When Gina Coleman puts her mind to something, it's going to happen. That's bad news for all the track and field throwers in Class 5A.
The Fountain-Fort Carson senior has overcome obstacles during her first three years of high school, and is looking for her most dominant campaign yet.
Coleman won both the discus (126 feet, 5 inches) and the shot put (39-93/4) at the Pikes Peak Invitational last weekend, and she's just getting warmed up.
"I'm feeling confident," Coleman said. "The marks weren't what I wanted, but if I work for it I believe that I'll be able to take state in both events. To go out that way would make my last year so great, and give me that reassurance that I'm ready to throw at the college level."
Coleman is already a two-time 5A state champion - she won the shot put crown as a sophomore, and the discus title last season - but she wants more. She's already shown she can overcome adversity, as she tore her ACL in October 2015 during a volleyball match, yet still returned months later to win the discus title.
"I had surgery Dec. 16 and was very sad because they told me recovery time was six months to a year, but I wanted to throw so bad," Coleman said. "I had a physical therapist who was a thrower in college, and he helped me recover faster so that I could throw. I was very determined, and I couldn't just sit there during track and field season."
Coleman winning the 2016 discus state championship on essentially one leg showed her mental and physical toughness. Now, she's looking for a double-dip at state in 2017.
"That's one of her goals - to win both during her senior year," F-FC coach Ben Montoya said. "Gina has a good work ethic, and she always wants to do well. She doesn't like to lose, and she works at her skills - it takes a lot of skills to do both of those events."
Coleman has shown over her four years at F-FC that she has skills beyond track and field. She also has been a solid volleyball and basketball player during her time there.
"Gina is just a tremendous athlete - she can jump and is so quick for someone her size and has great coordination," F-FC throwing coach Craig Kimball said. "She doesn't like to get beat - but she's both a gracious winner and loser."
Coleman offers a big boost in points for her team, and complements the athletes the Trojans have on the track.
"It's very satisfying to provide those points for my team, and afterwards my teammates will run over to me and be ecstatic about it," Coleman said. "I'm glad I can contribute, and I really want the team to succeed this year."
Coleman will head to Colorado School of Mines next year to compete as a thrower and work toward an engineering degree.
"I know I'm going to get old someday, and I need to be able to think about my career after my sports days are over," she said. "If I can be successful in school and get my education, while also getting to compete, that would be perfect."