In early September, John Guarino will begin his second year coaching Florida Atlantic University's sprinters, and things are looking up for his team.
The team has signed on three new athletes for next season, including Boyd Anderson High School graduate Tanisha Coppin, whose senior year showed a lot of promise. Coppin will be running in the 800 and 4x4 for FAU. She achieved her PR of 2:12.54 for the 800-meter dash her senior year.
"Anybody that watched her run knew that she had incredible potential," Guarino said.
The FAU sports program has seen ups and downs over the years, but Guarino feels positively about the school's future. As a South Florida native, he has been able to watch the school grow.
"In the last 10, 12 years, it's exploded dramatically," he said. "Campus in the last 10 years has grown so much."
The sports program has expanded along with the university, and is one of the few Division I schools in the area. In addition to hiring Guarino last year, the school brought on a new football coach recently as well. Guarino said that the program is taking a turn for the better, and local support has been growing.
After a good first season with the team, Guarino thinks next year can be even better.
"The first year whenever you're with a new group, it's always a transition," he said. "I think the second year will be smoother."
In addition to Coppin, the team also signed on another distance runner and a hurdler from Germany, whose PR is 13.93 for the 100m hurdles. The coach is pleased with the amount of raw talent and guts he sees in these new additions to the team.
"We have so much potential here," he said.
The new members will be joining a team that is already talented. Last season, sophomore Danielle Aromashodu competed in the 400-meter hurdles at the NCAA East Preliminaries. Finishing 34th overall, she barely missed qualifying for the next round.
Guarino hopes that the team will be even more successful next year after its new stars train with the team's talented members.