The Official Student News Media of Southeastern Louisiana University

The Lion's Roar

The Official Student News Media of Southeastern Louisiana University

The Lion's Roar

The Official Student News Media of Southeastern Louisiana University

The Lion's Roar

    Young reflects on becoming an elite college athlete

    Alex Young recently made history at the university by becoming the first Lion to become a national champion for Division I as a weight thrower. Before this, Young had a career of highlights at Southeastern including wins in: first team All-Southland Conference, Southland Conference, LSWA All-Louisiana between 2015 and 2016 in: weight throw, shot put, hammer throw and indoor and outdoor competitions in track and field. 

    The Nashville, Tennessee native began his career at La Vergne High School. He participated in both track and field and football, where he was a letter winner on both teams 3 times. Currently majoring in kinesiology his senior year, Young reflects on his journey to becoming an elite player in the game of college athletics.


    The Lion’s Roar: What first inspired you to get involved in track and field?

    Alex Young: I originally wanted to find a second sport to participate in during the spring in high school. I was just a football player my freshman year, and I wanted to do more my sophomore year. We had a great assistant track coach, Coach Mark Stephens, who helped by scouting a few of us football players.


    TLR: What was your sports career like in high school? 

    AY: I found success in sports in high school as well. I was awarded multiple class 6A district 7AAA all-area football awards. I won the Class 3A State shot put Championship as a senior, as well as holding the school record and finished in the top 8 at state in the discus throw for Class 3A.


    TLR: Was Southeastern your first choice for college? If so, why?

    AY: I transferred from a small Baptist division one college called Gardner-Webb University. I was looking for a new track home after my college coach of two years, Andy Fryman, left to pursue his own Olympic dreams in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina. I had a few schools that were very interested in me, but I narrowed it down to Oklahoma State and Southeastern. I ended up choosing Southeastern because there were great athletes here to train with and the track program won an indoor and outdoor conference championship the previous year. I also liked Coach Brady’s faith in me as an athlete and young man, so that’s the reason I came here.


    TLR: What was it like being a freshman here?

    AY: I wasn’t a freshman here, but being a junior in a brand new environment definitely made me feel like one. It didn’t take too long to get accustomed to life here because I was a little more mature than when I was a freshman. 


    TLR: How have you changed from freshman year to senior year academically and in sports?

    AY: Academically, I have always been a strong student, but the biggest difference has been I’ve become more efficient with the way in which I study. Athletically, I’ve seen huge differences in my technique and physically. I have more body control now than I did as a freshman. The biggest difference is that I am more positive in competition and more confident in my abilities now.


    TLR: You have been named as the national championship for Division I in track and field. How does it feel to be the first person in Southeastern’s history to have this honor?

    AY: It is just an amazing accomplishment to win a national title, but to be the first national champion at your school is just icing on the cake. It’s awesome to know I helped establish Southeastern on the national level. 


    TLR: You have also been named a conference award winner many times. How was your first conference and how was your most recent one?

    AY: My first conference track meet was with the Big South Conference during my time at Gardner-Webb. That first meet, I knew I had enough skill to win the weight and shot put. I won the weight, but took second in the shot put. However, back then, I didn’t have faith in my shot put ability like now. The most recent conference track was much different than my first one. I was going into the most recent knowing that I was King of Hill. I knew that my teammates would pose a challenge and really make me work for wins. I’m glad they were there to push me and vice versa.


    TLR: What is a typical day like for you?

    AY: I wake up at 5:30 a.m., get ready and eat breakfast.

