Amilia Wise-Sweat picks Costal Carolina

By Mike Zummo
Posted 11/25/20


Amilia Wise-Sweat had a choice of several colleges that she could have picked. Most of them had reached out to her, but she reached out to Coastal Carolina, originally for the …

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Amilia Wise-Sweat picks Costal Carolina


Amilia Wise-Sweat had a choice of several colleges that she could have picked.
Most of them had reached out to her, but she reached out to Coastal Carolina, originally for the school’s marine biology program and then for the school’s physical therapy program.
And she made her choice earlier this month when she signed her National Letter of Intent to be a part of Coastal Carolina’s Division I track program, starting with the 2020-21 season.
“It has people I feel like I would get along with on the team,” Wise-Sweat said. I’ve texted them and I just feel like it’s a really good option. Even with everything that’s going on, all the coaches I’ve talked to have been really supportive and understanding.”

It was a reach into the unknown for the Newburgh Free Academy senior, as it’s not clear when, upon reaching out, if the interest is mutual. In many cases, the school recruits the athlete. She ran down the school.
“It was really rewarding,” Wise-Sweat said. “I wasn’t expecting it at all because I wasn’t sure if they were recruiting more people. It was a big surprise.”
It’s also a bit of a sight unseen as Wise-Sweat committed to Coastal Carolina, located in Conway, S.C., without the benefit of a campus visit due to the COVID-19 pandemic. While she admitted to a little bit of nerves committing without visiting, she said the coaches stood out and made her feel confident in her decision.
Coastal Carolina’s track and field program has five coaches that coach the men’s and women’s teams, which is a new dynamic for her.
“Other coaches that I’ve personally talked to, it wasn’t the same,” Wise-Sweat said. “I felt like a good coach relationship is good to have. Like (Newburgh girls’ track) Coach (Kathi) Workman, I can just text her whenever. That’s very important.”
What’s also important is the atmosphere amongst the team, which she described as a “big old family”, which also drew her into the program. Even though she didn’t get to visit, members of the team have reached out to her over social media encouraging her to come there and join the team.
The Newburgh track team has a similar family dynamic.
“In Newburgh, I love the girls on the track team,” Wise-Sweat said. “We’re all like a big family. We have a group chat and we always talk to each other. We’ve set up calls on Facetime, so we’re all really close. It’s going to be hard to leave.”
Wise-Sweat is a middle-distance runner and was in eighth grade when Workman started coaching the team. Her best event is the 800-meter run. She was at the New York State Public High School Athletic Association championships on March 8, where she finished 11th in the 1,000-meter run with a time of 2:59.08.
She ran at the state meet in the 800 as a sophomore, finishing 18th in 2:17.37. She was also on the Goldbacks’ 14th place 4x400-meter relay.
While she excels in the middle distance, she can run a 200-meter dash and she can run a mile. She can also run cross-country, which is a 3.1-mile course.
“She’s very versatile,” Workman said. “She just jumps on the line and will do whatever you ask of her without ever questioning it. I’ve asked her to double back and triple back and she comes off the line and I’m throwing her right back out there. She’s extremely coachable.”
She’s going to take that next step after losing her junior outdoor track season and even though indoor track is considered a low- or moderate-risk sport by the New York State Dept. of Health, the Gillis Field House at the U.S. Military Academy at West Point won’t be available. The spring season is scheduled to begin on April 19, a month later than usual.
Then, beyond that, she’s looking forward to the new environment and her coach is confident Wise-Sweat will succeed.
“She works very hard,” Workman said. “I don’t know anybody who can outkick her at the end. She just has to make sure she gives it her all during the whole race. She has so much more in her than even she realizes. So, I think once she starts trusting herself and knowing what she’s capable of doing, she’s going to be untouchable.”