Skip to Content, Navigation, or Footer.

Making the leap from high school to college can be a daunting task, especially for the student-athlete asked to compete at a much higher level.

It helps to have someone on the same path come along for the run.

ASU track and field freshmen Allante Battle and John Kline have been following similar paths since grade school.

The two met in 1998 when, as fourth-graders, they popped on the purple and white flamed helmets of “The Fire,” a Pop Warner Football team.

Battle suited up as a running back, Kline as a defensive end.

“That was fun. We were an above decent team,” Kline said. “I think we went to the postseason every year.”

The two remained on the team until high school when they traded in those purple and white helmets for Phoenix Desert Vista’s gold ones.

While at two-time track and field national champion Desert Vista, Battle won four individual state championships; he won the 100-meter dash, 200-meter dash and 400-meter dash twice.

He also anchored the 4x400-meter relay team Kline was on that set an Arizona record to win state.

“There was really no competition for it,” Battle said.

Kline said, “He was by himself the whole time. I was going crazy on the sideline.”

Kline, who trains with the ASU cross country team in the fall, won three state titles as a senior in the 800-meter, 4x400-meter relay and 4x800-meter relay races.

“Both are really hard workers,” said Chris Ingrassia, a former Desert Vista teammate. “I wish I had the work ethic they have.”

In 2007, Battle was named both The Arizona Republic and The East Valley Tribune Male Track Athlete of the Year.

Both awards would go to Kline in 2008.

“We were both top in the state, it’ll be fun climbing the ladder together [in college],” Kline said.

Battle, who is also a reserve wide receiver for ASU’s football team, was the first to make his college choice.

“I had committed first to play football,” Battle said. “Then, I tried to convince John to come.”

After Battle signed his letter of intent, Kline said his decision became an easy one.

“I never ruled [ASU] out. I knew it was the best place [for track],” Kline said. “With Allante coming, it was just a bonus.”

Now, the friends are both Kinesiology majors and thankful to have each other around.

“I think he makes me a better person, he’s a good role model,” Battle said. “I can’t wait for the road ahead see what comes our way.”

Reach the reporter at

Continue supporting student journalism and donate to The State Press today.

Subscribe to Pressing Matters



This website uses cookies to make your experience better and easier. By using this website you consent to our use of cookies. For more information, please see our Cookie Policy.