WELLS, Maine (NEWS CENTER) - Denzel Tomazewski's final state track meet could be historic, but the footnotes from Saturday's Class B event in Bath are petty considering how he got there.
First, the senior sprinter from Wells, who's the reigning champion and state-record holder in the 100 meters (10.76), had to overcome a torn anterior cruciate ligament and meniscuses he suffered during his sophomore year of football.
That surgery was just the latest scare he suffered in the last decade.
As a nine-year old, Denzel was trying to climb his father's boxing heavy bag. In his efforts, he climbed on a chair only to slip and get his lip get caught on the S-hook, on the top of the bag. It proceeded to rip through the right side of his face causing his torn skin to flop down and expose his jaw.
His perseverance and ability to bounce back from such worrisome situations falls in line with how he was raised and his unique family.
His parents, John and Christine, welcomed them into their family as an infant as the eighth of twelve adopted children. Originally born in the Baltimore, Maryland area, he traveled the least distance to end up in the Pine Tree State.
Amongst his five sisters and six brothers, the only other American hails from Texas. The others are from the Domincan Republic, Colombia, Paraguay, and Russia.
While he and his siblings were rescued from very dire enviornments, some of his brothers and sisters have dealt with certain physical impediments as well, like severe burns across their body, amputation, and spina bifida.
Sports has been a common thread throughout the family and a natural instigator to fuel their competitive fires. Denzel's oldest brother Vanya was a three-time Class B champ in wrestling at 112 pounds. Another of his brothers Alex skis for Colby-Sawyer Colege in New Hampshire is a multiple-time national champion in adaptive skiing and US Paralympic team hopeful.
Along with trying to defend his 100 meter title, Denzel will also compete in the 200m, 4 x 100m, and 4 x 400m relays.