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Posted Saturday, Apr. 27, 2013 Share Share

Mansfield Summit Paralympian achieves state dream


When you look at Mansfield Summit senior Tobi Fawehinmi, you quickly realize he is disabled.

Fawehinmi suffers from an injury that occurred at birth and severed all of the veins and nerves in his left shoulder. He has no use of the limb, which failed to develop completely.

“Disabled” is a label quickly attached to him on first sight, but it doesn’t defines who he really is.

Fawehinmi is a world-class triple jumper. He’s a United States Paralympian. Friday, Fawehinmi added UIL state tournament qualifier and Region II champion to his list of titles.

On his final jump of the day at Maverick Stadium, Fawehinmi hopped, skipped and jumped a distance of 46 feet, 11 inches, passing teammate David Brefo for the regional gold medal.

“I knew this is the year,” Fawehinmi said. “I’ve been training nonstop through the summer and this year.”

Fawehinmi had advanced to the regional meet every year of high school but never was able to reach the state meet. The difference between those three years and this, his senior try, was the summer he spent traveling and competing with the U.S. Paralympic Team that took him on trips to Arizona, California and London for the 2012 Paralympic Games.

But those achievements weren’t enough. He wanted something more.

“The Paralympic experience is nothing like I’ve experienced before,” Fawehinmi said. “There are thousands and thousands of people in the stands, but state is one thing I’ve been wanting forever.”

On a stage competing with the best athletes with fully functioning bodies Friday, Fawehinmi was not only successful, but he was also the best jumper in the field. The UT Arlington signee claimed a state berth at his future home stadium, and the victory put his young life into perspective.

“It really makes me feel like God put me in this position and made me like this to show that nothing is impossible,” Fawehinmi said. “You can go anywhere and do anything to the best of your capability and nothing stops you.”

Brefo, who finished second with a jump of 45-9, will join Fawehinmi in Austin. The two share a brotherly bond full of mutual respect for the other’s abilities.

“I look up to him,” Brefo said. “Even though he’s younger than me, he’s my role model. It’s a great experience having him in my life.”

Legacy duo takes first

Two Mansfield Legacy runners posted the fastest times of the day in their respective preliminary races at Maverick Stadium.

In the boys 300-meter hurdles, Garrett Moore’s time of 39.10 was fastest in the field. Moore was also the anchor of Legacy’s fourth-place 4x400 relay, which qualified for Saturday’s final.

Victoria Johnson burned the field in the 100-meter hurdles with a time of 14.17 and also advanced to the finals in the 300 hurdles, posting a time of 45.12. She will run in the 4x400 finals today, with the team qualifying with the fifth-best time of 3:59.67.

Summit and Seguin shine

Mansfield Summit qualified for six finals, including a first-place finish by Ramesus Stewart-Johnson in the boys 110 hurdles. Summit also qualified for three relays.

Arlington Seguin qualified for five running finals, including third-place finishes in both the girls 4x200 relay and 4x400 relay.

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