Salute To Seniors: Cindy Grande - John I. Leonard HS

The 2017-2018 school year has provided some great highlights in both cross country and track across the Sunshine State. In the coming weeks many of our seniors will head out to start their college careers both athletically and academically. We wanted to salute them one more time in this special feature and say thank you for your support over the years.

Today we salute Cindy Grande from John I. Leonard High School.

What was your most memorable race/moment?

My most memorable race & moment was at the FHSAA 4A District 10 Meet. I ran a 12.48 breaking the school record.

Who would you consider your biggest competition?

My biggest competition over the two years of me running were my teammates on my club team Fast Lane Track Club. We went to different high schools, but we ran as one. Most people didn't understand we were still family even if we were apart. That's life in the Fast Lane.

What was your greatest accomplishment?

My greatest accomplishment was breaking the 100 meter school record and with the help of my teammates we made it to the"SHIP", aka the state meet in the 4x100 this year.

If you could do it all over again what would you change about your running career in high school?

If I could change anything about my running career it would be to have ran four years instead of two. I always thought I was to slow until coach CB saw me in PE running on the track just to do my two laps for the PE class. I'm glad he talked me into running.

What were the most difficult obstacles you had to overcome?

The most difficult obstacle I had to overcome come was being a student & athlete trying to keep my grades up. I was on the John I Leonard High School Academic Team which won 3 State Academic FHSAA Team Championships, 2016, 2017, and 2018.

What will you miss the most?

I will miss being around my teammates who are my second family.

What advice you would give to younger athletes?

My advice to the younger athletes would be to keep your head in your books and stay focused because their are a lot distractions that will pull you away from your goals, and that is to graduate and work on getting a scholarship in track.

What influence has your coach had with respect to your performance and overall life goals?

My coach Mr. Bythwood (aka) Coach CB played a major role in my two years of being on the John I. Leonard High School track and weightlifting team. He really pushed me to my limit on the weightlifting team. I set the school record in the 110 weight class by benching 115 and clean and jerk 135 for a total of 250. I came in 2nd place at districts for weightlifting and in track I was able to run 1:03.11 in the 400, 26.64 in the 200, and 12.48 in the 200. So my performance for goal setting was GREAT.

What are your college plans?

Their is no college plan for me right now because I'm going into the National Guard to serve my country. Then I'll do some college courses while serving.

Who would you like to say thank you to?

I would like to say thank you very much from the bottom of my heart to the following coaches who made a difference in my life. 

Coach Bythwood (aka) Coach CB
Coach Walker - Fast Lane Track Club
Coach Giles - John I Leonard High School 
Coach Miller - John I Leonard High School 

You guys are the best.

Seniors, don't be left out! Submit your Salute to Seniors answers to and be featured on the site!