By LARRY GAGE
Special to the PRESS
After suffering the biggest disappointment of her athletic life last week, senior Port Isabel Lady Tarpon athlete Gabby Torres is already counting her blessings and looking to the future.
She had qualified for regional competition in five events. But last Wednesday, two days before the start of the UIL Region IV Track and Field Meet at Kingsville’s Javelina Stadium, Torres stumbled while practicing for the 100-meter hurdles. She fell against a hurdle and a long cut was opened on her right knee when it struck the lower cross-member of the hurdle. Ten stitches were required to close the cut and, just that quickly, Torres’ high school athletic career came to an end.
“It was really disappointing not to be able to compete at the regional level,” Torres said Monday, while propping herself up with crutches. “It was heart-breaking, to say the least.”
As bad as it looked at the time, the cut could have been much more serious. Since there was virtually no damage to any ligaments or tendons, no surgery was required. “I just scraped one of my tendons,” Torres told the Press. “I was just really blessed that it was just my skin and I didn’t need surgery. I should be good after a while.”
Torres graduates later this month as the second-ranked (according to cumulative grade point average) student in the Class of 2015. She will be attending the University of Texas at San Antonio in the fall.
Torres was able to attend the regional meet last weekend and enjoyed supporting and cheering on her teammates in the various events. “I was excited to be able … to support my girls, to see them push. It was really great to see all the girls in the mile relay step up. They ran like crazy and I was just really proud of them.”
Torres was replaced on the mile (4×400-meters) relay team by Alex Martinez. The foursome placed 8th in Saturday’s final with a time of 4:11.81. Liberty Hill won it in the time of 4:01.68. Freshman J’yah Cook replaced Torres for the 4×200-meter relay. They ran a 1:48 time in prelims and did not qualify for Saturday’s final.
Torres is considering competing in summer track but recognizes that a full recovery of her injury is her first priority. “I need to recover first but after that I definitely need to train to get to the level I need to be at going into college.”
UTSA competes in indoor track, which is a fall sport. “It’s all up to my coaches, if I compete this fall, but definitely I’ll be in training.” Torres sees no problems with a complete recovery by next fall.
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