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El Campo sophomore back with team for gold-medal run

By MIKE FORMAN
April 27, 2013 at 11:03 p.m.
Updated April 26, 2013 at 11:27 p.m.

From left, the El Campo girls relay team of Bee Bradshaw, Adrianna Grant, Ellie Forgason and  Renell Bledsoe won gold in the 400-meter relay Saturday in Kingsville.

KINGSVILLE - Ellie Forgason didn't get much sleep, but was wide awake Saturday morning when she arrived at the hotel to rejoin her El Campo teammates.

The El Campo sophomore returned from Texas Trauma Unit of the Memorial-Hermann Texas Medical Center in Houston where her father, Lex, was in intensive care after being seriously injured when his pickup truck collided with a school bus Friday in DeWitt County.

"You'd be surprised," said El Campo coach Alice Barron. "It was more of a great explosion of 'I can't believe she's here.' You know, like a ghost. They were so excited to see her."

Forgason was ecstatic to be back in time for the finals of the Region IV-3A track and meet at Javelina Stadium.

She made the trip back pay off by joining Renell Bledsoe, Bee Bradshaw, and Adrianna Grant on the 400-meter relay team that finished first and qualified for the state meet.

The same team also finished third in the 800 relay, and El Campo finished second behind Wharton in the team standings.

"It was good because my dad really wanted to be here and under the circumstances he couldn't," Forgason said. "I'm happy that he'll be able to watch us at the state meet. With him not here, I was still thinking of him and I knew he would have been here if he could have."

Forgason got the news of her father's collision Friday morning as she was preparing to high jump. She missed the event and did not run in the preliminaries of the 200-meter dash.

"When we found out the news, the first thing we thought about was her and how she's going to get through all of this," Barron said. "Her family is very important to her and track is very important to her. She knew that family was first and we supported her with that."

Lex Forgason was still listed in critical condition in the hospital's trauma unit Saturday, but Ellie Forgason was optimistic about her dad's recovery.

"He's doing fine," Forgason said. "There are a lot of positive things happening."

The Ladybirds ran with alternate LaLa Miranda in place of Forgason for the 400- and 800-meter relays in Friday's preliminaries.

"It affected us as a team because Ellie is a big part of our team," Grant said. "We just knew that we had to get to finals with an alternate so that Ellie could be back for the finals."

The Ladybirds qualified for the finals and were happy to have Forgason running with them.

"LaLa Miranda came in and did what she was supposed to do and got us into the finals," Barron said. "I think the girls because they were used to Ellie felt more comfortable and they ran more free."

Forgason is looking forward to her first trip to the state meet, and wants Lex Forgason to be at Mike A. Myers Stadium in Austin to watch her run.

"I feel really good after we run," she said. "I always feel satisfied. I think we haven't been beaten in 4 by 100. It's a really good that we all met up and we can be on the same team now."



NOTES

• Wharton won the girls Class 3A team title with 76 points, and El Campo had 48.

• Yoakum finished in a three-way tie with Brookshire Royal and Bellville for the boys Class 3A team title with 54 points.

• Yoakum's TraeVontae Hights qualified for the state meet in four events after running a leg on the Bulldogs' 800-meter relay team that finished second. He qualified in the high jump, long jump and triple jump on Friday.

• Cuero's Abby Sheppard repeated as champion in the girls Class 3A 100-meter and 300-meter hurdles.

Wharton's Acacia Watson won the girls Class 3A 400-meter dash, and also ran the anchor leg on the Lady Tigers' 1,600-meter relay that finished first.• Wharton's Ramon Frazier won the boys Class 3A shot put.

• Other automatic Class 3A state qualifiers were the Wharton girls 800-meter relay team, Wharton's Myavia Armstrong (girls 100), Yoakum's Lexi Williams (girls pole vault), El Campo's Grant (girls long jump), Gonzales' Ericka Hernandez (girls shot put), Yoakum's Celine Markert (girls discus), and Yoakum's Cole Knocke (pole vault).

• Automatic state qualifiers in the Region IV-1A meet were Nordheim's Alyssa Leister (girls 200, 400, long jump), and Moulton's Alex Reyes (boys 3,200).

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