DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. - Hailey Bruce is probably the best athlete at Father Lopez High School in Daytona Beach.
She's a weightlifter, catcher for the softball team, star on the volleyball team, and last year added her fourth sport: track and field.
"I had a friend who was just like 'oh we're all going to do track and field, and just throw, uh, do you wanna come out and just throw with us,' and I said 'yeah," said Bruce.
Turns out that was a pretty good idea.
"I like threw it really well the first meet. I broke the school record on my first throw," said Bruce.
And it would only escalate rapidly from there. Within a few months, Bruce had qualified for the state meet. And then eventually for the USA national championships. Which she won.
"It was like unbelievable pretty much. I was just like what just happened? But then I went up and got my medal, and they were like ‘yeah, first place’ and I was just like, ‘OK this is actually real’," said Bruce.
Since that win, Bruce has focused on continuing to train in the javelin, while also competing in her other sports.
"I think you have to have like a good mindset to do it," noted Bruce. "Like you can't have a quitters brain in any way, you have to like commit to it. And hold yourself accountable to go to those practices, even if you're tired after one, just go to the other, throw a couple at least. Just to be there."
Bruce has maintained a very high-grade point average and excelled at all these sports while also dealing with some difficulties at home. Both of her parents are battling health issues.
"My dad was diagnosed with MS, which was really hard for us because he was losing his ability to walk and do like easy things," said Bruce. "My mom was diagnosed with triple-negative breast cancer. And that was really hard because my mom was taking care of my dad while we were all helping each other out, and then it was just hard because we had to take care of two parents instead of one."
"She has grown into a very strong woman. And I'm very proud of her. For all of her accomplishments and can't wait to see what her next journey is," said Janet Bruce, the student athlete's mother.
Bruce is obviously incredibly mentally strong to have dealt with all of this and still excelled at such a high level. Which makes you think her lofty remaining goals are very much attainable.
"I wanna play in college. And I really hope that I get so good that I get in the Olympics. That would be amazing," said Bruce. "My goal this year is to win states."
"To see what she can do, and believing that there is no wall that is gonna stop her, and I think she's gonna be very successful," said Father Lopez Track Coach Sue O'Malley. "I think that she could possibly be the next Olympian to come out of the state of Florida."