(Photo by Jeff Adams)
An enormous weight was lifted off Chamberlain senior Max del Monte's shoulders when he called Florida State Head Coach Bob Braman and verbally committed to the Seminoles. Del Monte finished second at this year's 3A Cross Country Championships and says the recruiting process was tough at times.
"I think for me the hardest thing was just the ups and downs. The process had points where it was really exciting and where it was lots and funs and other times where it was stressful. I think a lot of people can agree during the process there are a lot of unknowns so emotionally it was a little hard to deal with. Juggling that with the running season and school it was a little bit of a challenge."
Del Monte overcame the challenge and chose Florida State over Oklahoma State. Those two schools were the only two really under consideration. Ever since the beginning of the process the senior focused on tradition rich programs with great training. He says the Cowboys and Seminoles fit that bill, but in the end it was his relationship with Coach Braman that will land him in Tallahassee.
"I've already known Coach Braman for a while because he went to Chamberlain High School as well and he'd been around the neighborhood. He's everything I was looking for in a coach. He's a good coach, but also very aware and focuses a ton on the human being. That was big for me because I think running is very important to me and something I want to take far, but there is another side of me. Florida state fit well for me as a person not just as an athlete."
Now that the decision is behind him del Monte can focus on his senior track season. Last year, he placed second in the 1600 in 4:12.51 three seconds behind future teammate and current FSU freshman Armando Del-Valle. Del Monte finished fourth in 2010. This year he is hoping for that elusive state title, but says if he doesn't get it that won't be the end of the world.
"I think that's something that has always been in the back of my head and it'd be a great way to cap off my senior year. If I win the state meet that would be an awesome accomplishment and I'd be honored to be a part of that, but at the same time if it doesn't work out it's not going to be too bad either. I think my entire high school career has been a ton of fun and I've met a ton of great people, but I've really been looking forward to college."