On her way to her first sub-4:20 clocking at the Oregon Preview. (Photo by Patrick Holleran with Shannon Digital Imaging)
MileSplit - Alexa, running 4:19.54 and 2:09.63 recently has to be a boost to your confidence. That is approaching some very rare air, have you stopped to reflect on what this means for the rest of your season?
Alexa - I just consider it another step. It was a PR for me, but I’m hoping to continue to improve off of that and have additional goals for each of those events this season.
MileSplit - You have also gone 9:31 for 3k and 10:15 for 2 miles. What do you most enjoy about each distance from 800 to 2 mile and why?
Alexa - I really enjoy the 800 because I love being able to keep up my frequency, and that was the event that I focused on last year, so I have really learned to love it. I think that the mile is my favorite event on the track because it takes a little bit of the endurance from cross country, but I am still able to utilize my speed the last lap of the mile. In the 2 mile, I love it because it brings me back to cross country with the distance aspect, and I usually focus on the 2 mile in the beginning of the track season because my speed is best suited for the 2 mile at that point.
MileSplit - What do you most enjoy about competing at a high level and what drives you to be the best?
Alexa - One of the reasons why I love competing at a high level is that I always know that racing against the best will bring out the best in me. I will almost always PR, and when competing against the best, I will usually gain an amazing experience. Being able to go all out in a race, for me, makes all of my training worth it. What drives me to be the best I can be, to me, is just all of the training that I have gives me the determination and motivation that I need to compete at the high levels.
MileSplit - What goals have you thought about for the 2013 track season? How fast do you think you can go?
Alexa - Some of my goals for the 2013 track season, for me personally, is to break 4:15 for the 1500, and then go 2:04 for the 800. I think both of those would be amazing steps in my training and for the track season.
MileSplit - When & how did you get started in track & field?
Alexa - Until my 8th grade year, I played soccer. I was on a club cross country and track team, and decided to go with cross country rather than soccer, because they are in the same season for high school. Going into my freshman year, I was still planning on going back to club soccer during the winter. Following my first high school cross country season, I realized that I was going to be a lot more successful at running rather than soccer, and that's when I decided to focus on running.
MileSplit - Person/people most influential to your success in track & field and why?
Alexa - One of the most influential people in my training and success is my mom. She is an amazing athlete, and she understands the dedication and motivation that I need. She will also give me advice when I am really nervous, and help me out mentally for races and practices. And honestly, my whole family really helps me, supporting me all the way. My coach also helps me greatly because without the training plans and workouts that I do, I don’t know where I would be. My teammates are extremely supportive because they just make it fun, and my best friends are from running.
MileSplit - Keys to your successful training program?
Alexa - I think one important aspect to my training program is just the trust in my coach, which allows me to give my full attention to my workouts, one practice at a time. Also, I have slightly altered my eating habits, and I think that has also helped me, even if it is mentally. Our team goes by this list called the nine mantras, and I think that has also helped me, because that describes all of the mental aspects to running, and being successful in general, and having that as something to go off of has helped me. Some of the mantras include “Calm and relaxed under fire”, “Doggedly self confident”, and “Mentally prepared and alert”.
MileSplit - Your favorite track & field meet and why?
Alexa - I had the opportunity to go to the Adidas Dream Mile last year, and that is by far my favorite track and field meet. I love the high competition, the ability to race against the best in the United States, and being able to go to New York was an experience that I will never forget.
MileSplit - Your favorite performance in track & field and why?
Alexa - I think my favorite performance was either the mile at the Dream Mile or my 1500 at the Oregon Preview this year. At both, I was really happy with how I raced and what the outcome was because I was able to go all out, and that is just so rewarding. And I love PRs!
MileSplit - Your favorite performance from another HS athlete and why?
Alexa - One of my favorite performances by another high school athlete is at the Brooks PR meet this year at the Dempsey center. I raced in the 2 mile, and the 1 mile race was so exhilarating and exciting, because it was between Amy-Eloise Neale and Haley Meier, especially when they were battling on the last stretch. I think that is one of the things that makes track and field so interesting and so much fun, when athletes are challenged against another athlete, and neither of them ever gave up the entire race.
MileSplit - Your favorite performance from a Collegiate or Elite athlete and why?
Alexa - My favorite performance from an Elite athlete was during the Olympics, with Galen Rupp and Mo Farah, in the 10k on the track. Once again, being able to compete to the best of an athlete’s abilities just shows the best of running, and I loved how happy Galen was for Mo, because I think that running is one of those unique sports where you develop amazing relationships with the people that you train with, at least that’s how I feel, because you are always with them. And that race was absolutely incredible!
MileSplit - Fellow athlete(s) you most enjoy competing against and why?
Alexa - Some athletes that I really enjoy racing against are Amy-Eloise Neale and Katie Knight, both in Washington. I have been able to create really good friendships with each of them, and they are both such great competitors, and I know that they will both go all out when I race against them, as will I.
MileSplit - Your greatest experience in track & field so far and why?
Alexa - I think my greatest experience was the Dream Mile last year, because that was when I had an amazing race, trip, and just an overall amazing memory to bring back.
MileSplit - What are your long-term goals in track & field?
Alexa - My long term goal is to progress each year, both in track and cross country, and I would love to compete at the Olympic trials someday.
The Fun Run
Alexa - I think my favorite food has to be French bread. I eat a ton of it!!! And peanut butter, because I put peanut butter on anything that I can.
Beach or Pool?
Alexa - Probably Pool
Facebook or Twitter?
Alexa - I don’t have either, but sometimes I go on my friend’s facebook account
Going out or chilling at home?
Alexa - Probably going out and hanging with friends