When looking at the list of top returning sprinters prior to the start 2013 track and field season, Chase McCoy may not have been very high on that list. The senior from Riverview had only the 35th best time in the 100-meter dash and the 55th best time for the 200-meter dash in the state for class 4A.
But now, McCoy is a threat to earn all-state honors in both events. He recently took third place in the 100-meter dash and fourth in the 200-meter dash at the Hillsborough County championships after not making the finals in either event last year. McCoy is ranked in the top eight for both events in the state for 4A with a personal best of 10.73 in the 100 (which he ran at the county meet) and 21.94 in the 200.
Last year was the first time McCoy ran track and field. McCoy had focused on spring lifting for football instead of going out for track his first two years at Riverview. It was at the urging of his father that McCoy finally went out for the track team.
“My dad ran 10.5 when he was in high school,” McCoy said. “Every year he told me to run track. I always wanted to beat his time.”
In his third season as Riverview head coach, Jason Munsch has seen his share of fast sprinters. Prior to Riverview, Munsch coached on the college level at Central Missouri and the College of Charleston. Munsch said he runs a demanding practice and knew McCoy had potential to meet those demands once he came out.
“He has done everything I've asked him to. He struggled to get through workouts (at first). I knew he had potential,” Munsch said.
While McCoy did not qualify for the state meet last year — he went to the regional meet as a member of the 4x100 — McCoy still went to Jacksonville with Munsch to take in the meet. This experience is perhaps what has motivated McCoy into becoming one of the best sprinters in the state.
“I knew I had to practice a lot (this year) to make state because the times they were running were a lot faster than I was running,” McCoy said.
The breakthrough race for McCoy this year was at the USF Steinbrenner Invitational. Against an elite field, McCoy placed fifth in the 100 and sixth in the 200. He broke 11 seconds for the first time in the 100 (10.86) and 22 seconds for the first time in the 200 (21.94). Not bad for someone who has run only 22.86 in the 200 the year before.
“I was happy, felt like I was dreaming,” McCoy said.
With the state series about to start up, McCoy plans to be on the track for the 100 and 200 finals on May 4 rather than watching them from the stands.
“We've started tapering off. He's running technically great races. Now we are just getting the legs fresh,” Munsch said.