Teen with cerebral palsy earns spot in state finals for track and field

WESTON, FLA. (WSVN) - - A South Florida teen with cerebral palsy is now heading to the state finals in track in field.

She’s become an inspirational athlete at her high school and in her community. “I get super excited,” said Kathy Matos. “I just love she has this opportunity to be apart a team in her school again.”

Kathy Matos is a parent with immense pride for her daughter Isabella, who is a high school student athlete on the right track to success in a lane of her own.

“I’m more excited than anything else,” Isabella said. “I really hope I qualify again this year.”

Isabella Matos is a three-time track and field champion. However, she’s not just any ordinary athlete. The Cypress Bay High School sophomore has cerebral palsy, forcing her to be bound to a wheelchair. But even with a disorder that affects movement and muscles, last year, Isabella decided to give track and field a try. We caught up with her a year ago right before her big championship meet.

‘This is something, I saw it and said, ‘You know what? I can do it, so I’m going to go for it,'” Isabella said in 2016.

Fast forward to this year and Isabella’s at it again. Isabella competed in the adaptive 200-meter, 800-meter, and shot put contests Friday at Dillard High School for a spot in this year state finals.

“I’ve been training for months now,” Isabella said.

“When I see her accomplishing what I’ve always wanted for her since she was a baby, it fills me with such happiness, I feel so blessed,” Kathy said.

Training that not only pays off but pays forward. Isabella and her mother are hoping that her story inspires the creation of more adaptive teams for other disabled athletes across South Florida.

“There’s no one else doing that in Broward county and hopefully we can motivate other adaptive athletes to be out there and compete,” Kathy said.

“Just go out there and do what you want do and don’t be stopped by physical things, because at the end of the day, you pushing yourself is going to make you do even better than what you think you’ll do and what other people think you’ll do,” Isabella said.

Isabella went on to win her races, advancing her to the state finals.

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