Athlete of the Week: Copley making strides in offseason

austincopley (2)Before Austin Copley became a track and field standout, he was a middle school track dropout.

After trying the difficult discipline of distance running as a seventh-grader, Copley decided the sport wasn’t for him. Besides, he was a football player at heart – or so he thought.

“I tried it in middle school but I really didn’t like distance running,” said Copley, a rising senior at Carolina Forest who was voted the Mammy’s Kitchen Athlete of the Week for his strong showings this summer with the Myrtle Beach Track & Field Club.

“I tried it again (as a sophomore) and I really didn’t even think I would make the team. The coach told me I had good balance to run the hurdles so I guess it came kind of natural to me. Now I feel like I’m more track-oriented than anything else.”

As a wide receiver and cornerback for the Panthers, Copley was hoping to improve his speed by going out for track. Less than two years later, Conley appears to be on the right track for a future in running, and perhaps even in field events.

On a lark, Conley attempted the high jump and posted a respectable mark for a first-timer. Teammate Juwan Butler-Stevens gave him a quick lesson in proper technique and Copley instantly increased his leap by 6 inches, which might as well be a mile in the high jump.

“The high jump was just something I picked up last year in high school,” said Copley, whose top jump if 5-foot-4 inches. “I finished third in the region and I was pretty surprised. Now it’s something I’m working on this summer for next year.”

That was Copley’s plan when he joined the Myrtle Beach Track & Field Club this summer – to improve in the offseason. Instead he’s made his mark on the junior track and field circuit by winning the 400-meter hurdles and placing third in the high jump at the Coach O Classic in early June.

He came back the next week to post the same finishes in those events at the SC Junior Olympics, also taking third in the 110 hurdles to qualify for the Regionals next week in Rock Hill. If he qualifies again he can advance to the Nationals in Texas, but Copley has already decided he won’t attend.

The medals are nice, but that’s not what this summer is about for Copley. He joined the club to improve his times and distances, not to see how far he can advance. In that sense, he’s already won the race.

“I really felt like I needed to train hard this offseason and this has been a great environment to do it,” Copley said. “I’ve definitely seen some improvement, and I enjoy (track and field) a lot more. It’s a lot of fun.”

Photo courtesy of MBT&FC

Baseball playoff success requires road toughness

Baseball playoff success requires road toughnessJoey Worley has been around just long enough to start [more]

Chants split wild twinbill, visit Tar Heels on Tuesday

Chants split wild twinbill, visit Tar Heels on TuesdayCoastal Carolina baseball split Saturday’s Sun Belt Conference doubleheader with [more]

Monday After The Masters celebrates 25th anniversary

Monday After The Masters celebrates 25th anniversaryThe team led by former NFL player Jimbo Covert and [more]

Green follows his hoops dream to South Carolina

Green follows his hoops dream to South CarolinaChristian Academy of Myrtle Beach boys basketball standout Mike Green [more]

Chants top Jags in series, visit Wolfpack Wednesday

Chants top Jags in series, visit Wolfpack WednesdayNo. 19 Coastal Carolina baseball got a strong start on [more]

Chadwell likes energy in Coastal's Spring Game

Chadwell likes energy in Coastal's Spring GameThe Coastal Carolina football team concluded its 2019 spring schedule [more]

Lerud brings fresh face, new attitude to Pelicans

Lerud brings fresh face, new attitude to PelicansGrand Strand baseball fans will notice a few changes when [more]

Sharks sink their teeth into inside track for region title

Sharks sink their teeth into inside track for region titleThe first batter of the game not only reached base [more]

CAC swimmers score wins at Lower Palmetto meet

CAC swimmers score wins at Lower Palmetto meetCarolina Aquatics (CA) hosted the 2019 Lower Palmetto Championship Meet [more]

Chants split with Wolves; Gilmore gets 1,200th win

Chants split with Wolves; Gilmore gets 1,200th winCoastal Carolina baseball head coach Gary Gilmore recorded his 1,200th [more]

Home runs doom Chants in round 1 with Red Wolves

Home runs doom Chants in round 1 with Red WolvesNo. 10 Coastal Carolina was held to a season-low two [more]

Seahawks ride defense to Soccer at the Beach final

Seahawks ride defense to Soccer at the Beach finalDespite being shorthanded, the Myrtle Beach High boys and girls [more]

Chants' season shut down by Demons in CBI semis

Chants' season shut down by Demons in CBI semisZac Cuthbertson led four Chanticleers in double-digits with 21 points, [more]

Coastal's hot bats salvage series split with Seahawks

Coastal's hot bats salvage series split with SeahawksNo. 10 Coastal Carolina's Kieton Rivers hit two home runs [more]

Young Panthers starting to put it all together on pitch

Young Panthers starting to put it all together on pitch When Cole Poirier slotted home his third goal against Conway [more]

Chants shoot lights out at WVU, reach CBI semifinals

Chants shoot lights out at WVU, reach CBI semifinalsFreshman DeVante Jones scored a career-high 32 points in leading [more]

Big month for running hits homestretch at Beach Run

Big month for running hits homestretch at Beach RunThere was a time when Myrtle Beach was invaded by [more]

Chants suffer first Sun Belt Conference loss to Trojans

Chants suffer first Sun Belt Conference loss to TrojansNo. 16 Coastal Carolina outhit the Troy Trojans 16-12 for [more]

NMB coach Alderson has Chiefs on winning course

NMB coach Alderson has Chiefs on winning courseWhen North Myrtle Beach hired Brian Alderson to take over [more]

Skeels' walk-off home run puts CCU in line for sweep

Skeels' walk-off home run puts CCU in line for sweepRedshirt junior catcher Kyle Skeels blasted a two-run walk-off home [more]

Chants win Sun Belt home debut via 14K performance

Chants win Sun Belt home debut via 14K performanceSophomore right-handed pitcher Zach McCambley struck out a career-high 10 [more]

Chants rally past Howard, face West Virginia Monday

Chants rally past Howard, face West Virginia MondayJunior guard Tyrell Gumbs-Frater scored a game-high 22 points and [more]

Conway ace Smith follows trio's footsteps to big-time

Conway ace Smith follows trio's footsteps to big-time The door bell rang at the Smith house, and a [more]

Lady Panthers find their stride this soccer season

Lady Panthers find their stride this soccer seasonCarolina Forest entered last season with a roster full of [more]

Coast FA teams strike it rich at St. Patrick's Cup

Coast FA teams strike it rich at St. Patrick's CupThe luck of the Irish shined on four Coast FA [more]

Baseball playoff success requires road toughness

Baseball playoff success requires road toughnessJoey Worley has been around just long enough to start [more]

Chants split wild twinbill, visit Tar Heels on Tuesday

Chants split wild twinbill, visit Tar Heels on TuesdayCoastal Carolina baseball split Saturday’s Sun Belt Conference doubleheader with [more]

Comments are closed.

© 2019 Grand Strand Sports Report · RSS
Myrtle Beach Web Design
Kayaking in Myrtle Beach