A lot of good can come from a competitive spirit. This Good Day Grad has plenty of it.
Cody Walling is a Polk County standout who won't stand for second place.
There is a mix of brain and brawn in him.
He's had a great experience at Auburndale High School -- involved in a little bit of everything.
"You're here for a certain amount of time," he said, "and you got to make the most of it on this earth while you're here."
He's worked hard to get to this moment.
Just months from graduation, the 18-year-old finds himself in the running for class valedictorian.
It's down to the final three.
"It's a really honorable experience for me. It's something cool and not many people get to do it," Cody told FOX 13.
And he's finding out some cool things about himself.
New things he's good at, like singing with chorus.
"Oklahoma" was the play he liked best.
"I've always been really music-minded," he said, "music soothes me, so it makes me feel good inside to produce something like that."
He looks back on his years with the football team, chemistry club, student government, honor society and a countless list of other accomplishments as the things that shaped the person he is today: driven, dedicated and determined to be No. 1.
"I love competition," he said. "Competition is really what gets me going."
So that dream to be top in his class is just within his reach, and he has no intention of giving up.
"It's down to the thousandths of a GPA, so I mean however it comes out, it comes out," he said, then pausing and smiling, "but it would be great to be No. 1 as well."
Whatever happens after graduation, Walling plans on staying close to home. He's heading to USF where he'll pursue a degree in engineering.
FOX 13 / WTVT-TV
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