Quinton Alexander, a senior at Vanguard University pursuing a Bachelor’s Degree in Kinesiology, is entering his fourth season as a member of the track and field team.
Alexander grew up in Las Vegas, Nev. and went to Cimarron-Memorial High School where he participated in varsity track and field, varsity football, and was student body president. He has compiled a variety of individual accomplishments as an athlete at Vanguard University making him one of the most feared athletes in GSAC track and field.
In 2014, he received the Men’s Leadership Award VU Track and Field. He also received the Men’s Most Improved VU Track and Field Athlete in 2014. He was crowned 2015 GSAC Champion in Decathlon, All-GSAC 2nd in High Jump, 3rd in 4x100m Relay.
Alexander grew up in Las Vegas, Nev. which has had a significant impact on his upbringing as an athlete and an individual person. He explains that the climate condition has trained him to adapt more to running and exercising in the extreme heat, which is often times a foreign subject to those living in Orange County. On the other hand, colder temperatures are something he is not accustomed to, because although his hometown experiences colder winters, he never had to run in these conditions as a high school athlete.
The culture of Vegas has also shaped him socially. Fashion and communication differs greatly between Las Vegas and Orange County. “If they need something, they’ll say something to you” he says, “If they want you to get out the way, they’ll tell you to get out the way.” He compares this mindset more to the likes of Los Angeles. He continued by saying, “It’s not like you talk to a random stranger and say, ‘Hi, how’s the day. Wonderful weather we’re having.’ Because there’s not wonderful weather anyway!”
In 2010, Quinton participated in a track meet in Arcadia, Calif.. The Cimarron-Memorial High School track team qualified for the 4×400 meter relay at this invitation. He described this as the largest meet he has ever been to and perhaps the most fun.
This meet featured athletes from all around the world which left him in complete awe being only a sophomore in high school. He further elaborates, “It wasn’t only great to be there and compete, it was also an amazing event to be at to watch people. After you we’re done, it was like ‘that was cool we just ran’. Now…let’s sit back and enjoy the show.”
One of the most defining moments for Alexander as a collegiate athlete was the team’s retreat to Idyllwild, Calif. last year. He explained that the weekend retreat formed a tight knit bond between the team, which was not necessarily present in prior seasons.
Alexander provided an in depth look at what exactly goes through the mind of a runner and dissecting what that means. He explains that he is fairly level headed as he steps into the block, thinking strategically about what movements he has to execute during that particular race. Alexander explains that he has been racing for a long time, and he has a strategic mindset before the race begins, not letting any emotions overwhelm him. He does mention that his energy level can affect his performance, which all depends on the race and the time of day. If it is the last race of the day, he might feel more fatigued and less motivated. If he is participating in a race he particularly enjoys, he might feel more excited, giving him an extra jolt of energy.
Speaking of a race he enjoys, Alexander explains why the 110 Meter High Hurdles is his favorite event in track. He states, “It’s a beautiful event. It’s a combination of sprint, being flexible, technique, and timing.” In his words, this event is all about rhythm, comparing it to the same form of rhythm as dancing.
Other events that compete for his favoritism are the high jump and pole-vaulting, but really any event that involves jumping over something as his favorite. On the other side of the spectrum, he also very much enjoys discus. He explains that this event requires technique and finesse, also like dancing. He is very fond of dancing!
Life as an athlete has not always been a smooth road, as he has faced adversity that almost sent him into an early retirement. During his senior year of high school, Alexander was diagnosed with 2nd degree heart block mobitz type 1. In simplistic terms, his heart was skipping beats due to a lack of electric signals being sent.
Before this was diagnosed, he experienced dizzy spells and short blackouts which he thought was normal, being exposed to extreme heat in Vegas. This eventually escalated one afternoon. He completely passed out, hitting his mouth on a counter causing him to bleed profusely. After this event, his heart was closely monitored. He was faced with two possible outcomes: his condition could improve and ultimately become benign or it could worsen resulting in the need for a pacemaker, and the end of his athletic career. Thankfully, his condition improved which led him to have a career as a Vanguard athlete and a relatively normal life.
Alexander’s main passion is biomechanics. “I love movement, and proper mechanics within movement” he says. He further explains that while some within kinesiology are passionate about nutrition or the molecular structure within the body, he is more passionate about forces and the proper mechanics and alignments for external movements. This is his niche within the kinesiology field because he is very analytical with motion and movement, and it comes easy to him.
He is contemplating pursuing his Master’s and ultimately PHD in Kinesiology with an emphasis on biomechanics. His aspiration is to open a clinic or facility that specifically trains those who are interested in utilizing proper mechanics and movement in their practice in life. He uses examples such as athletes coming and practicing their techniques, or dancers using the facilities’ dance studio and dance lessons, or a martial arts fighter being trained by a Dojo that is employed at the facility. “It’s all about encompassing proper mechanics and how they all relate to each other” he says, “I want to share the love of motion and be able to teach it to people, having them to relate to it on both sides of the spectrum, of arts and sciences.”
When he is not running or dancing, Alexander enjoys writing and rapping. He has danced all of his life, and says that it comes natural to him. He states, “It’s how my body smiles, through dance.”
He is also passionate about writing and music, and correlating it to his passion of movement and rhythm stating, “The words are moving in a certain way, forming them in ways that rhyme in a line preceding it. The way I write, words are dancing.” Although he is new to making music, he is excited to record and put his product out there, to see how people react to it.
Quinton Alexander and the Vanguard track and field team will have their fourth meet of the season on February 20, at Pomona Pitzer. He is excited for his next meet and strives for continuous improvement over the course of the season.