by Tyler Roaix
At any given track and field meet, it can be easy for one person to get lost with hundreds of athletes mingling about. One Central Connecticut runner who has made their presence known with his time on the track is senior Alex Norstrom.
Being a track star wasn’t always in the cards for the senior journalism major. In fact, he started running cross country in middle school as a way of staying in shape to play basketball, which was his favorite sport.
Running became his passion and his driving force behind coming to Central. He admitted that he didn’t think he was even good enough to come here.
“Probably my junior year of high school, I thought there was no way I could go to Central,” Norstrom said. “Like, I thought it was out of my talents, I guess, to come run here. But coming here was mainly because I really liked the program.”
Norstrom also admitted that being a student-athlete, he has had his fair share of challenges. The stress of having classes and being an athlete in a Division-I program was difficult for him to handle, so much so that it affected his running. However, he has grown accustomed to it over the past four years, and by now he knows how to balance school and athletics with ease.
Norstrom is coming off of his best season to date in the indoor season; he won the silver medal at the NEC Championships in the 5,000-meter and 3,000-meter runs. The senior would go on to win spots on the All-NEC Second Team for both races at the end of the season.
“It’s everything, really. I’ve had my struggles throughout my time here. Last winter I was hurt and was out all cross-country season. This season has just been really big for me, especially with confidence,” Norstrom said. “[I’ve been] running times that I’ve wanted to run and I’m feeling good. It’s just a tough sport sometimes, but when it’s going right, it’s the best. And that’s how I feel right now. I’m just building up until next year and it’s just going really well right now.”
Norstrom is already off to a hot start in the outdoor season. In the team’s first event, the Black and Gold Invitational, hosted by Bryant, Norstrom ran in just one race, the 5,000-meter run. Norstrom cruised to victory, winning by over 10 seconds in a field of 36 runners.
“Alex, all of his success is coming from the work he has put in, really since he has been here,” head coach Eric Blake said. “His volume of training is as high as anyone here. He’s willing to put in 15 miles a day, or more, to get the job done. I think he’s got a lot ahead of him, this season especially. As we move to outdoor, events become longer. And he gets better as the races get longer.”
But while Norstrom’s academic senior year comes to a close, he still has one more year of athletic eligibility. He hopes to use that year to continue to develop his running and build off the success he has established. However, he has not ruled out a future in journalism either.
“Right now, with me running good times, it’s opened my eyes to running after college. I love this sport. So if I can keep doing it, I’m going to keep doing it,” Norstrom said. “If I can join a sub-professional program or something like that, then I’m definitely going to go for it. Especially if I’m running the times next year. But I think professional journalism, too, can allow me to train and work. But I’m obviously going to pursue a career on top of running, but I think running will always be there for me.”