Cuero’s Brooke Wendel

Cuero’s Brooke Wendel, center, signs a letter of intent to run cross country and track at Tarleton State. Joining Wendel in the Cuero Independent School District board room Friday were mother, Michelle, and father, Jason.

CUERO — Brooke Wendel was in class Wednesday when she got a text message from her mother.

Michelle Wendel let her daughter know that she would have the chance to run at the UIL state track meet for the first time.

Wendel secured a spot in Thursday’s Class 4A 1,600-meter run at Mike A. Myers Stadium in Austin when a Fredericksburg runner dropped out of the race to concentrate on the 3,200.

“I was pretty heartbroken when I didn’t get the wild card,” Wendel said. “Then, I found out the girl was scratching. I was like, ‘That’s God’s work.’ This is where I’m meant to be and what I’m meant to be doing, so I’m excited to go to state and have another chance at PRing and hopefully getting a state medal.”

Wendel had another reason to celebrate Friday in the Cuero school district board room when she signed a letter of intent to run track and cross country at Tarleton State in the next school year.

“It’s definitely a surreal moment because I’ve been working for this since seventh grade,” Wendel said. “For it to be happening, it’s inexplainable. I’m excited to be going on the college level and keep doing better.”

Cuero coach Tom Dracos isn’t surprised to see Wendel get the opportunity. She is ranked second in her senior class and is called “Bot” by her classmates because of her work ethic.

“She’s in the National Honor Society, FFA, and she runs long distance in the morning before school,” Dracos said. “After school, she does her sprint work before going home to take care of her cows.”

Wendel has never been to the Stephenville campus but has gone on a virtual tour and plans to major in communication disorder.

She hopes to better her school-record time of 5 minutes, 15 seconds at the state meet, before beginning her college career.

“I probably won’t be in as many clubs, so I’ll definitely have a lot more time to focus on doing the little things like weightlifting, band workouts, and stretching,” Wendel said. “Another thing is I’ve been running by myself a lot. Running is a tough sport and not many people do it. It’s going to be really nice to be surrounded by people who enjoy it as much as I do. I think that will create a really good environment for me and help me even flourish more.”

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Mike Forman is the sports editor of the Victoria Advocate. Contact him at 361-580-6588 or by email at Follow him on Twitter at @mikeforman21

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Mike Forman is the sports editor of the Victoria Advocate. He has worked at the Advocate since 1982. He has a bachelor's degree from SMU and a master's degree from UCLA.

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