FORT STOCKTON, TX (KWES) - At the beginning of the season, the Fort Stockton Riot Club track team had 35 athletes striving to make it to the Junior Olympics, but now just one remains.
"Quite a few of 'em fell just barely short. We've got a lot of hard workers but Donavyn's always worked hard. He is a special athlete," said Riot Coach Danny Diaz.
Donavyn Vaughn is 11-years-old and will be running the 400-meter dash on the national stage. His teammates who were running with him have now sent him a message.
"Good luck, that's pretty much it," Vaughn said with a smile.
You bet he's feeling some butterflies but he embraces them because his motivation comes from:
"The nerves. It makes me run faster and helps me finish stronger," explained Vaughn.
Going the distance that Donavyn has, doesn't come without sacrifice.
"You have to eat salads and drink the right stuff. Don't eat McDonald's and all that," said Vaughn.
What he gives up, which more than just fast food, is what his coach, Danny, believes makes it worth more than a trophy.
"It shows them a lot of stuff not just in sports, in life. They've gotta work for what they want. The guy next to him, whether it's in a job or on the track or the field, they want the same thing. So it teaches them to fight for what they want," said Diaz.
Donavyn will be competing in the preliminary in Kansas on July 28. He will be one of 45 in the nation, fighting to make it to a national final.