21.13
Jackson Gleason, Mansfield 21.18
Sean Hooper, Fossil Ridge 21.18
William Jones, Summit 21.24
Gregory Sholars, Paschal 21.24
Sean Hooper, Fossil Ridge 46.42
Braydon Johnson, Bowie 47.92
Kobe Daniels, Bowie 48.01
Gabriel Woodard, Trimble Tech 48.41
Bryan Wilson, Dunbar 48.72
Reed Brown, Carroll 1:53.41
Micah Langat, Central 1:54.22
Ryan Sterling, Mansfield 1:55.60
Cade Bethmann, Martin 1:55.77
Zion Smith, Lake Ridge 1:56.05
Reed Brown, Carroll 4:13.68
Cade Bethmann, Martin 4:14.45
Micah Langat, Keller Central 4:15.55
Charlie Gardner, Carroll 4:16.99
Nicholas Fernandes, Carroll 4:18.08
Reed Brown, Carroll 8:51.57
Charlie Gardner, Carroll 9:06.21
Nicholas Fernandes, Carroll 9:06.28
Cade Bethmann, Martin 9:09.26
Joel Potter, Keller 9:10.16
Robert Teer, Seguin 13.87
Joseph Squire, Seguin 14.14
Jaylen Seals, Boswell 14.58
Jordan Atkins, Timberview 14.73
Alexander Stewart-Johnson, Summit 14.73
Mark Trevino, Mans. Legacy 37.80
Joseph Squire, Seguin 38.66
A. Stewart-Johnson, Summit 38.85
Jaylon Robinson, Paschal 38.93
Ryan Williams, Bowie 39.11
Mans. Legacy 41.19
Trimble Tech 41.33
North Crowley 1:26.60
Lake Ridge 1:26.97
Mans. Legacy 1:27.32
Lake Ridge 3:17.86
North Crowley 3:18.65
Trimble Tech, 2:18.80
Mans. Legacy 3:19.92
Jared Bazley Nelson, 54-6
Bryce Peoples, North Crowley 52-1
Ben Belton, Country Day 51-7
Noel Ofori-Nyadu, Timberview 51-1
Brayden Hodgest, Mans. Legacy 50-3.5
Caden McDonald, Northwest 194-8
R.J. Reynolds, Grapevine Faith 170-9
Braydon Hodgest, Legacy 157-3
Antonio Bragg, Mans. Legacy 154-1
Carson Lane, Northwest 154-1
Mason Farley, Joshua 6-10.25
Calvin Clater, South Hills 6-8
Carson Hickman, Northwest 6-6
T.J. Graham, Lake Ridge 6-6
Clayton Brewer, Keller 6-5
Tyler Hardman, Boswell 6-5
Peyton Weissmann, Grapevine 16-9
Logan Freeman, Central 15-9
Eric Etie, Keller 15-9
Connor Gregston, Fossil Ridge 15-7
Ryan Brown, Aledo 15-0.25
Jalen Seals, Boswell, 24-6.5
Tylan Wallace, South Hills, 23-8
Devan Mason, Kennedale, 23-7.5
Langdon Williams, Lake Ridge, 23-6
William Jones, Summit, 22-11.5
Jalen Seals, Boswell, 50-6
Tylan Wallace, South Hills, 47-1.25
Jamison Wooden, Everman, 46-6
Preston Whatley, Chisholm Trail, 46.375
Andre Nunley, North Crowley 45-8
Ja’Leesa Giles, Mans. Legacy 11.60
Kelly Rowe, Lake Ridge 11.65
Alexis Brown, Kennedale 11.70
Taylor Trower, Azle 12.03
Taylor Coleman, Timberview 12.21
Allyah Trotter, Grace Prep 12.21
Ja’Leesa Giles, Mans. Legacy 23.81
Alexis Brown, Kennedale 24.18
Ariel Ford, Lake Ridge 24.85
Hanniyah Roberson, North Crowley 24.87
Taylor Coleman, Timberview 24.96
Ariel Ford, Lake Ridge 55.30
Briana Mponzi, Fossil Ridge 55.64
Annette Bolomboy, Central 55.66
Tatyana Terrell, Summit 56.04
Precious Ogba, Trinity 56-10
Gracie Morris, Aledo 2:11.32
Ty’Asia Coleman, Saginaw 2:16.63
Isabel Van Camp, Keller 2:16.77
Soren Underwood, Joshua 2:17.11
Maddee Rowe, Arlington 2:17.70
Gracie Morris, Aledo 4:53.02
Catherine Tracht, Carroll 4:59.00
Abbey Santoro, Keller 5:00.09
Gillian Mortimer, Carroll 5:02.79
Julia Black, Keller 5:05.55
Cate Tracht, Carroll 10:46.45
Gillian Mortimer, Carroll 10:47.42
Gracie Morris, Aledo 10:48.70
Ali White, Carroll 10:56.97
Lauren Edwards, Grapevine 10:58.01
Anne Spearman, Mansfield 14.15
Katherine Halbert, Keller 14.34
Amani Lawrence, Saginaw 15.04
Taziana Tubbs, Summit 15.21
Elizabeth Adeoye, Summit 15.23
Riley Alexander, Martin 15.23
Erin Worley, Timber Creek 43.64
Jadyn Wagner, Timber Creek 44.74
Elizabeth Adeoye, Summit 45.14
Mackenzie Molina, Lake Worth 45.82
Destini Tell, Martin 46.03
Lake Ridge 45.92
Mans. Legacy 47.61
North Crowley 1:39.25
Lake Ridge 1:41.13
Lake Ridge 3:51.65
Timber Creek 3:58.72
Faith Ette, Lake Ridge 44-11
Jasmine Alli, Kennedale 43-5.75
Deonmonique Granville Dunbar, 42-2
Brooke McKeel, Martin 39-9
Ryanne Johnson, Keller 39-2
Ryanne Johnson, Keller 130-7
Taiwo-Bayonie Olayiwola, Lake Ridge 119-3
Jessie Prator, Grapevine 117-2
Deonmonique Granville, Dunbar 117-1
Jenna Deen, Northwest 116-1
Sanaa Barnes, Nelson 5-8
Jillian Johnson, Mansfield 5-7
Jadah Walker, Martin 5-6
Gabbie Nunn, Granbury 5-6
Jada Waller, Trimble Tech 5-4
Symone Wesley, Grapevine 5-4
Briana Mponzi, Fossil Ridge 5-4
Brianna Hudson, Trinity Valley 5-4
Allyn Tyler, Eaton 12-1
Sylvia Richardson, Birdville 12-0
Maggie Turner, Grapevine 12-0
Sierra White, Aledo 11-10
Mary Piercy, Central 11-6
Jasmine Moore, Lake Ridge 19-11.5
Valencia Bullock, Lake Ridge 19-6
Alexis Brown, Kennedale 18-6.75
Carli McDonald, Bowie 18-6.25
Imunique Billingsley Summit, 18-4
Jasmine Moore, Lake Ridge 42-1.75
Valencia Bullock, Lake Ridge 39-1
Mikeska Gill, Saginaw 38-3.5
Chante Matthews, Chisholm Trail 38-1
Keauona Stranger, Lake Ridge 37-9.25