TALLAHASSEE, Fl. (WTXL) - Lincoln's Lonzetta Simpkins didn't have the start to her senior year that she would have liked. Injuries sidelined her, but it only motivated Simpkins to finish the season strong.
"Lot of times when athletes get injured it's a set back," said Trojan track and field coach Corey Poole. "Sometimes it carries over to the rest of the year, but not her."
"The whole thing for me was if I can stay positive," remembered Simpkins. "If I can keep telling my self I'm going to be back, then the rest of my team will still have the same faith that I have."
Faith and hard work won her a District title in the 400m dash, she and her teammates finished second in the 4x400 Relay, and she's looking for more with Regionals right around the corner.
"Senior year hasn't gone at all the way I planned, but like I said, I haven't given up on my goals," she said. "I definitely want to place in the top three at State. If I don't place in the top three, I'll still be satisfied with my year, but that's the ultimate goal."
When it comes to goals, Simpkins is checking them off in the classroom as well. Dual-enrolled, she's balancing a 4.0 GPA.
"The work is first. We never had that issue with her," said Poole. "I never had to stay focused on making sure she gets her grade. I was going to say the sky's the limit for her, but it's unlimited."
"Me and the other seniors try to talk to them all the time and tell them they have to keep everything in order," said Simpkins of mentoring her younger teammates. "They can't just focus on things on the track, but focus on school or it will all be for nothing by the time senior year comes."
By the time senior year comes, and even with a rocky start, Simpkins is looking to finish strong.
"If I had given up, the rest of senior year would have been sad," she said. "Staying positive and trying to keep my faith up is what made me have fun. It made me have fun senior year."
A top three finish at State? That'd keep the fun times rolling.