No exaggeration: Near death to state meet for courageous Weaver
Gruver’s Delaney Weaver will compete at the UIL Class 2A state track and field championships Friday at Mike A. Myers Stadium in Austin in the 3200 and 1600 meter runs. [Ben Jenkins/ Press Pass Sports]
GRUVER— Dylaney Weaver will make a long-awaited trip to the University Interscholastic Class 2A State Track and Field championship Friday at Mike A. Myers Stadium in Austin.
For Weaver, her first-ever state berth is a four-dream that didn’t seem like a reality in the fall.
Weaver lives 22 miles north of Gruver right on the Texas/ Oklahoma border. On Sept. 17 of last year, the Lady Hounds senior was making an early trip to school at 5:00 a.m., for a cross country workout. Driving south on Highway 136, eight miles outside of the Gruver city limits, Weaver fell asleep at the wheel in her black 2008 Nissan Altima. The car drifted off the road, and by the time Weaver awoke it was too late to correct. She hit a field entrance and then flew in the air 40 yards just missing a concrete culvert as her car landed upside down.
“I must have gotten comfortable on the drive in,” Weaver said. “The next thing I knew I was in the air. I was wearing my seatbelt, but I was trapped in my car with my head by the trunk, and my feet by the steering wheel.”
Weaver found her cell phone on the interior roof of her car, and was able to contact her mother, Ammie Schibler.
As dark as it was at 5 a.m., passing cars were unable to see Weaver’s vehicle turned over in the ditch.
“I tried to honk at cars passing with my foot,” Weaver said. “But it was so dark and my car lights were off at that point, and no one could see me.”
Schibler recalls the incident as frightful.
“Dylaney called me at 5:18 a.m.,” Schibler said. “Then her phone went dead. There are two ways you can get to Gruver from our house, but she always goes same way. My husband and I kept driving and driving, and we couldn’t find her. We finally see her on side of the road about eight miles from Gruver. It was terrifying because while looking for her we knew nothing about her condition.”
What made the incident even more scary for Schibler, is reliving a tragedy from years past. Schibler had lost her first husband, Jeff, Dylaney’s father, in 2002, in a vehicle fatality.
“The biggest fear is getting a call that your kid is in an accident,” Schibler said. “I lost my first husband in a truck accident. But we were so fortunate and blessed that Dylaney was so strong and held herself together by the time we found her.”
The picture on the left is Weaver’s 2008 Nissan Ultima turned over at the wreck scene in September. The photo on the right was damage to the car. [Provided photo]
Schibler franticly found her daughter 22 minutes after her call, and EMS arrived 15 minutes later.
“I don’t know how, but I wasn’t hurt as bad as I thought,” Weaver said. “I had a scratch on my neck, and a scratch on my thigh from the seatbelt. But when I tried to walk to the ambulance something didn’t feel right in my back.”
Weaver had also suffered a fracture in her vertebra, and was put into a back brace. The original timeline of her injury was going to set her back six months, but Weaver’s toughness and willingness to compete brought her back in half that time.
“The neurosurgeon we first saw said It was going to take six months for me to heal,” Weaver said. “I almost broke down right there. I couldn’t be out for six months. I had a goal to go to state all four years for cross country. No way I was waiting six months.”
Thanks to intensive sound wave therapy from her Chiropractor, Doctor Todd Johnson, in Guymon, Okla., Weaver battled her way back to the course by November and was able to triumphantly return to Gruver’s Cross Country team by the Region I-2A meet. Weaver and her team placed second at regionals, followed by a state runner-up finish at the state meet, where Weaver came in 24th individually.
“Dylaney is very lucky to be here,” Gruver cross country coach and long distance track coach Terry Davis said. “But if you know the Dylaney I know, there wasn’t a question she was coming back. I’ve coached her since the seventh grade, and she is one of the toughest kids I know. To go through what she’s gone through, and where’s she’s at now is amazing.”
Weaver is stronger than ever running the best she ever has in her high school career. She started running the 3200 meter right before district, opening at nearly 13 minutes. Less than a month later at the Region I-2A track meet she broke the 12 minute mark for the first time to claim a gold medal, and followed that by winning the 1600 meter run.
“I feel like the wreck, as scary as it was, gave my legs a chance to rest, and I was fresh coming into track,” Weaver said. “It was a dream come true to finally make it to the state track meet. I can’t wait to go to Austin and help my team get points, get the school records in both events, and find the medal stand.”
It’s been almost eight months since that unforgettable day for Weaver, and it is still fresh in her memory. Not a minute goes by she doesn’t think about the wreck and how fortunate she is for the opportunity to be where she is today.
“It makes me second guess a lot of the things I do,” Weaver said. “It was a miracle to me that I lived through it, because if I was any closer to that culvert I wouldn’t be here today. I’m very blessed.”