TALLAHASSEE, Fl. (WTXL) - Chiles senior Matthew Newland has enjoyed a crazy successful four years of high school track and cross country.
"It was great, awesome. Couldn't ask for anything better," he smiled.
Two track and field team State Championships. Two team runner-ups in Cross Country. Individually? In his senior season, Matthew took silver in the 3200, 4th in the mile, and 4th at the Cross Country finals.
"For them to be able to see what these guys have left behind, because we're losing just a great group of guys and girls, so it's great to know they've set the standard," said head coach Mike Phillips of this senior class leaving a legacy for others to follow.
"We knew what we had to live up to our freshman year," added Matthew. "We wish we could have won some State titles in Cross Country, but you know, at the end of the day, we were still happy with it. We gave it our all every year."
Just like he's given it his all on the track, Matthew's doing a pretty good job in the classroom too, running away with a 4.2 GPA.
"Every coach I've ever had has just stressed it's student and athlete," he said. "To me, school has always come first. Since I was a little kid, my mom was a teacher. She made sure I stayed on top of school!"
"I think it has a lot to do with just the mindset of being mentally tough," added coach Phillips. "You have to be really mentally tough to be a distance runner. You have to be mentally tough and disciplined in the classroom to be a great student. It doesn't phase them anymore than the workouts on the track do."
For Matthew, that discipline has paid off, as next year, he'll suit up in Garnet and Gold for Florida State.
"I've been dreaming of competing for FSU, not even running, when I was little," he said. "It's so cool to be able to do it."
If Matthew's success at Chiles translates to Florida State? That'd be pretty cool too.