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Swanson Preps For State

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MCALLEN – Suzannah Swanson loves to compete.

“I’ve been competing in triathlons since I was eight,” said Swanson.

Swanson is McAllen Memorial’s first wheelchair athlete to qualify the state meet.

Finding other wheelchair competitors around the Valley has been tough for her. Swanson’s coach started entering her in JV meets against runners to get on the track in competitive situations.

“I didn’t fully grasp that I’m using different muscles than them,” said Swanson. “They would be way ahead of me, so I would just try to get as close to them as I could.”

“For the last two months she’s had the same workouts the other girls would get,” said coach John Stanley. “Her times are significantly faster. She’s running around 22 for the 100 meters. In junior high, she was running the 40’s.”

Swanson has even raced against boys, including Weslaco’s Joe Solis, a former state medalist who’s headed back to Austin this year.

“He just told me to work hard and do your best,” said Swanson. “You’ll accomplish anything. It’s very exciting.”

Swanson has the third best girls time going into the state meet. The wheelchair events take place Saturday.

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