BROWNSVILLE — The past few days have been a rollercoaster of emotions for Brownsville St. Joseph’s Alondra Loya.

On Thursday, the Bloodhounds’ senior announced her commitment to the University of Incarnate Word.

One day later, Loya was competing in the last high school meet of her career, the TAPPS state track and field meet, where she captured her third straight 5A girls discus title.

Monday marked the end of the rollercoaster for Loya, who capped her wild five days by officially joining the NCAA DI ranks and signing her National Letter of Intent to join UIW during a ceremony in front of family, friends and coaches at Brownsville St. Joseph High School.

Brownsville St. Joseph senior thrower Alondra Loya signs her National Letter of Intent to the University of Incarnate Word during a ceremony Monday at Brownsville St. Joseph High School. (Courtesy Photo | Bloodhound Media)

“It has been a rollercoaster, truthfully,” Loya said. “I don’t always process it right away but after a couple of days it hits me, I’m doing this. It was just super emotional. It is sad I have to leave this school, but I am excited for what is to come. Although it didn’t start the way I hoped it would have, I am taking on a journey I never thought I would. I’m just really excited for the future.”

Loya’s rise from small school product to NCAA DI athlete hasn’t been without obstacles. After setting school records as a sophomore, Loya felt she had plateaued during her junior season after not receiving college offers and being unable to break her own personal bests.

The senior thrower broke through this year, however, surpassing the 140-foot mark in the discus for the first time during the Rio Hondo Roberto Garza Relays on March 1.

She followed it by eclipsing the mark twice more during the season, including a throw of 140 feet, 10 inches during a gold-medal performance at the RGVCA Meet of Champions and a personal-best mark of 145 feet during the TAPPS 5A South Regional Championships.

Brownsville St. Joseph senior Alondra Loya competes in the discus during the RGVCA Meet of Champions on March 23 at PSJA Stadium in Pharr. (Delcia Lopez | The Monitor)

“At the end of my junior year I started thinking high school was the end for me,” Loya said. “I would push and push, and it felt like no matter how hard I trained I never got better. That was the most frustrating part. I think my senior year, though, just being surrounded by such amazing people let me know that in the end it is possible. Seeing myself set records and set personal bests again, that’s when it started to really become a reality for me.”

Loya ended her senior season with gold medals in the discus during nine of her 10 appearances, according to her profile, including a gold medal during the TAPPS 5A state meet this past weekend.

More importantly, her senior year brought in the offers she was looking for as a junior, and she took multiple visits before ultimately deciding on UIW.

Brownsville St. Joseph senior Alondra Loya, right, poses with her coach and teammate Olivia Wood after competing in the TAPPS 5A state track meet. (Courtesy Photo | Bloodhound Media)

“These past few days mean a lot to me,” Loya said. “It has been a really big journey. From starting out not knowing what it was to being a Division I collegiate athlete. I’m grateful for everything that has happened. I feel like it has been a journey that is bigger than me. It is bigger than me. It has so much to do with everybody who has been there for me and supported me. From my mom, who has moved mountains for me, to my coaches. I’m just overall grateful and full of emotions. I’m excited, ready and scared.”

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