Augusta Christian's Stephanie Cipollone happily crosses a line many other runners won't approach: distance running and sprints.
The 17-year-old recently won the 100-, 200- and 400-meter dashes in the 2010 Border Bash meet against several other private schools, including Augusta Prep and Curtis Baptist.
Last year, she was a state champion in those same events, along with the 4x400 meter relay.
But it was as a distant runner that Cipollone first entered the sport.
"I have always loved running," she said. "Even as a kid chasing my sister, playing tag, I loved to run."
As a sixth-grader, Cipollone turned the backyard game into a bona fide athletic endeavor when she joined Augusta Christian's cross-country team.
It wasn't until her freshman year that Cipollone complemented her distance running with sprinting and joined the track team.
Though more successful as a sprinter, the 11th-grader can't bring herself to specialize.
"I'm not ready to give one or the other up," she said. "I love doing both."
Cipollone said she is undecided about her college plans, but she does want to keep running.
That shouldn't be a problem, said Augusta Christian track coach Charles Cooper.
"Not only is she a great athlete, she's a great person and a great student," said Cooper, who has also taught Cipollone in U.S. History. "She'll earn athletic and academic scholarships.
"Colleges will be throwing money at her."
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