MANHATTAN — Manhattan native Alexa Arthun shined as a junior for the Navy track and field team. Without going to the Naval Academy, she said she wouldn’t have grown into the person she is now.
“I’ve been challenged a lot and I feel like without me coming here, I would definitely not have grown half as much as I thought I would,” Arthun said.
The Naval Academy junior excelled at the Patriot League Outdoor Track and Field Championships that took place in late April. She took home first place in the 100-meter hurdles with a time of 14.24 seconds.
“It had just been building up, and training so hard in the fall and stuff just kind of all built up to that moment," said Arthun. "It was definitely super rewarding. I really tried my best to just soak it in.”
The buildup was dealing with the COVID-19 shutdown, training at home in Montana and overcoming a foot injury earlier in her career, just to name a few obstacles. However, training at home had its perks.
“I got accustomed to the elevation there and I was training pretty hard," she said. "When I came (back to the Naval Academy), would go out and run with the guys for longer-distance stuff and I would whoop their butts.”
Last year, she also trained with her brother, Oren, who is crushing it for the Manhattan Christian track and field team as a freshman. Alexa admitted he "kicked my butt" when they ran together.
“I’ve been bragging about him to my head coach here," she said. "I’m like, ‘Hey, guess who ran a 10:06 3,200-meter (run),' and he was like ‘Oh, no way.’ It was really exciting to see him do that.”
Alexa Arthun also took home first place with her teammates in the 4x100-meter relay. Their shared experiences in military training has brought them closer than normal college teammates would be.
“Shared misery kind of creates the strong bond sometimes. We own that,” said Arthun.
Now that her junior season is over, Arthun has a few goals for next year.
“I’d really like to be team captain and really just help the team -- drive it towards its full potential," she said. "Competing-wise, just keep getting better, see as good as I possibly can get. That’s kind of been my goal ever since I was little, just seeing how far I could push it.”
As for her career in the Navy or Marines, she would like to become a pilot, as that profession runs in her family.
“I really want to fly helicopters," Arthun said. "My immediate immediate family doesn’t fly helicopters and they kind of don’t want me to, so that’s maybe why I want to.”