BURGIN — Alex Beckerson is healthy, confident and ready to go at state.
The Burgin junior enters Thursday’s Class A state meet in Louisville as the runner to beat in the 1,600-meter run. He will also be running three other events at the University of Louisville.
Beckerson battled injuries all last year, but he entered the cross country season as strong as ever and has had no injury issues all year.
“God kept me injury-free this year and He just really helped me a lot,” Beckerson said after winning the 1,600 and 800 and placing second in the 3,200 at last week’s regional meet. “I did some sprints and just got a lot faster. I rolled my ankle once in basketball, but it was not bad. I rolled it on a Friday and still played on Saturday, so that was injury-free, pretty much.”
His 1,600 time of 4 minutes, 33.25 seconds is 2 seconds faster than Louisville Holy Cross’ Jacob Thompson, the next best time in the regionals across the state. Beckerson is also seeded seventh in the 800 (2:05.19) and 12th in the 3,200 (10:31.03). He is also participating in the 3,200 relay.
Being healthy gave Beckerson a lot of confidence entering the school year.
“Especially during track,” he said. “I felt pretty much unbeatable. In the beginning of the season, I just had so much confidence and I was looking forward to a great year. And I proved myself there.”
Beckerson expected to see his times drop this spring, but he wasn’t sure just how much they might drop.
“I surprised myself in the 800. I knew my mile (1,600) speed would drop, but I didn’t know it would affect my 800 that drastically,” he said. “I‘ve taken about six seconds off a two-lap race this year, and like five seconds off my mile.”
Beckerson believes he can go even lower at the state meet.
“(At the regional), I didn’t gert a while lot of rest between my events,” he said. “But at state there’s going to be a bunch of runners, and I’ll get a lot more rest. So I’m looking for a five-second drop in all of my events.”
Beckerson does keep up with this top competition, and expects a strong field to run against Thursday.
“J.T. (Thompson) did phenomenal at the Dream Mile and he should win the mille, two mile and 800,” Beckerson said of Thompson, who is ranked first in those two events. “But I’m going to try and stay with him best I can. If I’m healthy and have a good, confident run (in the 3,200) I can be 10, 15 seconds behind him and stick with him the whole way.”
If he can stick to that plan, Beckerson said he should be able to reach the times he wants and get the one school record that he does not hold.
“I want to break 10 minutes in the two-mile and 4:30 in the mile and the school record in the 800, which I don’t have yet,” he said. “I”m a second away.”