In a year where Murray State fans are concentrating on records falling in men’s basketball, one athlete is quietly smashing records of her own.
This Racer’s personal achievements might be the most impressive accomplishments of 2012.
Alexis Love, junior from Palmetto, Fla., has already received two OVC Player of the Week accolades midway through the indoor track portion of the season. Love posted a school record in the 60-meter sprint with a time of 7.54 seconds at the Illini Classic earlier this year, resetting a Murray State record she broke last year as a sophomore.
The 60-meter might not be the last record to fall. Love is also flirting with the school record for the 100-meter sprint. She posted a blazing 24.69 at the Rod McCravy Memorial in Lexington, Ky., last weekend, just more than a half-second shy of the Murray State record. That immortal time was a 24.02 set by Heather Samuel in 1994.
Love is anything but overconfident when discussing her achievements. The soft-spoken athlete sounds timid in conversation, but below the surface lies an undeniable drive and determination.
Instead of bragging about personal talent, Love credits discipline and hard work for her transition to success.
“Every week in my planner I write down the times I ran last week and I always try to run faster and improve that time,” Love said. “I have numbers in my locker of OVC times I want to beat. I have pictures in my room. I have note cards with times on them. Sometimes I think I may be too hard on myself. I’m not complacent. I’m always thinking about it. There’s always room for improvement.”
Love acts as surprised as anyone when she details the record-breaking season she is enjoying. She said the confidence of success is snowballing into more success.
“It makes me feel really good,” Love said. “I can’t even describe it. I was always told that I had the potential, but I feel like I’ve actually shown that on the track this year. Before, I was just running on raw talent, but now it just feels different. I’m more confident in myself, more confident in my coaches and I’m a lot stronger. It’s very different. I know I can compete with all the other girls who are at the top in the OVC.”
Love said the success of her fellow athletes inspires her to work hard.
“I like it,” she said. “I applaud them. I’m a Racer and they’re Racers. I think it’s great. It kind of pushes me.”
Love said she had to get used to small-town Murray after coming from Florida.
“I’d never seen snow until I came to Murray,” she said. “Florida was huge and Murray is such a small town. I think I’m used to it now, except for the winters.”
Love said the track team is like her second family.
“We’re always cheering each other on,” she said. “It doesn’t matter who it is. We’re always at the finish line cheering on our teammate. We treat each other the same.”
The Racer was quick to ask students and fans to stay updated on the team’s progress.
“We have a Facebook page and a Twitter page and our coach is always updating them,” she said. “We would like everyone to look us up and see what we’re doing. We have a great team and great potential and we’re moving up.”
Despite the cold Kentucky winters, Love said she is right where she is supposed to be.
“I wouldn’t want to go anywhere else,” she said. “I love being a Racer.”