Alex Prevost has steadily been developing for years behind former teammates Elias Tousley and Chris Bowie on the B-CC distance team. With the departure of their two stars, Prevost and a tight group of seniors have continued the legacy in a way that no one thought possible. Last fall, B-CC had a Cinderella cross country season which ended in a 1-point victory at the 3A State Championship. Prevost continued to contribute to B-CC's success by qualifying for the 800 and 1600 at the indoor state championship. He and his teammates again have their sites set on the state championship for one last hoorah.
MoCoRunning: Before we talk about track let me ask you about cross country. You guys beat Wilde Lake by 1 point to win the state championship. Looking back a bit, describe what that was like and what it took to get there.
Prevost: Winning states as a team is probably the best memory of my running career. That day was like a movie full of drama. Two minutes before the race started the official said, "Take off your sweats". I took off my sweater and saw I was in trouble. I realized that I didn't have my singlet under my shirt. I told the guys, "Uh Oh, I'm not wearing my jersey." Everybody was laughing because they thought I was joking. I started panicking, and sprinted back up that hill that lasts forever with Young chasing me and telling me to calm down, which, by the way, was not easy in that situation. I made it back on time, but I had never felt so exhausted before a race. I had to start out slower than usual but managed to get back in somewhat of a decent position. I thought we had lost because of my extra warm up (since it was a really close race). Then they finally announced that B-CC had won. I was one of the seven happiest men alive in the world!! We all jumped on top of James, it was just a great day! Makes me cry just thinking about it.
MoCoRunning: Looking back do you think starting slower on a course like that may have actually helped you?
Prevost: No, I don't think a slow start helped at all. I had run that course earlier in the season, and my time had been much faster. I felt I was in better shape at that point in the season and I was more rested for it. It's true that starting out slower on a course like Bull Run is the smart decision, but not like I did.
MoCoRunning: What kind of influence did Tousley and Bowie have on this year's squad?
Prevost: Bowie and Elias are for sure one of the big reasons why the team is where it is this year. Nobody at B-CC took running seriously until Elias and Bowie came along. The younger guys like Dylan, Dk, and I saw what we could accomplish and how to do it. We worked very hard to catch up to them. We are not there yet; we still have a lot work to do to get up to their level. The only thing is that the team is much prettier without Mr. Bowie on it. They are both great guys and I still call them for advice; Elias knows every thing there is to know about women.
MoCoRunning: What kind of training does your team do during XC and track?
Prevost: During Cross we do lots and lots of tempos and long intervals. The workouts were very intense because of the depth on the team and no matter how good you feel, there is always someone you haven't dropped that is pushing you. I remember one workout we did during XC was an 800m loop that had a 300m hill in the middle. DK drank this crazy energy shot right before the work out and was just running like a horse on steroids but after two repeats he crashed like I never seen someone crash before. Those were some good times. Track workouts are a little faster in shorter intervals. Sorry I don't really have a story about track.
MoCoRunning: What is your favorite season? Why?
Prevost: Outdoor is probably my favorite because there is always a lot of action and the events are shorter. Track is maybe a better fit for me because I am more speed oriented. I like the workouts for track better. The one thing that XC has over track is the team aspect that you get. There is nothing like some good old male bonding.
MoCoRunning: With so many different groups in outdoor what do you think is the best way to make the team bonding issue better?
Prevost: It's always hard at the beginning of the season because you don't train with certain people, but we are lucky to have a team with great leaders like Gil and Roger Kirk that have help us stay bonded, and it doesn't hurt to have Andrew Finkelstein who always make us laugh. I feel that the team does not have that much separation between groups. We support each other at practice and during meets, and everybody runs better when they know there's people there wanting them to succeed.
MoCoRunning: You have dropped a lot of time in the mile in the past year. What have you done to improve by 30 seconds?
