Athlete of the Week: Alston clears hurdles on, off track

sjtaf-alstonjumpQuick, snap your fingers.

The instant it took to complete that simple task is the about the same time frame Alexus Alston came from winning a state championship in the 400 meter hurdles at last weekend’s Class 3A Track & Field Championship at Spring Valley High. Her time of 1:07.34 was a little over a second off the winning pace, but her runner-up finish has fueled her fire for next season.

“My motto for the season was WAR, as in `Wants A Ring’,” said Alston, a two-sport standout, four-event track star and straight-A student athlete at St. James High who was named the Mammy’s Kitchen Athlete of the Week. “I was 1.23 seconds from accomplishing that goal this year, but I’m only a junior so that’s going to make me work that much harder for next year.”

Making the near-miss even harder to accept was the fact that she had to overcome an extra obstacle in the 400 hurdles as the competitor in the lane next to her stumbled into her path and threw off her rhythm. Alston regained her stride in time to capture second, while also finishing fifth place and another all-state honor in the 100 hurdles. She also placed seventh in the triple jump and 100 meters.

“The girl in the next lane had a cramp and came into my lane, and I had to go around her. It threw me of just enough. Things like that happen, but of all times, the state championships,” Alston said. “St. James has trophy case where all the state champions are honored, and it’s always been my goal to be the first female athlete to make it. Now next year is my last chance.”

Make no mistake about it; Alston would be training hard for next season regardless of the outcome of last week’s state meet. That’s just how she rolls, and has been since first getting involved with the sport through the Myrtle Beach Track & Field Club. As a rare contender at various track and field events, Alston is the track and field version of a workhorse and gym rat.

And it’s not just the track where she leaves others in her dust. In addition to holding five school records (she set the mark in the high jump in her first attempt) and being considered a contender to reach the USTAF Junior Olympics Nationals this summer, Alston also plays basketball and will be training with her travel team this summer, as well as holding down a part-time job and maintaining a 4.0 GPA.

“I’m going to be very busy this summer but that’s how I like it,” Alston said. “The (USTAF) Nationals are in California this summer so I really want to qualify for that, but I’m also going to be working and playing basketball. I also serve as a trainer for the football team so I’ll be doing that to get ready for college. I want to major in sports medicine and minor in coaching.”

Alston is already receiving some serious attention from college coaches, including regional schools like Coastal Carolina, College of Charleston and South Carolina. Wherever she lands, Alston is sure to hit the ground running at full stride – both on and off the track.

Photo by Prep Stars Media

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