    I arrive at the Naquin Center around 6:15 a.m. to start the day at my internship site. There, I work with various sports teams throughout the day until about 3:30 p.m. each day. I go to practice at 11 a.m. every morning and usually won’t finish until about 1-1:30 p.m. I’ll grab lunch after practice and head back over to the Naquin to finish my training session with a weight training session. I usually finish with that by 2:30 p.m. Once I’m finished with training for the day I finish up at my internship. Right after my internship, I go to the nursing computer lab in which I complete work-study until about 5 p.m. After I finish work-study, I head over to the Dugas Center to get athletic treatment. I’m usually in there working on prehab until about 6 p.m. I head back to my apartment shortly after to eat a nice dinner that I’ve cooked and shower. I’ll complete a little homework if I have it or play video games depending on the day. I’ll engage in either activity until about 10 p.m. Once 10 p.m. hits, I’m in bed ready to sleep and rest for a new day. 


    TLR: How do you successfully balance life as a student and a successful athlete?

    AY: I think the biggest thing is time management. I’ve gotten better over the years in ways to utilize my time between the two. 


    TLR: Why did you decide to major in kinesiology?

    AY: I decided to major in kinesiology because I loved sports and wanted to know more about the body and how it worked. Kinesiology was the best way to help me learn more about the anatomy and functions of the human body. 


    TLR: What do you want your future to be like as far as a career and personal goals?

    AY: Hopefully, I’ll be still some active member of the sports world. Hopefully, it will be within the field of sports psychology. I just want to enjoy what I do. My personal goals involve throwing. I want to throw the hammer as far as I can, as long as I can. I hope to make the Olympics some day, but I’m definitely taking it one day at a time.


    TLR: How has your family influenced your success? Are they your support system and what values did they instill in you?

    AY: My family plays a big role in my success. I’m consistently motivated by trying to make them proud. I know my family enjoys my success more than I do and that’s one of the things that keeps me going. They instilled the values of hard work and dedication. I learned at a very young age, if you want something you have to work for it, because at the end of the day nobody else can do it for you.


    TLR: What is the best advice you have ever gotten?

    AY: The best advice I’ve gotten has been to believe. I have to believe in my abilities. I have to believe in God’s plan. I have to believe in coaches. Believing in these things has helped me to this point.


    TLR: Have you ever given someone else good advice?

    AY: The best advice I’ve given was to a friend that was very stressed out due to several circumstances. I told him to stay positive and continue to focus on one task to the next. That piece of advice really helped my friend out. That’s the most recent example of telling people to stay positive.


    TLR: Which video games do you like to play in your spare time?

    AY: My favorite game as of right now is Tom Clancy’s The Division. I just bought it last week. I also like another shooting game called Battlefield Hardline.  


    TLR: How often do you get a chance to fish or any other outdoor activities?

    AY: I don’t get to fish as much as I wish I could. I left my fishing poles with my friend in North Carolina, but I always forget to grab them on my way out of Nashville.


    TLR: What are the biggest differences between your life in Tennessee and Hammond? Are there similarities?

    AY: There aren’t many differences between life from Tennessee to Hammond. Tennessee has way more hills first and foremost. Hammond is a little hotter than home, but not much. Here I get a lot of freedom to my self. Back at home, I can’t do as much because it is a little too big and not washer or bike friendly. Both places have pretty good weather. 


    The Lion's Roar/ File Photo

    Senior kinesiology major Alexander Young leaps to victory after success at a recent competition. Besides becoming a recent national champion, Young has continually scored honors in first team All-Southland Conference since 2015. 

    The Lion's Roar/ File Photo

    Young, weight thrower for Track and Field, (right) proudly Lions Up beside Assistant Track and Field throwing Coach Amin Nikfar. Young recently became the first Lion to become a national champion for Division 1 as a weight thrower.


    Leave a Comment
    Donate to The Lion's Roar
    Our Goal

    Your donation will support The Lion's Roar student journalists at Southeastern Louisiana University.
    In addition, your contribution will allow us to cover our annual website hosting costs.
    No gift is too small.

    Donate to The Lion's Roar
    Our Goal

    Comments (0)

    Comments and other submissions are encouraged but are subject to The Lion's Roar Comments and Moderation Policy. All views expressed are those of the author and should not be interpreted as the views of The Lion's Roar, the administration, faculty, staff, or students of Southeastern Louisiana University.
    All The Lion's Roar Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

    Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *