Rising 10th-grader and runner Alexandra P. ’20 placed in the top 20 at 18th place in the USA Triathlon Youth Junior National Championships at Voice of America Park in Ohio earlier this month, moving up in the ranks from her 45th place finish last year. Alexandra competed in the Youth Elite Female class, ages 13-15, after having qualified for this year’s Nationals when she finished in the top 16 at the East Coast Triathlon Festival in Richmond, Virginia earlier in May.
A dedicated student-athlete, in addition to participating in triathlons around the country, Alexandra is on the cross country, swimming, and track & field teams at Miss Porter’s School, and is an accomplished high honors student. It takes unwavering determination, strength, and all-around toughness to train and compete in sports, while balancing her academics and other priorities. We chatted with Alexandria recently to see where she gets her inspiration:
How did you get involved in running? My parents are both runners who started when they were in high school. My mom recently discovered some old trophies and medals from when she ran cross country and road races. She had won dozens and that was really inspiring to me. What I remember most, however, is that she told me how hard she had to work to improve. She was not naturally very fast. In fact, she struggled again and again her first years on cross country, but she never gave up. She reminds me that persistence is key. This inspires me every single day.
Another moment that I will not forget is how my dad was talking with a family friend who owns his own bike shop. My dad was asking him about which bike parts I should upgrade to help me cycle faster. He responded with one word: “practice.” He made me realize that there are no secrets to getting faster. It is simply practice, and you get out what you put in.
You’re also a very good student academically. What are your favorite subjects? My favorite subjects are math and physics. Math and science-based studies have always made a lot of sense to me. This coming year, I am most looking forward to taking Geometry and AP Chemistry.
What made you choose Miss Porter’s School? Miss Porter’s School has been such an amazing home for me. I am a day student, so I do not live at school. However, I spend so much time here, and my friends and teachers have made this school feel like a second home. I was convinced that I wanted to go to Porter’s after visiting here, meeting all of the friendly students, and feeling like I was welcome.
What are your favorite activities? Aside from triathlon, I am involved in the Spectrum Alliance. I love the fact that I can talk to and be with this group of such wonderful kids. Being a part of this alliance has made me feel empowered and I will try to participate in the group more in the years to come. Last year, I took a theater class and loved it. The skills learned in that class can be used throughout one’s life.
Any other words you’d like to share? I think it is amazing when people do what they love to do. For me, I love triathlon and racing alongside dedicated athletes. For other people, that could be something such as equestrian, tennis, soccer, art, music, or anything else. The list goes on and is defined by one’s individual passions and interests. I think it is really important that everyone gets support for their hard work and dedication, regardless of the popularity or lack thereof for a certain sport or activity.
Learn more about Athletics at Miss Porter’s School