Rowlett athlete to compete in UIL wheelchair division track and - Dallas News |

Rowlett athlete to compete in UIL wheelchair division track and field competition

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Over the weekend, the Rowlett Eagles will be competing in Austin in a state track and field competition.

This is the first year the UIL has offered a wheelchair division, and one of the busiest Eagles is looking to bring home the gold.

Senior Brandi Smith is on student council, competes in beauty pageants and plays clarinet, front ensemble, in the Eagles marching band.

It’s been a pleasure to have her,” said band instructor Phil Alvarado. “She’s a sweet gal and works hard every year. She's there, she marches out there with us, she does exercises with us.”

Despite being born with spina bifida, Smith has never let that stop her from her goals.

My mom has always taught me to be independent, and that nothing should ever get in your way, even if you do have a disability,” said Smith.

Smith’s boldest moment yet was two years ago, when she approached Coach David Nunez.

“[She was] wanting to be on the track team and she didn’t even have a chair at the time, and I’ve never coached a wheel chair athlete,” said Nunez.

Nunez put Smith through the paces in her everyday wheelchair, and then she began placing.

I placed first in the shot put, javelin, discus, and I placed second in the 100 and 200,” she said.

To those who know her, Smith is already a champion

I think she’s an inspiration for those that have full use of their abilities,” said Nunez.

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