EDINBURG – Six days a week for the last four years, Valery Tobias has dedicated her after-school time to running.
And she’s done it very well.
The IDEA Quest senior didn’t just get to the state meet the last four years. She also came home with four state medals.
As a freshman, Tobias won a silver medal at state. Then as a sophomore, junior, and senior she won gold.
All of that success came in the same event. The 800 meter run.
“I wouldn’t have been able to do this without my family and everybody else,” said Tobias. “The athletes I compete with are super talented. I’m just thankful that I’ve created friendships along the way. That has been a benefit of all this experience.”
Tobias didn’t have the typical high school track experience. Her own school doesn’t have a track.
So instead, she spent the majority of her high school career driving to UTRGV to practice on the school’s public track.
The hard work paid off not just in state medals, but also in a scholarship offer from the University of Texas in Austin.
“I’m very grateful for it, but I didn’t think I was going to get it,” said Tobias. “At first, I was just trying to run for fun. To have an extracurricular activity.”
The senior will leave her school as an inspiration for future IDEA Quest athletes.
“One of the competitors had fell,” said IDEA Quest track coach Robbie Cruz. “She collapsed after the finish line. Valery was the first one that helped her up. She even did that at the state meet. One of the competitors fell during the 400 and Valery went straight to her, picked her up, and helped her out. That just says a lot about her character and knowing that she’s not thinking about herself at all times. Her going out there competing four years in a row at the state level and medaling those four years, it’s a big accomplishment.”