Bella Driver runs toward OBU

May 5—Overcoming the odds and striving for improvement has brought one Velma-Alma High School senior closer to collegiate sports next fall.

Bella Driver signed her letter of intent alongside family, friends, coaches and teammates to participate in track and field at Oklahoma Baptist University (OBU).

This fall, Driver will run hurdles for OBU. Currently, Driver runs 300 and 100 hurdles and Velma-Alma.

"In college it moves up to 400 hurdles," she said. "I'll do 400 hurdles and 100 hurdles."

Driver's personal record for 100 hurdles is 15.53 and 300 hurdles is 47.8.

After first trying out hurdles at a small track meet in the fifth grade, Driver took on hurdles in sixth grade.

She said she would practice everyday after high school to improve.

After sustaining an injury her junior year, Driver said she needed surgery on her ankle, but she came back her senior year stronger.

"It's been a long road," Driver said.

Aside from running hurdles, Driver's a Future Farmers of America (FFA) officer, Beta officer, NHS officer, on the academic team and participates in cross country and track.

Driver plans to major in health and exercise science and minor in business. She said her goal is to become a physical therapist.

Driver said she's excited to step into a new environment.

"I'm really excited to be with some of the best hurdlers in the state and slowly get better," she said.

Jerry Garrett, Jr., high school and middle school principal, said they love to see student athletes sign to prolong their career athletically.

Garrett said Driver put in a lot hours, both on an off the track, and as a result will head to OBU with 20 college credits.

Jake McGuire, head coach for boys and girls track, said he's wrapping up his second year as head coach and he was assistant coach prior alongside Coach Loveall.

During his three years, McGuire said he's seen Driver work extremely hard to constantly improve.

"She does a really good job on the hurdles," he said. "She has a really good shot to go into the hurdles this year and win the 100s. I'm really excited to see what she does at the college level."