EDITOR'S NOTE: This is the 1st chapter in a 13-part series saluting the 2020 Ashland County Sports Hall of Fame class.
ASHLAND -- Andrea (Bardy) White was born to parents Bill and Natalie Bardy in Ashland on May 17, 1982. She has two sisters, Kari (Bardy) Gupta and Emma (Bardy) Parker.
A 2000 graduate of Ashland High School and a 2006 graduate of Youngstown State University, Andrea’s work ethic, dedication, and family support have contributed to her success in high school, college, and life.
At first, Andrea had no interest in running but in time she gained interest with watching her older sister run cross country. With her dad’s support of running, she decided to give it a try. Coach Ron Whitehill helped develop her skills in middle school. Her favorite memory was running with her dad every Sunday afternoon in high school.
Coach Dave Potter coached Andrea throughout high school and prepared her for success with a passion to continue running in college. During her freshman year, she set the freshman record, won the Ohio Heartland Conference cross country meet (as an individual and as a team), and earned a trip to the state cross country meet as a team.
In 1996, her team was the first girls cross country team to make it to the state meet. In her sophomore year, she set the sophomore school record at the time and the same for her junior year. She also won the OHC as an individual (and as a team) in 1998 and her squad won OHC and the district meet all four years (1996-1999). Her team made it to the state meet all four years.
Andrea is the only Ashland High School girl to run in four state cross country meets.
During her senior year, she set the school record (19:22) at the Galion Invitational, and her team came in second to a powerhouse Dublin Coffman cross country team that was ranked in the top three teams in the state.
Cross country was Andrea’s passion. During her years of high school, Andrea set the 2-mile record during her freshman, sophomore, junior, and senior years, and she won the Ohio Heartland Conference in the 2-mile all four years (1997-2000). In addition, she set the OHC record in the 2-mile event at each conference meet. White also made it to regionals all four years in the 2-mile.
In 2000, she was part of the 4x1600m relay with Erin Stauffer, Steph Aten, and Lisa Nell who still hold the record for this event. All four years, Andrea was part of the girls track and field Ohio Heartland Conference champions.
While running was a passion, Andrea took to the water and began diving during the summer starting in sixth grade.
Her commitment and dedication to diving was parallel to running. During the winter season, Andrea still ran after school every day and then went to diving practices in the evenings. Unlike running, Andrea didn’t find initial success with diving.
Coach Dave Downs started coaching her when she was 12 in the summer and then coached her for three years in high school. She won the Ohio Heartland Conference her junior year, won sectionals, and placed 4th at districts to move on to the state meet, where she placed 18th.
She was the first female diver for Ashland High School to go to state. During her junior year, she set the 6 and 11 dive records for Ashland High School. Coach Dave Downs retired after Andrea’s junior year, and Coach Megan (Vanstee) Shopbell took over. Her senior year, she again won the Ohio Heartland Conference, won sectionals, and placed 3rd at the district championships to move on to the state meet for her second year in a row. She placed 16th at the state level.
In her senior year, she also broke her own school records in the 6 and 11 dive formats which still stand today. Throughout her high school career, Andrea earned 12 varsity letters in cross country, swimming & diving, and track & field. She was the second female athlete to achieve this feat. Her senior year, in 2000, she was named the Female Athlete of the Year and awarded the Ashland County Sports Hall of Fame, Bill Mills Scholarship.
After graduating from high school in 2000, Andrea earned a scholarship to run cross country and track for Youngstown State University (YSU). At the time, she was Coach Potter’s first female runner to compete for a Division 1 university. Throughout her YSU career, she was on the varsity team for cross country and track every year. She ended her four years with the 7th fastest 6K time for cross country, the 7th-fastest indoor 5,000-meters, the 9th-fastest outdoor 5,000-meters, the 4th-fastest 3,000 steeplechase, and the 8th-fastest 10,000 meters.
In 2001, she placed 8th in the Mid-Continent Conference in indoor track in the 5,000-meter run (18:37). She ran an 18:29 in the 5K her senior year in outdoor track.
The YSU track team won the Mid-Continent Conference during the indoor and outdoor track and field season in 2004.
Andrea White graduated in 2006 with a Bachelor's degree in Early Childhood Education. In 2012, Andrea graduated with a Master’s Degree in Differentiation from Graceland University. Throughout her middle, high school, and college career, her parents never missed a meet and always supported her in everything she did.
After graduating from college, Andrea spent seven years (2006-2013) teaching grades K-3 for Ashland City Schools.
Since 2013, she has been working for Southern New Hampshire University as an adjunct professor in the Masters of Curriculum and Instruction program, as a team lead for the education department, and working as a facilitator for incoming adjuncts.
In 2017, she was named the Adjunct Educator of the Year for the Education Department for online learning at Southern New Hampshire University.
Andrea has been married to Pete White since 2007. They are the very proud parents of three sons: Parker (11), Hunter (10), and Cooper (8). Pete has always been supportive of Andrea’s running.
After college, Andrea has continued to run by competing in the Boston Marathon, running and winning numerous local road races, and recently ventured into ultra running. Before having children, she coached for two years at Ashland High School as an assistant coach for cross country. She has coached the YMCA Summer Diving Program. In September 2020, she became the Ashland University’s Diving Coach and is currently coaching there.
She is very grateful and blessed for all the support over the years from her parents, Bill and Natalie Bardy, sisters, grandparents, in-laws, teammates, teachers, and coaches throughout her career.