Alexis Love, senior sprinter from Palmetto, Fla., ended her season as a junior in Eugene, Ore., at the USA Olympic Track and Field trials with a heat time of 23.1 seconds.
Close to her Murray State record of 23.03, Love missed the last qualifier by .54 seconds.
“It was awesome just being around professional athletes, learning what they do every day,” Love said. “I’ve learned so much and I didn’t feel sad when I left. It was a great opportunity and experience.”
Love set many Murray State and OVC records during her junior season. After finishing second in the 200 at the OVC Championship, Love earned Indoor All-OVC honors. She also ran her personal-best time of 11.97 in the 100 at the Showdown on the Cumberland, an OVC tri-meet in Clarksville, Tenn. Love finished sixth in the OVC Championship in the 100 and helped the team finish fifth in the outdoor.
Head Coach Jenny Severns said she has even higher expectations for Love this season. Severns said now Love knows what she is capable of and has more confidence on the track.
Love’s weakness, according to Severns, is getting through the longer workouts, which she claims are a necessary evil. Love said there are several areas she wishes to improve on in the next season.
“I definitely could’ve been more calm last year,” Love said. “I need to go out there with a clear mind and more confidence.”
Love also said getting off the blocks quickly and being more powerful is a goal of hers.
Severns said she is looking forward to Love’s leadership role in her senior season.
Initially, Severns said Love was not fond of being a leader of the team, but with her speed and talent, she learned to accept the role.
“Leadership is vital,” Severns said. “Without it you can’t do much, and I definitely think our success will be dependant upon team leadership.”
Love said she has learned to be a leader over time and enjoys being a team captain. She said her teammates look up to her not just as a leader, but as big sister as well.
“She does the little things,” Severns said. “She eats better and sleeps more. Those are the things that separate her from an average athlete.”
Love said she expects several of her teammates to go to nationals with her this year. She said there are several Racers with enough talent to join her and compete well in the OVC.
Both Severns and Love discussed the potential of the returning sophomores on the team.
Severns said the sophomores were very good as freshmen, and now they have the necessary experience under their belt.
For the second straight year, track and field will welcome several freshmen to the team.
The Racers participated in the Southern Illinois Saluki Fast Start
on Saturday and will head back to Carbondale, Ill., Jan. 11 for the Saluki Open.
Story by: Lexy Gross, Staff writer