Written by SportsDayDFW.com
Odd mishaps fail to slow Aldrich Bailey, Timberview’s elite sprinter
MANSFIELD — His high school track career is already state-championship stellar, but Mansfield Timberview’s Aldrich Bailey hopes that this will finally be the season everything goes right, that he won’t have to worry about a broken leg, the complications from a sleep number bed or a “cigarette lung.”
“Sprinting is pretty tough,” said Bailey, who has signed with Texas A&M. “It’s not as easy as everybody makes it seem.”
Last weekend, Bailey won the 200 meters at the New Balance Indoor Nationals in New York and finished second in the 400 meters. In January, he ran the nation’s fastest indoor 200 for a high schooler in 20.99. But getting here has been a struggle of sorts.
In the sixth grade, Bailey broke his tibia playing football. For about a year after it healed, he was forced to run middle distance events in practice and in meets. It’s better now, but he’s always trying to build its strength.
“Ever since then, he’s been getting back to where he used to be,” Timberview sprinter Jacques Lewis said.
By his sophomore year, he was one of the best 4A sprinters in the state. But at the regional meet, his hotel had sleep number beds, and he set his on too soft of a setting.
“I was floating on cotton,” Bailey said. “Then I woke up the next morning and fell out of my bed. I literally put my foot down, and I fell.”
He had hurt his back. Bailey did not qualify in the 400.
He made up for it in 2011, winning state in the 400 despite a sinus infection. He said he could barely breathe, that he had what he likes to call “cigarette lungs.”
Bailey has become more focused because of the mishaps. He ices more now. He eats healthier. He’s even wiser.
“I would like for everything to go right, but we’ll see,” Bailey said. “We’ll just have to work with what happens.”