At Outdoor Heps in Philadelphia two years ago, Dartmouth’s then-sophomore Alex Tanner had a breakthrough. Her winning time in the final of the 400-meter hurdles (59.04) was the fastest at the Championships in nine years and the fastest by any Ivy Leaguer in any meet in five.
What would she do for an encore in 2010? She told Austin Major of The Dartmouth recently that she had a “dismal season.” By the end of the year, she did run within a quarter-second of her winning time at Outdoor Heps, but this time it was good for only fourth place.
She told Major, “I had a rough time getting back into track last indoor season after my off-term — needless to say, I was kind of out of shape. When you’re used to doing well, not doing well becomes unacceptable. I told myself no matter how much it hurt, I would get back to where I needed to be before the year ended, and by mid-outdoor I had, and this year I’ve already improved even more.”
To say the least. The senior captain has already matched the school record in the 60-meter hurdles, which isn’t necessarily her specialty. More impressively, she recently ran a personal-best 56.14 in the 400-meter dash, which is second only to Sharay Hale of Columbia this winter. She also anchored the Big Green to a win in the 4×400-meter relay at the Dartmouth Relays as her success is spilling over to the underclassmen. Coach Sandy Ford-Centonze explained that that’s why she is the team’s captain. “She is someone that will push herself beyond her limits,” she said. “And will also push her teammates.”
The pushing continues this weekend at the Terrier Classic in Boston.