When Alex Bellavance arrived at Cuyamaca in the fall of 2015, he was, in his own words, a “decent” cross country runner.
Fast forward to the spring of 2017, and Alex is competing at the USA Track & Field Indoor Championships.
How did he go so far, so fast?
After that first season running cross country for the Coyotes, coach Tim Seaman – who has competed in two Olympics as a race walker – asked if anyone on the team wanted to give walking a try.
On the first day of training, Alex remembers thinking, “Hey, maybe I have a shot at this.”
“After the workout, Coach Tim came over and asked me, ‘How would you like to make a U.S. team?’”
Alex quickly transitioned completely into race walking. As the community college system doesn’t currently offer race walking events, he has been a redshirt member of the track & field team – practicing with the squad, but competing in his own meets.
“It’s nice because I’m still part of the team,” says Alex. “The whole team is very supportive, and I go out to the meets to support them, too.”
The arrangement seems to be working out just fine. He’s competed at the USA Junior Outdoor Championships, a dual meet against Canada, the World Race Walking Team Championships in Rome, and last weekend’s Indoor Championships in Albuquerque.
“It was my first big competition as a senior-level athlete,” says Alex, who placed 5th in the 2 Mile Race Walk with a time of 14:01.73. “With the altitude, it was really difficult to breathe. I didn’t go as fast as I would have liked to, but I was thankful to be there.”
Alex plans to study business marketing at SDSU in the fall, while continuing to train with Coach Seaman.
“I’m working toward getting into the top three in the U.S.,” says Alex. “A big goal is the 2020 Olympic Trials. And then making the 2024 Olympic team.”