The top hurdler for the William Jewell College Track and Field team is Blake Alexander, sophomore. Alexander recently ran the 60 meter hurdles in 8.19 seconds at the University of Central Missouri Mule Relays Jan. 31. This time puts him in second place in the Great Lakes Valley Conference (GLVC) standings and 23rd in the nation in the 60 meter hurdles.
Alexander is from Strafford, Mo. where he attended Strafford High School. As a seventh grader, Alexander began running track, but it was not until his sophomore year of high school that he started running hurdles. By his senior year of high school he was state champion in the 110 meter high hurdles and the 300 meter intermediate hurdles. He credits his parents and past coaches with pushing him to get where he is today.
Alexander decided to come to Jewell when he heard good things about the nursing program and the opportunities it provides its students. He has been working hard in practice to break down and perfect his approach and technique over a hurdle. He has also focused on gaining muscle in the weight room and sticking to a daily routine that helps polish his skills for competitions. His goals for this season are to go to the indoor nationals for the 60 meter hurdles and to go to the outdoor nationals in the 110 meter hiigh hurdles and the 400 meter hurdles.
The top 18 runners in the nation in each track and field event are invited to compete in the NCAA DII Indoor Track and Field Nationals. Alexander’s time of 8.19 seconds in the 60 meter hurdles is good enough to make the provisional cut. SInce he is currently 23rd in the nation in this event, he will have to better his time in one of the upcoming meets in order to reach his goal.
The Jewell Track and Field teams have three meets before nationals. They will travel to the Missouri Southern State University Lion Invitational in Joplin, Mo. Feb. 6 and 7. The teams will also compete in the Missouri Collegiate Challenge hosted by Missouri University in Columbia, Mo. Feb. 20. The GLVC meet held Feb. 28 – Mar. 1 in Indianapolis, Ind. will be the last chance for Alexander to improve his time to make the national meet.