Ian Terry / The Herald Kamiak senior wrestler Ally de la Cruz, a multisport athlete, will compete at the state wrestling tournament on Saturday. Photo taken on 02132018
                                Kamiak’s Ally de la Cruz took sixth place in the 140-pound division at Mat Classic in February.

Ian Terry / The Herald Kamiak senior wrestler Ally de la Cruz, a multisport athlete, will compete at the state wrestling tournament on Saturday. Photo taken on 02132018 Kamiak’s Ally de la Cruz took sixth place in the 140-pound division at Mat Classic in February.

Readers’ Choice 2018 Girls Athlete of the Year: Ally de la Cruz

The Kamiak senior served as the captain of her swimming, wrestling and track and field teams.

Kamiak senior Ally de la Cruz embodies what it means to be a student-athlete.

She’s a three-sport captain, a scholar in the classroom, has earned the respect of her peers and teachers and was even crowned Homecoming queen this past fall.

de la Cruz, the second female in Kamiak history to receive 12 varsity letters, is the Readers’ Choice Girls Athlete of the Year, garnering 1,104 (23.15 percent) of the 4,769 votes.

“I just think it was crazy how much support I got,” de la Cruz said. “I’m really glad people went and voted.”

Her accomplishments were most noted on the wrestling mat. de la Cruz has been a state placer at Mat Classic in all four of her high school wresting seasons, and she won a state title at 155 pounds in 2017. After dropping down to the 140-pound weight class for the 2018 tournament, de la Cruz’s quest for a second straight state championship was halted by a dislocated clavicle in her quarterfinal matchup.

She fought through the injury and scored a 6-3 win by decision to get through Day 1 unbeaten, but wasn’t able to continue competing the next day after pain and swelling in her shoulder essentially made her arm useless. She finished in sixth place.

“It was definitely adrenaline keeping the pain down to a minimum (during the quarterfinal match),” de la Cruz said. “I was there for a state championship, I was there for another first-place medal. That was driving me.”

In the spring, she placed 13th in the pole vault event at the 4A state meet after coming along slowly at the beginning of the season as she recovered from her injured clavicle and a bout with pneumonia.

“For her to comeback and do pole vault … holy smokes,” Kamiak wrestling coach Bryan Stelling said. “It speaks to her quality of character as a competitor and as a person.”

As more athletes switch to one-sport specializations, de la Cruz is a throwback to a dying breed of multi-sport standouts, something Stelling said the school is trying to promote.

“I think Ally embodies exactly what we hope for,” Stelling said. “She doesn’t get burnt out on one sport. I think it’s better for her physically to do different sports as well.”

“I like doing a little bit of everything, and each sport comes with different people, and each sport has its different things you need to be good at,” de la Cruz said. “I just don’t want to do the same thing over and over again.”

de la Cruz maintained a 3.89 grade-point average, is a part of Kamiak’s leadership class and recently received a $1,000 scholarship as a finalist for the Washington Interscholastic Activities Association’s Smart Choices Scholarship Program.

She credits her parents, Audrey and Alex, for helping in her achievements, and will attend Western Washington University, where she plans to major in biology and become a doctor.

“I like to help people,” de la Cruz said. “I really like to see people at their best and just see them happy.”

Lake Stevens’ Kylee Griffen (375 votes, 7.86 percent) finished second in the vote, and Marysville Getchell’s Hannah Jones (359, 7.53) was third.

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