TYLER, Texas (KETK) – Signing day is an emotional time for student-athletes, but for the Armstrong family at Tyler Legacy, it was also a full-circle moment.
Avery Armstrong is a senior at Tyler Legacy High School and signed to run division 1 at the University of Kansas, something she says is surreal.
“It just means everything that all my hard work has gone for something and I get to continue running,” smiled Avery Armstrong.
Avery worked all four years of her high school career setting personal records and even breaking a Lady Raider record in the 4×4 relay. Her parents are just beaming with pride.
“As people would say, track is people’s punishment, you know? But she actually seems to enjoy it. So we’re proud to be able to support her and push her in any way she can and being able to go run at Kansas or the opportunity to run in Kansas is amazing,” said Avery’s mother, Kelli Armstrong.
Kelli Armstrong knew exactly what this moment meant to her daughter. In 1997, in the same school gym, she put pen to paper and signed up to play college volleyball.
“So it’s weird to see it come full circle. She is doing her own thing and I’m glad it’s her own sport and that she’s doing something I never did, so that there’s no comparison, you know? So I’m really proud of her and excited,” explained Kelli.
“My wife set a terrific example, and so it’s just really exciting for us to see her follow in her mom’s footsteps,” exclaimed Avery’s father, Blake Armstrong.
Armstrong says the Jayhawks are looking at her running the 400-meter hurdles, but she says that she will do whatever for the team.
“She’s always been really coachable, so I know she’ll go there and will absolutely do everything the coaching staff asks her to do. And one thing is for sure, she was a hard worker and we fully expect that to continue in Kansas,” said Blake.
As Avery prepares for her next steps at Kansas, her parents are preparing for the journey ahead.
“They’ve always been really honest with what college sports mean. I mean, it’s a job. And so I’ve always been very aware and they’ve helped me stay true to doing what I want to,” explained Avery.
“We are explaining how it’s going to be, its work. It’s not all fun and games. It is hard, it’s work and especially track that’s going to be even harder than what we did. So we’ve talked about it and explained a lot to her about what to expect. And I think she understands that. I hope at least,” laughed Kelli.
“Keep your head down, work hard, be coachable. Our first one to practice. Last one, two, three. Those are the kind of kids that have success. And I think she will be that kind of student-athlete at Kansas,” added Blake.
Making sure the hard work she put in as a Legacy Lady Raider will continue when she runs for the Jayhawks at Kansas.