A car accident at the age of 7 years old cost Tiffany Confer the use of her legs. But that has not stopped the Buena Vista senior from becoming a lights-out of track athlete.
At Saturday’s Tiger Tornado Invitational, Confer showed exactly what she is capable of, winning the 3,200-meter run with a blistering time of 11 minutes, 38.26 seconds. Navigating her striking yellow racing bike around the St. Jude Track and Field Complex the senior produced her second-best time of the year and her fifth win in the race.
The effort Confer put forth in the race was evident the moment she hit Buena Vista’s tent to cool down. She dismounted her three-wheeled bike and immediately iced down her shoulders.
“My best this year is an 11:23, but I really want to beat our school record since it’s my senior year,” she said. “That’s an 11:21.”
Time is ticking away for Confer to etch her name into Demon history, more than she already has. The May 17-19 Class 3A state championships are less than two weeks away and she won’t get the chance to chase after it at Jeffco Stadium. She will race at the state meet, albeit not under the circumstance she would like.
“I kind of compete at state,” Confer said. “They have wheelchair races, which aren’t that impressive. There are only two or three people, because there aren’t that many high school athletes that are in wheelchairs. And you can only do a 100-(meters) or 800.
“I’m not allowed to compete with the able-bodied runners, even though I don’t score points for my team. CHSAA is a little confusing (with their rules).”
Track is not the only area where Confer has displayed her athletic prowess. She is also a cheerleader for the Demons and competes in cross country. But her rig for off-road events is more robust than her thin-framed track bike and is chain driven. Outside of school, she road races and competes in 5Ks.
High school is just the launching point of Confer’s athletic career. She has big things planned for herself after she leaves her picturesque mountain town. She plans to attend the University of Arizona next year, where she wants to add a few athletic events to her resume.
“(Arizona) has its own wheelchair athletic division,” she said. “I’m probable going to compete in basketball and track there.”
Whatever Confer ends up competing in athletically, she has already proven little will slow her down — that especially goes for paralysis.