LIVE OAK, Fl. (WTXL) - Early mornings. Late nights. That's the norm for Suwannee High's Micah Hilliard.
"I've come such a long way," he said of his track career. "Honestly, this past year, my senior year is when I've made the most gains."
Those gains caught the eye of Florida State, who stepped in and offered Hilliard a spot on the team.
"That's where I wanted to go," he smiled. "That's what I've been working towards for the past year, year and a half. When I got the e-mail, I was speechless."
"He put the work in, and obviously there are meets where you want to run certain times and it doesn't quite happen. He didn't let that deter him," said Suwannee track coach Matt Jackson. "He came back the next day, worked hard the next meet, worked hard. He kept that goal in mind and it's here and he'll continue to work."
That never quit mentality applies to the classroom for Hilliard, as he balances a 3.8 GPA.
"I'll wake up at 5 in the morning, go on a run," he said of his daily schedule. "Come back, get ready for school, go to school. I'll work until 10 at night, come home, study, do what I need to do at home and then repeat the next day."
"Micah understood that hey, without my academics, there is no FSU," said Jackson. "He's kept his head in the books and he's reaping the rewards."
Reaping the rewards and living the dream.
"This is something that I've dreamed about day and night," said Hilliard. "When I wake up in the morning, that's what I want. When I wake up in the morning at 5:00, that's what pushes me in the morning to wake up in the morning, get up out of bed. Go run. It's just what drove me forward."
Drove him through all those late nights, and early mornings.