Athlete of the Week: Alex Carter
Alex Carter, senior track runner, was named Athlete of the Week after winning two consecutive events at the Berry College Victor Icebreaker Duals in early March. His wins assisted the Flames in keeping their current first place spot in the Gulf South Conference. Carter’s wins and devotion to the sport have garnered praise from his coaches and peers.
“I was pleased to see Alex step it up and get his first two collegiate wins,” said head coach Caleb Morgan. “Everyone goes through a tough time in their athletic career. Sometimes when you do you quit, and sometimes you persevere, and you keep trying and pushing and you are rewarded. I was so happy to see Alex get rewarded for all his hard work.”
Originally from Nashville, Tennessee, Carter had an active childhood. Sports, of course, remained a beloved pastime. As a child and pre-teen, he spent much of his time playing soccer with his brother and transitioned to track his freshman year of high school.
At 15, Carter began to run regularly and train for the sport’s various events. After a year of conditioning and finding his niche, Carter joined the track team and began competing in track meets. Since then Carter has consistently triumphed in events like the 800-meter and 1500-meter dashes, as he does today.
“I liked being outside a lot as a kid, and I grew up with a brother, so we would play a lot of sports together like basketball, football, soccer—just around the house,” said Carter. “I started playing soccer sometime around middle school, so that’s where I got more practice running and playing on a team.”
Following high school, Carter found a spot on Lee University’s track team after being scouted by head track coach Caleb Morgan. Morgan noticed Carter competing at a high school track meet in spring of Carter’s senior year and thought he would make a good addition to Lee’s track team.
A few months later, Morgan invited Carter to visit Lee’s campus and discuss potential involvement in the school’s track program. Taking Morgan’s offer, Carter toured the university and was immediately sold on Lee, finding it to be a great fit for his academic and athletic career.
“I have my coach to thank for bringing me here to Lee,” said Carter. “He saw one of my races and asked me to come down for a visit. I managed to not do anything too stupid on my visit to turn him off of the idea of recruiting me, so two months later here I was.”
Carter, now a senior business finance major, says his time on Lee’s track team has developed him as an athlete and individual. Out of his four-year career at Lee, Carter notes the ways he’s gained maturity in his general thinking and how he handles the ups and downs of life.
“You just grow a lot in general over a four-year period,” said Carter. “Specifically from running, I’ve learned to move on quickly. A bad day isn’t as tough to deal with as it was freshman year—you just learn to roll with them.”
Carter notes additionally that the team has brought a significant sense of family and community. Leaning on one another during practices and meets, the group formed a close bond that sticks even outside of their practices.
“These people have helped me out a lot, so I want the guys to feel like they can talk to me if they need to,” said Carter. “A lot of the greatest people in my life are there because of this team, and I’m incredibly grateful for that.”
Looking forward, Carter says he sees a Division II Cross Country National Championship for the team in the near future. While many on the current track team are inexperienced, seasoned members like Carter are directing them so they can reach this goal once they’ve moved on from the team.
“I’m excited to see everyone progress,” said Carter. “A lot of the guys are young right now, so there’s a lot of room to improve, but I think they can get a National Championship.”
Just a few months from his graduation in the spring, Carter says he is looking forward to retirement from the track team and transitioning into a career in business finance. Reflecting back on his time at Lee, Carter is greatly appreciative of the memories he’s made, the life-long friendships and the opportunity he’s had to participate and compete on the track team.
The track team is currently in the final periods of their season, with a positive outlook on placing in Gulf South Conference Championship. This Thursday the team will be away at a meet against Conference member Azusa Pacific University in Azusa, California.
For more information about Lee’s track team and its members, standings and schedule, visit www.goleeflames.com.