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Hurdling his way through life

Freshman+hurdler+Justin+Alexander+looks+up+as+if+he+is+about+to+take+off+at+North+High+School+Friday%2C+April+22.+Alexander+is+number+one+in+state+for+the+400-meter+hurdles+for+junior+colleges+and+is+number+six+in+the+under+20+in+the+U.S.+Photo+credit%3A+Jo+Rankin
Freshman hurdler Justin Alexander looks up as if he is about to take off at North High School Friday, April 22. Alexander is number one in state for the 400-meter hurdles for junior colleges and is number six in the under 20 in the U.S. Photo credit: Jo Rankin

Freshman hurdler Justin Alexander looks up as if he is about to take off at North High School Friday, April 22. Alexander is number one in state for the 400-meter hurdles for junior colleges and is number six in the under 20 in the U.S. Photo credit: Jo Rankin

Freshman hurdler Justin Alexander looks up as if he is about to take off at North High School Friday, April 22. Alexander is number one in state for the 400-meter hurdles for junior colleges and is number six in the under 20 in the U.S. Photo credit: Jo Rankin

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He walks to the starting block in the zone after listening to his teammate’s music; he is ready to handle business. He places his feet at the starting block in his ready position.

He waits for the gun to fire off in anticipation. Runners, set and BANG the sound of the gun echoes through the air. He shoots off like a rocket with no signs of him slowing down. Pass the finish line he finishes first, but he already knew he won before the race began.

El Camino freshman hurdler Justin Alexander is no stranger to winning. He has a perfect undefeated record in the men’s 400-meter hurdles for junior colleges.

“The feeling from the sound of the gun going off is such a rush,” Alexander said. “I just tell myself to go fast, go hard and win the day.”

Alexander started hurdling in high school. He attended Crenshaw High School and was a top prospect, placing top ten in California.

Alexander said his brother told him to try out for the track team as a joke but then he ended up falling in love with the sport. Alexander had a lot of attention coming out of high school, being one of the top hurdlers in the state.

“We knew when we recruited him he had a lot of talent and that we could help him develop the tools he has at his disposal,” hurdles coach John Hall said. “If he gets it done in the classroom he will be set to go to whatever university he chooses.”

Alexander has accolades all across the board. He is number one in state for the 400-meter hurdles for community colleges and is number six for under-20 in the U.S.

“Alexander has been doing well all season,” track coach Dean Lofgren said. “He has already qualified for the USA track and field Junior National Championships.”

Alexander’s drive and competitiveness are very contagious to his team and all those who are around him. His teammates always look to him for inspiration.

“His competitive nature makes me want to do better,” freshman teammate Maurice Jones said. “I wanna make Nationals just like him.”

But for Alexander to succeed on the track he knows his studies are important.

“One of my biggest obstacles in life was always school,” Alexander said. “So I just gotta take it one day at a time.”

Alexander hopes to transfer to Baylor University and one day make team U.S.A and compete in the Olympics.

“There will always be someone faster,” Alexander said. “When I see that, it makes me more motivated to get faster and work harder.”

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Hurdling his way through life