Cleburne Times-Review, Cleburne, TX

Sports

April 10, 2014

Cleburne’s Majano participating in UIL program for wheelchair track and field events

CLEBURNE — Cleburne High School senior Keyber Majano is a member of the Yellow Jackets track team as a participant in a new UIL pilot program which includes a wheelchair division.

Wheelchair events for boys and girls in the 100-meter dash, 400-meter dash and seated shot put have been added to the 2014 track and field programs in all conferences. Qualifying standards have been set in each event, with the top nine performances advancing to the State Track and Field Championships. Racers must use manually-propelled wheelchairs for the track events.

Majano met the state’s qualifying times in the 100 and 400 meters at Cleburne’s Marshall Young Invitational. His time at the tape in the 100 was 28 seconds, well below the 40 second qualifying standard. Less than an hour later, he qualified in the 400 meters with a time of 2:20, with 20 seconds to spare.

At the District 8-4A meet today in Burleson, Majano will also be participating in the shot put, hoping to throw past the required nine feet, which will qualify him in all three designated events.

Majano decided to become a competitor in the track program after learning about the opportunity from one of the high school coaches.

“He told me about it and asked if I was interested,” Keyber said. “He assigned me to a member of the track team and I went through a trial run that week. My time in the 100 meters was 23. I battled some pretty strong head winds when we ran the 400 — it really affected my push.”

“Coach [Jason] Payne was pretty excited when we gave him the results. He’s been keeping me up with all the things required for me to compete, including lots of paperwork. I think he’s pretty excited about all this.”

Payne is indeed happy to welcome Keyber to the Jackets track program and is hopeful that Majano will be among the wheeled athletes qualifying to compete at the state championships.

“We are happy that Keyber has chosen to compete in the shot put as well as the track events because we think it gives him a better chance to qualify for state,” Payne said. “April 26 is the deadline to submit performance records. It is quite possible he will improve on the times he posted at the Marshall Young Invitational at [today’s] district meet. We will be submitting his best qualifying marks by the reporting deadline. We would love to see him among those going to state.”

Athletic competition is not new to the CHS senior, who was a member of the 7th and 8th grade basketball teams at Smith Middle School. He also competed with the Movin’ Mavs Wheelchair Basketball Junior Team and played on a national championship team as a freshman.

“I’ve been out of basketball for about a year due to the amount of travel it required,” Keyber said. “I’ve been trying to stay in shape by working out at the track. Last summer I would periodically run five miles a day at the high school or at Wheat.”

“However, I never saw myself competing in track. I’m excited about the opportunity. I’m all about sports. I like to stay active and in shape. If I can do it — I’m in it. I like physical activity.”

Majano said his parents have been very supportive of his efforts to participate in this pilot program which is only open to participants with a documented permanent physical disability. Keyber was diagnosed with Spina Bifida as an infant.

“My parents think I’m a crazy child,” he said. “But if they think I can do it, they’ll let me. My entire family was there when I raced at the Marshall Young Invitational.”

So were lots of friends and supporters, some waving signs with the message, “Lets go, Hotwheels!” Among his cheering section were members of the CHS Golden Pride Band, in which Majano is a four-year member. He has marched in every halftime show since his sophomore year, aided by fellow clarinet player Savanah Milne.

“I think it’s amazing that the UIL chose to add a wheelchair division to the track program this year,” Majano said. “People often view those in wheelchairs as being able to do nothing. People in wheelchairs shouldn’t be viewed as disabled — they can do anything they want to do. The chair shouldn’t be an obstacle.”

Majano said he’s both excited and nervous as he prepared for the district track meet. He will participate in the seated shot put at noon and his two racing events are among those scheduled to begin at 4 p.m. At this time, Majano is the only wheelchair division participant entered in the 8-4A meet.

“I’m both excited and nervous,” he said. “I’m looking forward to it, and doing my best. I would like to advance and have the chance to compete at the state meet. But just getting the opportunity to compete is pretty amazing.”

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