June 6, 2018--
Daytona Beach, FL-
Building a team from scratch means no precedent has been set and the door is wide open. When Coach Judy Wilson met with Andrew Guillory, a 2018 graduate of Mainland High School, she saw untapped potential in someone who has only run one year of track and cross country in high school. In Guillory's only year of cross country, he finished the season as one of the top two runners on the boys' team for Coach Troy Logan. His personal best of 17:28 came at the FHSAA 3A District 6 Championships where he placed ninth and won a spot to advance to the Region meet the following week, where he placed 34th and was one of the top 15 seniors in the meet.
After the cross country season, Guillory hit the hardwood for his school, getting a late start on the track season for good reason. His Mainland High School squad made it all the way to the Elite 8 Tournament, held in Tampa in early March. Coming off of basketball, and with only a few weeks of training under his belt, Guillory ran 5:00.35 in the 1600 meters and 10:43 in the 3200 meters in the same meet. Unfortunately for him, this was already the district meet and he did not get to advance; this is where the story will continue for Guillory at Daytona State in the fall.
Wilson stated, "Andrew could be our big surprise this year. If we can keep him healthy and running strong the whole season, the sky is the limit for him in the next few years. He is a very good athlete who we are going to turn into a runner." Wilson has been impressed with Guillory's desire to be a good runner after she spotted him on the starting line of the Tomoka Half Marathon in late March. "I turned around and asked him if he knew how far the race was, we both laughed, and then he went out and cruised to a 1:32 finish. It was no problem for him at all."
The cross country program begins in August of 2018 for both men and women and both squads will compete against teams across all levels, from NCAA Division I, II, and III, and NAIA, as well as NJCAA schools.