Droddy finds a way to regionals

Published 10:00 pm Wednesday, April 27, 2016

PORT NECHES — It is very difficult to reach the regional track meets.
There are some athletes who never make it out of the district championships.
Port Neches-Groves’ Jacie Droddy made the regional meet in two events. The best part of it — Droddy is only a freshman.
Droddy finished in third at last week’s area meet in the long jump with a leap of 17-05.25.
She came in fourth in the 200 with a time of 25.08, setting a new school record.
Droddy did all this with a leg injury that caused her to pull out of the relay events and almost not finish the 200-meter dash.
“The first 100 my leg wasn’t hurting but in the last 100 I was in a lot of pain,” Droddy said. “I knew at that point I wasn’t going to win but I was trying my best to hold the top four.”
Droddy was leading after the first 100. It was a race her coach, Brittany Fruge, can hardly put into words.
“We started warming up about an hour before the 200 and she was having a hard time coming out the blocks without almost crying,” Fruge said. “As a coach, I felt nervous putting her in the race. She had already qualified in the long jump so I didn’t want to jeopardize that. She kept saying she could do it so I agreed.”
Droddy finished the race in the top four which means she advanced to run this week. The top two qualifiers from the regional meet compete at the Class 5A Track and Field Championships in May.
“When the gun went off she was a good 50 meters in front of everyone,” Fruge said. “She attacked the curve like I have never seen her do. Then, in the last 50 meters she was caught by everybody and she was grabbing her leg. I can’t put into words what I saw. She finished in the top four and collapsed on the track.”
Droddy said she did not expect this much success in her first year at high school.
“Coming in as a freshman I didn’t think I would make it out of district,” Droddy said. “I’m going up against juniors and seniors but I made it farther than I expected. It has been a nice surprise.”
Fruge added she is surprised and not surprised all at the same time.
“I am but I am not,” Fruge said. “I got a little taste of what kind of athlete she is during volleyball. She is one of those ‘whatever it takes’ athletes. She doesn’t question what you ask her to do and the work ethic is there. You have to tell her to take a break. To be a freshman and be as quick as she is, I am excited to see what her future holds.”

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About Gabriel Pruett

Gabriel Pruett has worked with both the Port Arthur News and Orange Leader since 2000. A majority of the time has been spent covering all aspects of Southeast Texas high school sports. Pruett's claim to fame is...being able to write his own biographical information for this website.

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