Athlete Name: Alex Mortimer
School: Tates Creek High School
What was your most memorable meet and why?
My first varsity high school race. I ran up at our home meet (Tates Creek Invitational) as an 8th grader. I ran 17:27, and an assistant coach at Tates Creek said he could help me become a champion. Four years later my passion for running is still alive and the goal is always to have fun working hard.
Where did you face your biggest competition?
On a national stage, I "raced" against now signed Adidas runner, Andrew Hunter out of Loudon Valley. My most difficult race this year was arguably the state meet or the Wingfoot XC Classic in Atlanta which had over 4500 runners.
Out of all of your high school accomplishments which stands out the most and why?
I am not really a materialistic kinda guy, so it has to do with my overall consistency of my races this 2016 xc season. The focus has been to go in and run for the gold. To me, becoming the 2016 Class 3A Runner Up was a personal victory. It is my first top 10 finish in my 5 high school state meets.
If you could do it all over again what would you change about your running career in high school?
I would have loved to tell my freshman year self that there will be ups and downs in your training and racing. My improvement rate was not at all linear, sometimes break throughs take time to happen. You have to be mentally on par just as much physically capable to run a certain time.
What were the most difficult obstacles you had to overcome?
Accepting the fact that pain is only a temporary feeling and emotion. The moment I truly believed the physical pain of racing would eventually go away that no matter how much I was hurting, was when I truly enjoyed cross country races.
What will you miss the most?
I will miss the friendships made through high school athletics. I have made friends all across the state, and the kindness amongst the majority of the runners is very special.
Do you have any advice for younger athletes?
Do not get discouraged if you aren't the fastest on your team, district, region, or even the state. There is ALWAYS room for improvement. Stay dedicated, as there is no excuse to not train your hardest. If you have a dream, relentlessly chase it and do not let any words by anyone stop you.
What are your post-highschool or college plans?
I will be taking my talents to the collegiate xc and track scene. I have a few colleges that visits still need to be made to. Juniors, sophomores, freshman, ENJOY the recruiting process. It only comes around once.
Who would you like to say thank you to?
I would like to say thank you to Chris Hawboldt for getting me onto the running scene. He ignited a fire within me that will never be put out. Coach Henry, than you for your wisdom in helping me improve exponentially over the last year. Mom, Dad, you all support me every day and help me stay focused and motivated, I love you all very much. To all my friends made through running, I just want to say thank you for the never-ending support. You all make this possible. It's been real KY.