Last Friday night at Fossil Ridge High School in Keller, Precious Ogba took the baton for the final leg of the girls 4x400 with a slight lead. Less than 100 meters later, already extending that lead, it was clear she wouldn’t be caught. Gliding around the track, it appeared so smooth and effortless. But effortless is no way to describe Precious Ogba.
“I might have had one girl in the 12 years that I’ve been here that has worked as hard or harder than she does,” Euless Trinity track coach David Ryon said.
The senior speedster is undefeated so far this season in the 200- and 400-meters. She has also anchored the 4x100 and 4x400 relays throughout the regular-season meets.
“Genetically, you have to be athletic,” Ryon said. “But her work ethic has catapulted her to the success that she’s seen last year and this year.”
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In some respects, it could be said Ogba’s success was borne from jealousy. When transferring from Euless Junior High to Central, she decided to take up athletics largely because she would overhear people talking about their games and events. She wanted to be a part of something like that.
“That’s how it started,” she said.
Ogba was told to run the 400- and 800-meter events, so she did.
“I just did it because they put me in it,” she said. “But I got better at it and I just loved it.”
Once she got to high school, she started caring about her times. And that has become her driving force since.
“When I run, I always look at other people’s times to know what I’m up against,” she said. “Whenever I know what I’m up against, it just makes me think I can lose, I can get beat. So, that motivates me to not be the loser on the track. It pushes me when I see other people’s times.”
Ogba already owns the school record in the 400 and is hoping to reach the state meet this year after falling short last season. It won’t be an easy route, though. Several girls in the area are consistently running sub-56 seconds in the event, so the local competition is stout.
“She has a chance to get to regionals, and then anything can happen after that,” Ryon said.
“They’re human, I’m human. They’re females, I’m a female. If they can do it, I definitely can do it,” Ogba added. “I just push myself and tell myself, ‘You didn’t make it last year, but you’re going to make it this year.’ So I just put my head and heart into it every single time I come out here and do the 400 and try to better my time every time.”
Regardless of how this season plays out, Ogba already has part of her future planned. She signed with Troy University in Alabama to continue running track at the next level.
“Immediately, I just connected with my recruiter and that was it,” she said. “I immediately fell in love with the school when I went over there.”
“I think they really got somebody,” Ryon added. “She’s really something special.”