ATLANTA - A sophomore at Centennial High School is an All-American in track and field but there's more than meets the eye.
At a young age, Cathryn Gray got involved in a local non-profit that prepares athletes with disabilities for high-level competition.
Today, she's the one at the highest level.
"When I was little, I always felt different," Cathryn said.
Cathryn was born with cerebral palsy, a condition that used to make her stand-out as a kid, but now it allows her to stand tall.
Growing up Cathryn was surrounded by sports. Her sister was involved in soccer and she always wondered why she couldn't do the same.
“I started at 13 with track and field after realizing I could participate because there was an option available which was Blaze Sports,” Cathryn said. “I traveled around with my coaches and teammates and tried to perform to the best of my ability."
Her best was in the javelin and discus. She was good enough to potentially make her a future Paralympian which is the ultimate goal for those athletes participating in the Blaze Sports program.
"[Cathryn] is the only female in Georgia to be a high school Paralympic All-American this year, and that’s really strong especially because Georgia has produced several Paralympic athletes this past year,” Coach Higgins said. “As long as you are willing to put in the work there are no limitations to your disability, and that's the beautiful thing about blaze sports."
Higgins should know. He's in his third year as the volunteer track and field coach with Blaze Sports, in addition to his job as the head coach at Centennial High School where he will get Cathryn full-time on his team this spring.
"[Cathryn] gets as much joy out of the success of her teammates than she does her own personal success,” Higgins said. “She is very motivated and committed to becoming the best athlete that she can."
"Through sports, I was able to show people that I am capable of achieving my goals and doing what I want to do," Cathryn said.
If Cathryn has her way, she’ll have a chance to wear the red, white, and blue while delivering a message we can all certainly relate to.