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There are many multi-sport high school athletes in Central Florida, but unlike Father Lopez’s Hailey Bruce, few can call themselves a national champion. In June, she won the Adidas Outdoor Nationals in North Carolina with a throw of 113 feet in the javelin, a sport she took up only few months earlier. “In February, I joined the track and field team," said Bruce. "I decide to pick up this sport because at practice I threw it, and being really good at it." “Hailey actually came it me during the school year and she was possibly interest in coming out for track and field because some of her fiends asked her,” said track and field coach Suzanne O’Malley. This isn’t the only sport Bruce plays in the spring — she is also the starting catcher for the softball team. O’Malley and softball coach Duke Landorf agreed Hailey could play both sports, with softball being the priority. “So we kind of talked about that and the dynamics of how that was going to fit in playing softball and track in field, and we really made it work,” said O’Malley. “Through the grace of God we could work this out.” Hailey, at her first meet, set a school record with a 73.81 foot throw on her first attempt. After that, she struggled because of her commitment to softball. “After the first meet, I couldn’t really make it to the other meets because they were conflicting with the softball games, or they were only freshman and sophomore meets,” said Bruce. But she qualified for the state championship in Gainesville in May, placing ninth overall. “I didn’t win at states but I qualified to go to nationals, so I was really excited, even though I didn’t win at states," said Bruce. "I was excited at the chance to go to nationals." O’Malley said he believes playing catcher helped her in the javelin. “I think that made her so successful — all the explosiveness comes from below the waist,” said O’Malley. “Pretty surreal for a young lady to make this accomplishment, to go to 73 feet to 113 feet in a four-month period.” Bruce also plays on the volleyball and weightlifting teams as well. ...

7/27/2022

Father Lopez Catholic School in Daytona is sending five athletes to the 2022 Adidas Outdoor Track Nationals in Greensboro, N.C. DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. — The Father Lopez Green Wave track and field team is certainly making a name for themselves in 2022 by sending five athletes to the 2022 Adidas Outdoor Nationals in Greensboro, N.C. The 4x1 team consists of Katherine Seavers (Sr.), Richae Gibson (rising Jr.), Andreya Bridger (rising Soph.), Angelina Stabile (rising Soph.). "For them to just get this opportunity, because we are so young," said Father Lopez Sprint Coach, Jim Sweeney. "With two freshman, a sophomore and a graduating senior here, just to get this experience under them. They are going to run faster times in life, but this is a good intro." The run to the Outdoor Nationals is even more impressive when you consider that 2022 is the first year the team has run together. "I never thought freshman year, when I started, that I would ever go this far," said 2022 graduate, Seavers. "I'm really happy that I get to do it with them." "The beginning of the season, all of our 100 times were terrible," said Bridger. "We could all barely run a lap around the track without dying and now we make it look easy." But the 1A school in Daytona is sending more than just the 4x1 team. Rising senior, Hailey Bruce will be throwing the javelin at the Outdoor Nationals. She has qualified for the meet, despite being brand new to the sport. "One of my (other) teammates is on the track and field team and she was like 'I just want a throwing buddy, so I can talk to someone during practice.' Then I ended up being, pretty good at it," said Bruce. The Adidas Outdoor Nationals begin on Friday. ...

6/14/2022

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