Interview: 1600 State Champion Alex Kingsley

Alex Kingsley has been running XC since the seventh grade.
Full Name: Nelson Alexander Kingsley
Date of Birth: June 15, 1989
Academic Interests: Computer Engineering
Personal Bests: 800 - 2:13, 1600 - 4:40, 3200 - 10:17, 5K(XC) 17:29
Hobbies: music, swimming, most all sports, reading
Brothers/Sisters: Alyssa 17, Christina 13
High School/Mascot: Pelion Panthers
Hometown: Goose Creek, SC

scrunners: How did you feel after winning the 1600 at the state championship and going into the 3200 race, that you later captured the title?
kingsley: I felt lucky to survive Jordan Lybrand\'s late race surge in the 1600. He really flew past me late and had me beat until he stumbled just before the line.

scrunners: How did the 1600 race unfold?
kingsley: Early on, Jordan Lybrand, Justin Meade, and I were in the last three spots. I took the lead with about 500 to go and on the back straight Jordan pulled up to pass and I worked hard to hold him off and with about 40 to go he went by me with a strong kick and I barely nipped him at the line when he stumbled with about five yards to go.

scrunners: How did the 3200 race unfold?
kingsley: I went through the first 1600 at about 5:07 and had about five to 10 yards on Luke Lovelace and Jeremy Hunsaker. I later learned that Jeremy passed Luke with about two to three laps left and was starting to close fast. I tried to work the sixth and seventh laps hard to hold him off, and I barely did by four seconds.

scrunners: What kind of training did you undergo to prepare for this track season?
kingsley: Mostly easy distance runs of five to 10 miles four to five times per week with some occasional hill repeats. I got on the track once or twice for some speedwork.

scrunners: How did this season\'s training change from the preseason until the post season?
kingsley: I started to reduce my weekly long run distance and my mileage and did more of the shorter intervals. More 1000 repeats early and 300\'s and 400\'s late in the season.

scrunners: How many years have you been running?
kingsley: I first started XC in seventh grade.

scrunners: What made you decide to run track and field/cross country?
kingsley: I saw my dad running and occasionally tagged along and he said I might be pretty good at it, but really my sister went out first and I decided I\'d try it.

scrunners: Did anyone else in your family run? If so, where and when?
kingsley: My dad ran in high school and college in Michigan in the late 70\'s/early 80\'s. He also did some marathons about six to eight years ago.

scrunners: Prior to running at Pelion, did you run any road races?
kingsley: I\'ve run the Cooper River Bridge Run, the Carolina 10K, the Shamrock 8k in Virginia (where my dad used to live), Hot Summer\'s Night 5K and the Lexington Race Against Hunger this past winter. I don\'t really run many road races now - I just race during track and XC season.

scrunners: Do you remember you first running competition? How did you do? When was this?
kingsley: I ran a mile track race several summers ago in Grand Rapids, MI. I think I finished second and I don\'t remember what my time was.

scrunners: What kind of training are you thinking about doing this summer to prepare for cross country?
kingsley: Mostly easy distance with some hill repeats as the season gets closer.

scrunners: Who and when do you train in the summer?
kingsley: I train mostly on the roads and trails where I live and at my Dad\'s.

scrunners: Does Pelion meet to run in the summer?
kingsley: Yes.

scrunners: Based on your 18th place finish at the 2003 State Cross-Country Championships how are you planning on doing this upcoming season?
kingsley: I had a better track season than I\'d expected and I hope to compete for the state title this fall.

scrunners: Who helps you choose your goals and training regimen for each season?
kingsley: My dad helps plan my training in the off-season and my coach and dad during the season.

scrunners: Do you incorporate any kind of weight lifting into your training?
kingsley: I am just starting to this summer for the first time.

scrunners: What kind of cross-training do you incorporate into your training, when injured, or to gain strength and work other muscles?
kingsley: I don\'t really cross-train and fortunately I haven\'t had any serious injuries yet. I am hoping that the weight training will help my strength in XC this fall.

scrunners: Do you prefer to run cross-country or track more, why?
kingsley: I like both for different reasons. XC is great because of all the different courses and track is so much faster and intense.

scrunners: What is your favorite event to run in the sport of track and field?
kingsley: I really like the mile/1600 the best.

scrunners: When discouraged, how do you regain motivation to maintain a certain level of fitness?
kingsley: I just try to think about how hard my competition is training and what I need to do to be competitive.

scrunners: When injured, how do you stay in shape and stay motivated?
kingsley: No big injuries so far.

scrunners: There is always a lot of talk about running camps in the summer, have you ever been to one? If so, which one?
kingsley: I went to NC State\'s camp in Asheville two years ago. I really thought it was a great camp.

scrunners: Are you thinking about going to a running camp this summer? If so, which one and why did you choose that camp?
kingsley: Not sure yet. I hope so.

scrunners: Is Pelion going to a team camp?
kingsley: No.

scrunners: Where is your favorite place to train, why?
kingsley: I love running on trails like at Harbison Forest. It\'s easier on the legs and tendons, plus the scenery is just better than pavement and traffic.

scrunners: What kind of race tactic works best for you, why?
kingsley: I don\'t really think too much about tactics yet, but until my kick improves I sort of have to push the middle of a race hard and get a comfortable cushion to do well.

scrunners: When a race scenario changes, how do you adapt? Has this happened in any of your recent meets? How did you fare?
kingsley: I just try to run my best and not let anybody pass in the latter part of a race.

scrunners: What do you look for in a coach and what do you expect a coach to look for in you?
kingsley: I like a coach who can motivate me and knows how to get the best out of his runners. I think a coach should be able to expect you to give your best effort everyday in practice and races.

scrunners: What do you see happening with the sports of cross-country/track and field in South Carolina?
kingsley: If you look at some of the younger runners in SC, it seems like the future looks good for us. We have some ground to make up on other states, but it will take time and a lot of hard work.

scrunners: What do you look for in a team and what do you expect a team to look for in you?
kingsley: I just like people I can get along with and who know how to work hard when you need to but still like to have fun doing it.

scrunners: Do you have a pre-race tradition?
kingsley: I just warm-up, stretch and do strides before and cooldown after. I do like to listen to music before to relax, but then start thinking about what I need to do to try and win the next race.

scrunners: Have you ever thought about coaching cross-country or track and field in the future? If so, why and what level?
kingsley: Not really - I\'m just trying to focus on running for now.

scrunners: Even thought you will be a sophomore, have you thought about running in college? Why or why not and what colleges are you currently interested in?
kingsley: Yes, I would really like to run well enough to compete at a strong Division I program when I graduate. I really liked NC State\'s coaches when I went to their XC camp.

scrunners: Have you ever thought about trying another area of track and field? If so, which one and why?
kingsley: Yeah, I plan to try shot and discus next year if my weight training goes well!!!!

scrunners: If there is one thing in the world you could do, what would it be and why?
kingsley: I\'d really like to run in the Olympics some day.