Cassie Highsmith is a record-setting runner.
Plant City High runner Cassie Highsmith, a veteran of the cross country and track and field scenes, is having a solid junior campaign. Fresh off of breaking her own two-mile school record at the Thursday, March 30, Pepsi Florida Relays, Highsmith qualified for the Saturday, April 29, FHSAA regional competition in both the one and two-mile runs.
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How do you feel about your season thus far?
It’s been a solid season. I mean, my main goal is trying to stay healthy, and I was hoping to get some (personal records) toward the end of the season. I wasn’t really expecting to break my own record at UF, so I was really happy.
How did you think you would do at UF?
I thought I was going to do decent, since I ran counties two days before and my legs were kind of sore. There was a lot of good competition, which made me run so much faster.
That’s a pretty big meet. What was the experience like?
It was really exciting. We went to UF for cross country and we didn’t race our best, so I was kind of nervous. But, it was a fun trip up, and we got to look around the school a little bit when we were driving there. It was nerve-racking, running at a university — especially at a university that I want to go to.
And it went well.
Yes, it was very fun. Running the school record was just the cherry on top of everything.
Regionals are coming up pretty soon. What goals do you have set for that event?
My goals are to get another PR, which would be another school record, and if I do make it to states, that would be awesome. But my main goal is just to stay healthy until then and run a good time to finish off the season. Finish strong.
Which events are you competing in?
I’m running the two-mile. I qualified in the mile and the two-mile, but I’m going to scratch the mile so that I can focus all my energy on the two-mile, since they’re really close together. I enjoy the two-mile a lot more than the mile, anyway, and I think that’s my strong suit.
You’ve got one year left. What are you hoping to accomplish by the end of high school?
I’m hoping to hold the record in the 5K, mile and the two-mile by the end of my high school career, and to finish off my senior year with PRs in all my events.
What’s the best advice someone has given you?
Coach (Drew Martucci) always tells me to strive to be faster. Keep your head up. Even though there’s going to be injuries, or different struggles with drama or anything like that, he always encourages me to stay positive through everything.