Daley Cline cited the “college experience” as a vital checkpoint in her quest for a future school.
“That was my main thing,” said Cline, who committed to the University of Alabama on Friday via Twitter. “I wanted a big school, a big football team and just to get the overall college experience.”
What awaits the Estero senior in Tuscaloosa, however, is something else.
The “college athlete experience,” too.
After speaking with Alabama cross country and track and field assistant distance coach Adam Tribble prior to her commitment, she said she was assured that she will have a place on the Crimson Tide’s cross country and track teams.
“I could definitely see myself running for him and him pushing me to do my best,” she said.
Next fall, she will join former Naples standout Caroline Barlow and Fort Myers grad Emily Edwards on Alabama, both sophomores on the current Crimson Tide.
Coupled with the commitment of St. Thomas Aquinas senior Alexa Cruz on Sept. 30, a top rated runner in Florida, Cline feels she made the right decision after fielding other options from the likes of Southern Mississippi and Central Florida.
“Overall, it just really seemed like a great fit and I was happy with it.”
Cline is a three-time state champion at Estero. As a freshman and sophomore, Cline was a crucial part of the Wildcats’ Class 3A state champion teams, going from the team’s fifth runner to its second point-scorer.
As a junior this past spring, she was the lead-off on Estero’s Class 3A state championship 3,200-meter relay team.
Cline’s best 5K time came in 2013 during the Class 3A finals, when she finished in 18:38. She owns best of 11:49 in the 3,200, a 5:06 in the 1,600 and a 2:19 in the 800.
Cline currently is Estero’s lead runner in cross country and has a season best of 19:36.