State Meet Redemption: Alex Runs to Glory
School: Tates Creek
Sports: Cross-country, track
Academics: Alex has a 4.76 GPA, has taken three A.P. classes, plays piano and guitar, serves on the Student Advisory Council and is a National Honor Society member.
Parents: Shannon & Jeff
No one needs to explain the meaning of redemption to long-distance runner Alex Mortimer – the Tates Creek High senior has lived it.
A year ago, he entered the State cross-country meet after an 11th- place finish as a sophomore as the District and Region champion.
He set a blistering early pace, but two-thirds way through the race he inextricably felt dehydrated. He nearly passed out.
Still, he remained upright and somehow stayed close to the lead until the final stretch when 20 or so runners passed him as he stumbled to the finish line.
He then collapsed. An experienced runner, he still can’t explain what happened.
“I don’t know whether I had too much water or too much caffeine or what, but nothing like that ever happened to me before,” he said.
Fast forward to November of this year when he again entered the State meet as the District and Region champion.
This time, he waged a back and forth battle with Yared Nuguse of Manual in Louisville, trading the lead back and forth before Alex finished second.
“That capped a great season for me, by far my best so far,” he said.
It’s been a season that has captured the attention of college coaches. Alex, an elite two-miler on the track team, has whittled his college choice to five schools that have recruited him, including UK.
If the straight-A student chooses the Wildcats, UK will land a runner with a remarkable work ethic.
Alex runs every day. In fact, he has missed only two days in 2016 – when he had his wisdom teeth removed.
He’s on the road every morning at 6 a.m. for a five-mile run. That’s in addition to after-school practice, which can include up to nine more miles.
Saturday is usually race day and on Sundays he runs 12-14 miles.
Alex’s running style – he lands on the middle of his foot instead of his heel – has kept him injury free.
Despite his busy running schedule, Alex excels at school with a 4.76 weighted GPA. He has taken three A.P. classes, scored 28 on the ACT, is a National Honor Society member and plans to study medicine in college.
He’s a three-time Student of the Month at Tates Creek, serves on Student Advisory Council, is Academic All-State in track and cross-country, and plays piano and guitar.
“He is mentally strong,” his mother Shannon said. “Even during frustrating times, he finds the dig and the grit to get through it.
“And because of his Christian faith, there’s a peace and calm to him.”