Prevost: My coach always says that staying healthy is the most important part of the training. I owe most of my improvement to him. His coaching philosophy is simple, but he focuses mostly on keeping everyone running the whole year round. You can train as hard as you want, but if you get hurt, all that work is ruined. I think that every year I have gotten strong and improvement has come with it. I will also share my secret with the world of Mocorunning: "Shaving my legs." That is the true reason for my big drop in time.
MoCoRunning: Did Elias tell you that shaving your legs would bring about more women besides being able to run faster?
Prevost: No, that idea was all my idea. I was very surprised to learn that women don't really like the fact that your legs can look better then theirs. I will not mention any names, but I am convinced that many girls on the team are jealous of my smooth and silky legs.
MoCoRunning: What kind of miles did you put in over the summer?
Prevost: This summer I built up slowly to 60 miles a week; I was very happy about how the summer training went. Matt Dk talked me into going to the Concord Running Camp. I am so glad I decided to go. I learned so much from the great counselors who worked there. I had never trained with that many fast people at once. The hills out there, in West Virginia, will make you cry. I tried to talk to as many coaches and counselors as I could to learn as much as I could and then apply it to my racing and training. It's a great place to go to run some hard miles, so I highly recommended it.
MoCoRunning: As your high school career comes to a close what kind of personal and team goals do you have?
Prevost: The goal is to make it to states and run as fast as we can. I feel like we have a good shot at winning the 4x800m with guys like Walter and Kyle who have really stepped up. I will try my best to help my relay achieve it. I feel like the team this year is very strong, and we have a couple of guys who could be a surprise. I hope to run well enough to give myself a chance in the mile. It's going to be much more competitive than indoor with guys like; Graham Bazell, Nick Huang, Dylan Bernard, all the guys on my team and many more.
MoCoRunning: 4:30.78 is the automatic qualifier for states, can BCC get three guys in?
Prevost: Yes, we are definitely going to try to put our three guys in the State meet. We are probably going to work together during the race so our three guys make it to the next round.
MoCoRunning: You are choosing to attend ECU? How come?
Prevost: The first reason why I chose ECU was that I just love that purple uniform they race in. The second reason is that the team is very serious about building a strong program. They are in a very competitive conference, which I like a lot. I like the feel of a small college town, and the weather is nice. I liked the coach because his philology on running is very similar to Young's. I was not sure if I wanted to go to ECU or App State, and even though App State's breakfast burritos are great, I found myself fitting in better at ECU. I am so pumped about running Div. I next year. This has been a dream of mine since my freshmen year.
MoCoRunning: What about the academics? I thought that was the reason for college. What are you planning on studying in school?
Prevost: I was just kidding about the color, the actual first reason I chose ECU was because they have a great sports medicine program. I love sports, and I hope that once my running career is over, I can still work in the field of sports. I think later on, I want my specialty to be in running.
MoCoRunning: What kind of distance squad do they have at ECU and where do you see yourself fitting it?
Prevost: ECU was for a long time sprinting oriented, but the new coach is starting to balance the team out better. All the older distance guys at ECU are 6'2" or taller because the old coach did not recruit the shorter guys. The top guys are very good. They run some fast times, and when I was looking at colleges I knew I wanted people who were much faster than me on the team so I could push myself more. I think if I work hard this summer, I will be able to make it on the top seven for XC. I am excited to see how I handle the longer distances.
MoCoRunning: What do you like to do in your spare time?
Prevost: In my spare time I hang out with the guys from the team a lot. We play halo all the time and we have challenged the QO squad, but they are too scared. A lot of people don't know this, but I am the world record holder for most bananas peeled and eaten in a minute, I spend most of my time perfecting my technique. One day Andrew Palmer challenged me to a duel, but I crushed him and then laughed in is face, afterwards he curled up into the fetal position and cried for a good hour. I also work at RnJ in Bethesda, helping the sport stay alive one shoebox at a time.
MoCoRunning: What's your record for the bananas?
Prevost: 6 bananas in 1 min