DILLON — Ainsley Shipman concedes that she was still finding her footing when she stormed onto the Class A track and field scene at the 2019 meet in Laurel.
"It was pretty crazy because I was a freshman so I didn't really know what I was doing," said Shipman, a Dillon junior, on Tuesday afternoon at Vigilante Stadium where she and the Beavers were preparing for their final regular season meet. "But I sort of learned the ropes."
She proved to be a quick study.
Shipman surged to first-place finishes in the 100-meter hurdles (15.98 seconds) and 300 hurdles (46.92 seconds) while helping the Beaver girls to a second-place team finish.
She did then what she's hoping to do this year--saved her best for last and started clocking season-best times once the postseason rolled around.
"I really had to work and improve my times each meet," Shipman said. "And so I sort of peaked at the right time, which was beneficial."
She's already notched plenty of wins this season, winning the 100 hurdles three times, the 300 hurdles once and taking first place in the triple jump.
First-year Dillon track and field coach Jeremy Anderson is looking to replicate that same formula.
"We've brought her along pretty slowly throughout the season and now we're kind of ramping things up and we've got high expectations her," Anderson said. "She's a big part of our team and as we go down the stretch I expect her to be at her best when it matters."
Individual accomplishments aside, Shipman is also looking to help the Beavers build on their runner-up finish in 2019.
"Our team has a lot of great hurdlers," Shipman. "And I think that we just need to be on our A-game and try and score as many points as we can for our team."
The Beavers head to Livingston on Saturday for their last meet of the regular season then travel to Columbia Falls for the Western A and then close out the postseason at the State A-B meet in Laurel on May 28-29.