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August 12, 2003

Run Chase, run

From: News 8 Austin, TX - Aug 12, 2003

The sprinklers are on. It appears that there's really not a lot going on at Connally High School's football stadium.

But that's not the case for Chase Tisdale, 17.

"He does track all year round. And the way he's out here practicing. We just completed our summer session. He's doing this to keep that edge and that's what sets him apart from the rest," said Central Texas Elite Track Club Head Coach Charles Bragner.

"We get out here usually about 5:30, six o'clock, and we sometimes don't leave until 9. So, this is nothing different," said Julia Mercer, Tisdale's mom.

But there is something different about Tisdale because when he's on the track he doesn't hear a thing.


Running for it

Chase Tisdale can hear the wind when he runs.

"It is pretty tough being hearing impaired. Not everybody can understand how hard it is being hearing impaired," Tisdale said.

But it's not as hard to hear anymore after he had surgery to get a cochlear implant.

"Before I got the cochlear implant I had hearing aids, which were pretty difficult to wear. With a hearing aid, and my ability of hearing, I couldn't even hear a lawnmower or loud noise at all. So, since I got my cochlear implant, I can hear people whisper anything soft. So, it gave me a big difference," Tisdale said.

"It's been a tremendous asset. It's a true blessing. He has about 85-90 percent hearing as opposed to about 40, which is what he had," his mom said.

"He's a great athlete. A great athlete. Because of his impairment, that doesn't have a thing to do with it. He's just as talented as anyone else," his coach said.

And he's proven that, by doing whatever it takes, regardless of the situation.

Chase finished 11th this year in the decathlon at the National Junior Olympics.

And the Leander senior says his ultimate goal is to break both the 400 and 110 hurdles records at the Olympics.

Copyright ©2003 TWEAN News Channel of Austin, L.P. d.b.a. News 8 Austin