Austin, TX – Donovan Ramirez represented Compass Academy and the City of Odessa on Thursday afternoon during the Class 3A State Track and Field Championships at the Myers Track Stadium in Austin. In a closely contested event, Ramirez is bringing home a Silver medal in the triple jump.
It took a couple of jumps for Ramirez to settle in and find his groove. After two passes, Progreso’s Luis Garcia led the field with a 44-07.75. The Compass Academy junior took his turn in the third time through and nailed a jump that measured 47-06.25, a personal best after recording a 46-06.75 in the Region I Meet. It certainly looked promising, as most of the field could only post distances ranging from 41 to 44 and some change. Ramirez’s mark would hold up through the next two and a half rounds of jumps.
Going into the day, Ramirez says he was dialed in and ready. “I felt amazing. My legs were loose and mentally I was prepared for a hard fought battle.” He approached the meet focused and not overwhelmed, which often happens being the scale of such a meet. “I knew that as I moved from meet to meet after district the competition was going to get tougher. So, I just knew that we had to really focus and learn new things at every practice in preparation.”
A Gold medal looked very much within reach as the competing jumpers took their last attempts but were coming up short of the Cougar mark to beat. Going next to last in the final pass, Chris Preddie from Little River Academy made his approach and landed in the pit. The crew on-hand immediately stepped in to measure… 47-10.50, four inches further than Ramirez’s jump from the third round. Preddie had taken over the top spot to claim the Gold Medal.
When asked how he felt after the meet, Ramirez said he felt great. “Knowing that I at least sealed my spot on the podium in a State Meet still gives me a feeling of accomplishment.” Coach Aaron Hardwick was also pleased with effort. “I think Donovan did outstanding! We are super proud of him! He was extremely close to grabbing first place which would have been huge! Knowing him, he is going to work tirelessly day after day to make sure he gets back to State next year!”
Beyond today’s outcome, Hardwick said the season provided several positives. “The track season as a whole was more than I could have ever asked for. I’m very proud of all of our student-athletes! The best is still yet to come for the Odessa Compass Academy Cougars!”
Ramirez says there were even lessons learned from the season’s journey. “One thing that I will tell current and future Compass athletes is do not let facilities keep you from getting better. Even if you don’t have access to a track, you need to get out and find somewhere to run. You don’t need a huge gym, huge track, or even huge stadium. Just go out anytime and anywhere that you can and give your all.”
So close to Gold, the junior’s stellar season ends with a Silver Medal to cap his efforts of a successful year. In comparison to all of the other track athletes that tried to qualify past District, Area, and Regional, Ramirez not only qualified for state, but is bringing back a medal to Odessa that was well deserved… and he’ll be back in the hunt next season for his Senior year.