Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Conte of Chagrin Falls shows true grit at Division II Perry district

One of the reasons I enjoy covering track is because you never know what story you are going to run into.
There is so much going on at one event so there are a lot of options to choose from.
There are field events, individual sprint and distance races and plenty of relays. To me, it's all so exciting.
That's why I was open to pretty much any story idea when I went to cover the first day of the Division II Perry district meet on Tuesday.
It turned out, the first athlete I talked to became the lead to my story.
It was junior Antonio Conte of Chagrin Falls.
I tracked him down on the infield talking to his coaches about the high jump, which he just completed.
Conte's foot was all taped up so I knew right away he had an injury.
He told me he won the event with a jump of 5 feet, eight inches. He said it was his only jump of the day because he was in so much pain.
How many of us feel a slight pain here or there and use it as excuse not to work out, do gardening, cut the grass or clean the house?
Here's a teenage boy who met his pain head on and challenged it.
By doing so, he won a district high jump championship for the second year in a row. A year ago, he set a meet record at 6-8.
Conte believe he possibly tore a tendon in his foot. Doctors told him to rest it as much as possible, ice it and elevate it.
You can bet that's what he'll be doing all the up until the regional meet at Bedford next week.
I admire Conte for conquering his pain.
It proves what kind of person he is.
He's a person who isn't afraid of a challenge. He's a person who takes chances and makes the most of his opportunities.
He is someone to be admired, and I'm happy I was able to share his story in the paper.

-Theresa Neuhoff Audia 

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