Alec Thibodeaux’s (Mount Sidney, Va./Fort Defiance) senior season has been marked with multiple obstacles, but the cross country runner has also been able to put forth a solid season earning him Royals Athlete of the Week honors.
Alec started off the year on a high note, being named ODAC Runner of the Week after the first meet at Shippensburg University. The seasoned veteran was able to take a work-heavy summer and springboard that into his last collegiate year.
“I was the most confident I had ever been with my running heading into the month of August,” Alec said on his summer. “I had the best summer of running under my belt ever. My mileage base had never been that strong. At our first meet in Shippensburg, I was ecstatic with my result. I felt like I had gotten exactly what coach and I wanted out of that race.”
But by October, Alec was hit with a hip injury which limited his training as well as his performance at the ODAC Championships at the end of the month. He gritted his way through the race was still able to finish 11th overall to earn All-ODAC Second Team honors, helping the team to a fourth-place finish.
“At ODACs, it was all about survival,” Alec stated. “We had no idea what it would look like, but the goal was to put my head down and grind it out. My hip injury was a huge factor in that race, but I am proud to have still fought with my team and finish what we started training for in June.”
Alec does not let the injury affect his routine and continues to stride forward in his work ethic.
“Some days, it gives me hope and motivates me to do everything I can to settle myself down and focus on getting healthy for a shot at qualifying for NCAA Nationals in Louisville,” Alec stated. “As for my upcoming performance at Regionals in Georgia, I have to let everything go on the starting line and remember that I have done everything I possibly can to prepare for this race.”
Being a runner that has performed on the national level, Alec has seen a sense of leadership coming into his work ethic.
With the injury, however, Alec felt that he was unable to lead by example as much, and gives a great deal of credit to his teammate and friend Steven Anhold (Churchville, Va./Fort Defiance) for taking on that role.
“My injury has certainly affected my leadership role on the team as my role was largely being an example for my teammates to follow on the roads and the track,” Alec added. “I was unable to lead from the front and set that example, but Steven really adopted that role. He has taken his training to a whole new level this year, and I couldn't be prouder of my best friend and teammate.”
Alec looks to make strides in becoming healthy and to compete once again at the national level to finish off his career at Eastern Mennonite. He and his teammates run this Saturday morning at the South/Southeast Regionals hosted by Berry College in Rome, Ga.
--- by Jake Brown, Sports Information Intern