Summit senior achieves elusive goal

Posted Monday, May. 06, 2013  comments  Print Reprints
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Tobi Fawehinmi has performed on one of track and field’s biggest stages: the 2012 Paralympic Games in London.

The Summit senior plans to continue competing on the international stage at this summer’s Paralympic World Championships in France. But until this season, Fawehinmi had never competed at the highest level in the Texas high school ranks.

Fawehinmi, who narrowly missed out on making it to Austin in the triple jump as a junior, gets to close out his high school career at the 4A state meet this week after winning the triple jump in regionals with a mark of 46 feet, 11 inches.

“It’s something I’ve been wanting forever,” said Fawehinmi, who has an underdeveloped left arm. “I fell just a little bit short last year.”

Fawehinmi considers long jump his best event. He had the longest jump in Region 2 heading into regionals but had a tough day in the finals.

“Region 2 is a really tough region for track,” said Shannon Utley, Summit jump coach and head girls track coach. “Several of our athletes would have qualified in they were in one of the other regions.”

Fawehinmi, though, isn’t sweating the outcome. After all, making it to state in even one event puts a fitting cap on an exciting year of competition. “It’s been a blur and it’s been a blessing,” the UT-Arlington signee said. “Everything happens for a reason.”

Qualifying alongside Fawehinmi in the triple jump was teammate and close friend David Brefo. The Summit senior finished second in the event at regionals with a distance of 45-09. Fawehinmi said Brefo’s technique has greatly improved, allowing him to develop into one of the state’s best triple jumpers.

“Coming into our senior year we would love it if we made it to state,” Fawehinmi said. “We worked really hard.”

Like Brefo, Fawehinmi said he has continued to improve with the help of Utley and boys coach Ronnie Roberson. “I look to her for advice and everything,” Fawehinmi said of Utley.

Utley’s also advising and coaching the lone Summit girl to qualify for state, Briona Oliver. The junior finished first in regionals in long jump with a distance of 18 feet, 4 inches. It’s not close to her season’s best jump of 19-6½. But given that she had injured her hamstring at the area meet, Oliver was satisfied with advancing to Austin.

“I’m really excited. This has been my goal forever,” said Oliver, who narrowly missed qualifying for state in the 100 meters. “I wanted to go my freshman and sophomore years. I guess when I got to regionals I got psyched out of my comfort zone. I didn’t perform to the best of my ability either time.”

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