Waterloo High School student-athlete Donovan McBride was recently named a U.S. Paralympic High School Track and Field All-American.
McBride, 14, has spina bifida, a birth defect where there is incomplete closing of the spinal cord. He has had eight surgeries, one prior to him being born.
Only 66 total athletes were awarded this latest All-American status.
Donovan attended the recent National Disability Championships in New Jersey. He earned the recognition for the 5,000 meter event he participated in at that meet.
“A lot of people mistake and think that he’s a U.S. Paralympian, but the U.S. Paralympians are naming him as an All-American high school athlete,” Kim McBride, his mother said. “Hopefully one of these days we’ll see him as a Paralympian.”
During a homecoming week pep assembly at Waterloo High School on Friday, WHS principal Lori Costello shared the good news with the rest of the school. Donovan received a standing ovation from his classmates.
“We cried,” Kim said. “My husband and I cried watching the video. We were just beside ourselves, basically.”
The video can be viewed on his Facebook page, “Wheeling D Racing.” You can follow his racing career on that page.
This past weekend, Donovan won the wheelchair race at the Go! St. Louis Marathon. He took fourth out of all runners overall.
Donovan started racing last year in 5Ks with his mom. He used his everyday chair, but in March was upgraded to a racing chair.
In New Jersey. McBride placed fourth in the 100 and 200 meter races, third at 800 meters and second in the 1,500-meter and 5,000-meter races.
Donovan plans to join the WHS track team this coming spring.
Donovan told the Republic-Times in an interview earlier this year he has a simple reason to race join the WHS track team.
“I just felt like doing track. I like to race,” he said.