By Ryan Ding, Staff Reporter A crowd of cheering spectators erupts as freshman Alexia Tubbs rounds the final curve of the Collegeville High School track at a blistering pace. Ten seconds of intense sprinting later, Tubbs flies across the finish line. “I actually started (running) in third grade with Girls on the Run,” Tubbs said....
By Ryan Ding, Staff Reporter
A crowd of cheering spectators erupts as freshman Alexia Tubbs rounds the final curve of the Collegeville High School track at a blistering pace. Ten seconds of intense sprinting later, Tubbs flies across the finish line.
“I actually started (running) in third grade with Girls on the Run,” Tubbs said. “I stopped for several years, and I picked it up again (during) COVID because there was nothing else to do.”
Tubbs is an accomplished runner as the third fastest freshman in Pennsylvania. During the first meet of the season at the Collegeville High School Invitational, Tubbs ran 3000 meters in 11 minutes and six seconds. The performance shattered the 3000 meter season record — previously held by a senior — and earned second place on the all-time freshman records.
Tubbs’s success is the product of hard work and persistence. She trains six days a week, either running by herself or at school practices.
“Practice starts (at) three, so we get a quick overview, and then we go on a run around 3:30,” Tubbs said. “It normally takes about 45 (minutes) to an hour. I (also) often do shorter three to four mile runs on my own (during) the weekend.”
Tubbs also goes on runs with fellow freshman Laura Traineau, her running partner and longtime friend. The two began their partnership during the seventh-grade track season and have been running together ever since.
“It always helps when there’s someone who sticks by you even (on) the days you don’t want to run,” Tubbs said. “It really makes the runs a lot more enjoyable. And practice is more enjoyable when you have a great group of people to spend time with.”
Tubbs’s coach and the head coach of the program, Mark Carberry, attributes her success to the positive environment built up around her.
“Alexia is in a great position because she’s relatively new to the sport. And her ability now to create the ecosystem around her, to be successful, is still in the building blocks,” Carberry said. “So utilizing her teammates (gives her people) that she can train with that can either push her, motivate her or sometimes allow her to maybe take a step back and allow her body to recover.”
To promote a good atmosphere within the team, players host three pasta dinners over the course of the season. The families of the sprinters, distance runners and field event participants each organize one.
“Before every meet, we do a pasta dinner where most people bring pasta or some type of food or dessert,” Tubbs said. “And it’s great because everyone just sits down to eat, talk and have a great time.”
With the winter track season coming to a close, Tubbs hopes to perform well at the Meet of Champions on Feb. 19 and advance to the PIAA State Championship. She also aims to continue running during the spring season, where the 3000 meter event will be stretched up to a full two miles.
“(In track), we have winter and spring seasons. She (Tubbs) will be joining both, and in the winter season, she actually qualified for what’s called the Meet of Champions, which is the step below the state championship,” Carberry said. “However, there are some really talented kids (in) Pennsylvania. To reach the state championship would still mean another big step up, and we’re going to give it a go. She’ll have one more chance to (qualify) at the Meet of Champions, so we’ll see where the chips land.”
Ryan Ding can be reached at [email protected].
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