David Foster, the 2020 AAU Junior Olympic Games 17-18 year-old division 100 meter champion, has verbally committed to the University of California, Berkeley.
The Katy Tompkins (TX) High School senior announced his decision via social media on Tuesday.
"After visiting Berkeley, I really felt at home," Foster said. "I really felt that going to Cal, Berkeley I'd be surrounded by people who are like me -- who are great on the academic side but focus on track as well. I'm pretty excited. That was my first time in California and I really enjoyed it. I just feel like it is going to be a fun adventure."
On the track, the Greater Houston Track Club athlete made
immense improvement from his sophomore to junior year. Foster was a US top 30 sprinter indoors in the 60m (6.81) and 200m (21.65) and a US top 25 sprinter outdoors in the 100m
(10.49) and 200m (21.31).
In August, Foster won the 17-18 age group boys 100m division at the AAU Junior Olympics in a wind-legal time of 10.53 (+0.5) seconds. Throughout the summer season, he had five sub-10.6 performances, including an all conditions mark of 10.29 seconds from the Katy ISD Bubba Fife Relays in February. He had four wind-legal marks at 10.6 or faster.
"Nothing really changed in terms of where I was working or what I was doing from sophomore year to junior year, it was just a learning curve," Foster said. "I started doing club track my sophomore year and it took a while for me to really learn what I need to be doing in order to perform."
When Foster began his recruiting process with Cal -- and with second-year Golden Bears assistant coach Charles Ryan -- Foster said he appreciated the program's honest approach.
"He was upfront about his plans for the program, how they weren't where he wanted them to be, how it was his first year, and how he plans on building a really great track team," Foster said of Ryan. "That ambition and honesty is what really attracted me at first and what kept Cal, Berkeley in my top three."
Prior to coaching at Cal,
Ryan coached his student-athletes and teams to 16 team conference championships and
61 NCAA All-American honors.
He's also worked with Olympic gold medalist Tianna Bartolutti, who is a
volunteer coach for the Bears.
Ryan also acted as a COVID recruiting guide for Foster. He advised the Katy Tompkins senior that official visits at any institution were unlikely during the early signing period -- because the dead period kept being extended -- and that there was a high chance he would sign without one.
Foster was also considering Texas and Boston before committing to Cal. Being a Texan himself, he said knew he had to look outside his bias toward the Longhorns to find the best fit. But ultimately, Foster said he never envisioned this sport would take him this far when he started running in seventh grade.
"I just did it because it was something that I was always good at," he said. "I played other sports back then because I was one of the fastest people on the court or the field. I didn't really see myself where I'm at today, I just took it one step at a time."
Foster also credits a change of mindset to his most recent success.
"Originally, I was like I have to work out, I have to hydrate, I have to do this," Foster said. "And now it's like, I get to work out, I get to improve. I'm looking at [training and competition] as an investment of where I want to be versus a chore."
With one final season remaining before he joins the Bears, Foster is looking to run sub-10.4 and sub-21 in the 100m and 200m, respectively, before he would be satisfied with his high school career and would be confident he could make an instant impact with Cal.