Of all the athletes competing at the Texas UIL state meet, none will be competing through more pain than Mariam Amadu. That's because the Kingwood Park (Texas) High senior isn't just running with a sprain or a sore muscle, she's running with a broken bone.
Kingwood Park hurdler Mariam Amadu
According to the Houston Chronicle, Amadu broke her left wrist while running in the 100-meter hurdles at the regional championships earlier in May. The senior fell hard after hitting the top edge of a hurdle, sending her sprawling on to the track and landing on her wrist.
The break couldn't keep her from competing in two later events at that meet, and qualifying for the state meet in both events as well. Amadu won the regional title in the 300-meter hurdles with a time of 43.56 seconds and later helped Kingwood Park's 1,600-meter relay earn a state berth as well. Still, she knew that something was wrong with her hand, with the clean break diagnosed by a doctor the following day.
The issue wasn't that Amadu had broken her wrist, or how she would recover from the injury. Rather, the issue was that if she had her wrist and forearm put in a cast -- which is standard procedure for a broken wrist -- she wouldn't be able to compete at the state meet.
That's when Amadu bargained with her doctors, convincing them to use a different approach: She would wear a cast for a week, have it taken off and replaced with a splint for the weekend of the state meet, and put a cast back on the following week.
Her doctor's agreed, and she will compete at the meet in Austin on Friday as a result.
"I was really worried she wouldn't be able to compete," Kingwood Park coach Brittney Lanehart told the Chronicle. "I am so happy she is at least going to get a shot. She is such a tough competitor, and it is her senior year. She had big goals."
While the broken wrist -- and the splint she will have to wear at the state meet -- may have all but doomed Amadu's chances of earning a state crown, she said the experience of running through the injury had still taught her valuable lessons.
"I learned that I am tougher than I thought," Amadu told the Chronicle. "I learned how much dedication I have to being out there this weekend. I am really thankful that I get to be out there."