Former Lady Eagle track athlete works to come back from a torn ACL
Ashlyn Dobson has another hurdle to overcome.
That won’t be a thing for the former Barbers Hill athlete and current redshirt junior for the Houston Baptist University track and field program.
Dobson, who has battled leg fractures over the years with not much of a worry, has now been faced with the biggest challenge of her career: rehabbing from a torn ACL.
The hurdler went down with injury early this season while training to head over to the University of Houston for a meet.
“I had already done a few reps and was in a hurdle workout,” she said. “I went over this hurdle and I came down on my leg weird. It went side-to-side. Some people talk about a big pop, but it wasn’t that. I walked it off and sat down and rested for a few minutes.
“I had a regular running workout and I hit all my times. My leg wasn’t stable. I probably could have run off of it, but not hurdle. I didn’t even know I had torn my ACL.”
Later she had an MRI and found out she tore her ACL.
“It was totally gone or hanging on by a little string,” Dobson said. “I also partially tore my meniscus too.”
Dobson is now five months into rehab after a February surgery.
“I am not in too much of a rush until we start heavy running until November or December and our indoor season doesn’t start until January,” Dobson said.
Dobson struggled at first having to depend on people to get her around and just functionally move about after being such an independent spirit.
“It was a hard time because I didn’t want to accept the fact that it happened,” Dobson said. “After surgery it was like ‘well, you are in this.’ But yes, it has worked out really well. It was just getting used to the fact. When I saw the scar for the first time, it was like ‘oh, yeah, it’s really there.’”
Assistant head and sprinter/hurdler coach D.J. Hicks holds no doubt over how Dobson will come back from this setback.
“Ashlyn is a hard worker, period. Whether it’s a workout on the track or some school assignment,” Hicks said. “We all knew even before she started with it, that it would be a real smooth process for her because of the type a person she is. There are some people who have an injury you are unsure because you don’t know how they will react when they come back. When it happened to her, I was positive she would come back even better.”
Dobson had dealt with a stress fracture in her foot as a freshman and was ready to go forward from that having had some others during her prep career.
She had some strong performances her first season with HBU and her sophomore campaign saw her remain healthy during the indoor and outdoor seasons.
“Every time I ran my times kept getting better and better,” she said. “I was able to get my PR and that was after a two or three-year gap since high school, so it was nice to see myself progressing.”
Dobson hopes she can have two strong years before the end of her track career at HBU and can bring home a medal if it’s in one of her specialty events like hurdles or anything the program needs her to do.
“I want to make a final at least in the 300 hurdles,” she said. “I still have high expectations … I have never dealt with an injury like this, so you are going into unchartered waters. I just have to get over the mental part.
“The injury has made me have more of an appreciation for being able to run. I will make this fuel for my fire.”
When Dobson graduates with a degree in education and mathematics, she hopes to come back and teach in the Barbers Hill school district.
“I would love to teach back there,” Dobson said. “I love the community. I grew up there and I have the Eagle pride.”