Sprinter continues to stay focused amid record-setting season

Andrew Clausen

In most circumstances, fractions of a second don’t make much of a difference. But for a sprinter, the slimmest of margins can determine the outcome of a race.

This is especially true for junior sprinter Breanna Alston. Just a hundredth of a second, or less, could be the difference between just another run and a school record – of which she owns several.

“It can be frustrating sometimes not getting your time down,” Alston said. “But, I’ve dealt with this since high school and middle school, so I’m at the point that if my time goes down a little bit I’m thankful that it did go down.”

During this indoor season alone, Alston has set school records in the 55- and 300- meter, posting times of 7.02 and 38.50 seconds, respectively, as well as a record in the long jump at 5.69m. All of this is on top of the App State records she already owns in the indoor 60m and the outdoor 100m and 200m.

Coach Damion McLean said she had an impact on the team from the beginning.

When she got here, her presence at practice and on the track was beyond what we thought,” McLean said. “She went from a young girl to a woman early in her career. The team responds to her actions and it spreads through each event area.”

As the gap between times becomes smaller and the school records continue to fall, many would struggle finding inspiration to continue to improve.

“As far as motivation, I just try to tell myself that it takes time,” Alston said. “I have to just try to work harder in practice and dedicate myself in practice as well as nutritional wise outside of practice. Also, I know that if I want to go to nationals I have to keep working harder.”

While Alston is focused on the rest of this season, as well as her senior season, a career in track is not out of the question.

“I’m just not sure about exactly what I’m going to do,” Alston said. “But, as my collegiate seasons start to end, it’s something that I’m looking at. If not, I hope to eventually go to graduate school for a clinical [degree] in psychology. But, my goal is to eventually get my time down to where I want it that I can continue to train professionally.”

Mclean said Alston was born to succeed.

“No matter if it is academics or athletics. And if her future doesn’t involve athletics, she will be very successful in the real world.”

The women’s track and field team will go for their third straight Southern Conference Indoor Championship this weekend in Winston-Salem.

Story: JORDAN DAVIS, Sports Reporter