BY C.S. HOWARD
Alexis Love is a professional athlete with USA Track and Field (USATF). USATF is the national governing body for track & field, long-distance running and race walking in the United States. It encompasses the world’s oldest organized sports, the most-watched events of Olympic broadcasts, the No. 1 high school and junior high school participatory sport and more than 30 million adult runners in the United States.
A runner/sprinter, Alexis is in her third year as a professional. As such, she trains a total of 40 hours a week - both on and off the track, which consists of strenuous exercise that pushes her body to the limit. She competes year-round both nationally and internally. This weekend (April 15th), she is competing at the Bahamas Invitational which i s a big meet opener for her. Next weekend, she will compete in the Tom Jones Meet at the University of Florida in Gainesville. After that, her plans will most likely include competing overseas starting in April and running through the end of May.
Becoming a professional runner was not one of Alexis’ lifelong dreams. She developed an interest in the sport by happenstance. “I wanted to do something after school every day, so I went to a track practice with a friend basically as a “tag along”, she said. She joined a local AAU team when she was 12 years old and the rest is history. Dreams of becoming an Olympian didn’t come along until after college when she decided she wanted to do something different.
Alexis is looking forward to the upcoming season after she returns from competing overseas. The 2016 Olympic Trials will be held in Eugene, Oregon from July 1 – 10. Her goal is to make the top three in her final event so that she can secure a spot at the Olympics – giving her the opportunity to become an Olympian. This will be her second time going to the U.S. Olympic Trials since 2012.
“I am stronger, determined and more focused than I have ever been,” she said, “and I am really excited about this upcoming season.”
Alexis’ goals are to run one of the fastest times in the world, compete at the Olympics in hopes of bringing home the gold medal, and being an example for her hometown. “When I step foot on the track, I am running for God, my family, my community and for the people who had dreams of making it but did not have the means to do so,” she said. So far, her proudest accomplishments are competing against USA’s best female runners and being a 2012 U.S. Olympic Trial Semi-Finalist in two events. A post-collegiate athlete, she is training under a program in Clermont, Florida where her coach is a former Olympian and her training partner is the second fastest man in the world. A 2009 graduate of Palmetto High School, Alexis was involved with varsity track and field for four years, girls weightlifting team, member of Fellowship of Christian Athletes and Student Government Association. After high school, she attended Murray State University where she received a Bachelors Degree in Criminal Justice/Social Work.
Alexis leads a busy life, both athletically and through community involvement. She combines her love for athletics with her desire to give back and help others coming along the way. She is actively involved with young males and females in the community as a positive role model. She has spoken to groups at the Boys & Girls Club of Manatee County on several occasions and was the guest speaker/announcer at their first annual track meet earlier this year. She has also volunteered with “Go Noodle”, a fun, interactive way to get kids moving around in the classrooms to demonstrate the importance of staying healthy and to beat obesity in America. She spoke to over 1,400 kids and participated in the activity, Run with Us! in Jacksonville, Florida, and has volunteered with Athletes for Hope, a non-profit organization that works to educate professional athletes about philanthropy, connects them with charitable causes and inspire others to get involved in the community
Alexis also volunteers with Run, Jump, Throw through the USATF, a hands-on learning program that gets kids excited about physical activity by introducing them to basic running, jumping and throwing skills through track and field; Female Athletes Rock, a non-profit organization that empowers younger females to participate in athletics, along with promoting self-confidence and informing the public of the role of the female athletes and she takes time to participate in National Reading Day at elementary schools reading to students during their library time. A member of Shining Light Church of God in Christ in Rubonia, Alexis is the daughter of Jaqueline Anderson and Anthony Love Sr., and the granddaughter of Dora Goff.
Editor’s Note :
“Where Are They Now?” features up-and-coming men and women who are beginning their careers or are have established careers for themselves. Through this series, we will feature some of Sarasota and Manatee County’s “finest” young people who are making a difference. Interested in participating, email firstname.lastname@example.org