Austin Cline looks to shave two seconds off a personal record at the Five Star Conference meet. Mainland, at the same meet, will be led by two runners on one of the fastest relay teams in the area.
BY MATT MENCARINI | SPORTS EDITOR
The first big test for the Mainland and Seabreeze High School track and field teams will come Friday, at the Five Star Conference meet in Deltona.
For Mainland, the team will be anchored by its sprinters and relay teams, specifically Shayne Rodney and David White, who both run on the 4X100 team that head coach Terry Anthony said he believes is among the fastest in the area.
He said his boys and girls teams have been good so far this season, and he likes the mix of veterans and newcomers. But he expects the team will have a tough time in the field and distance events.
“I think we’ll be pretty competitive (at the meet),” Anthony said. “(But) we’re going to have to try and get points in the field events, where other teams are stronger. On the distance side, there are other teams who are stronger, (too).”
Anthony said the meet will give him a chance to see what his team will be capable this season, at the district and state level.
“If we can compete with these guys, in Five Star, we can pretty much compete with people in state,” he said. “We have a lot of speed in our conference and our district.”
Among the Five Star speed is Seabreeze’s Austin Cline, a senior who anchors the team's 4X800 team and is looking to beat his personal 800 record, of 1:57, by two seconds.
Cline said he’s making sacrifices is his final semester of high school so he has no regrets in the future.
He’s fighting off the “senioritis” bug to himself disciplined, on and off the track.
“There’s no cutting corners in track, because it’ll bite you in the end,” Cline said. “I figured that out my sophomore year. And with track, it’s something you have to keep training at and training at in order to get better.”
He doesn’t want his track career to end this season, either. He said he’ll visit the University of North Florida during spring break and has talked with West Virginia Wesleyan College, as well.
Cline said he thinks of grandparents when his track and academic workloads gets difficult. They were early supporters, he said, and have always encouraged him to keep pushing himself.
“When I just started running, back in eighth grade, they were basically the only people who really believed that I could achieve something,” he said. “(Before) they passed away my ninth-grade year, they told me never to quit on running.”