This week, The Lafayette sits down with record-setting middle distance track runner Alexa Kwapinski.
AJ Traub: Your relay team recorded the second-best time ever in Lafayette’s records for the distance medley. What went right for the team to achieve this feat?
Alexa Kwapinski: This year we’ve had a lot of good training and we’re all pretty confident in how fast we can race. Just [running] with three other people who…will run fast gives you motivation to do well in your leg. I was the first leg with three people following me, so I wanted to set them up well.
AT: You were already part of a relay team that held second place in the Lafayette [record] books, now you hold second and third. How have you sustained your success through years and with different teammates?
AK: We have a lot of girls on the team who I think could be on the relay and it would still be successful. It’s helpful to train with a large group where any of the people could be on the relay. We’ve done a lot of good training and consistently working hard. It sets you up with the opportunity to run fast. Just knowing it’s my senior year…I want to do the best I can and leave that mark for future teammates to reach.
AT: What will the team focus on to continue the season strong?
AK: At this point, we’ve already put in most of the training. Now we just have to believe in the workouts our coaches have given us and be confident that those workouts will help us continue to run fast and peak at the Patriot League meet.
AT: How does your role on the team as a senior differ from previous years?
AK: It doesn’t differ that much. Our coach tries to promote everyone being a leader on the team. We all work together to make our team successful.
AT: Do you have a personal or team motto?
AK: One of the team mottos that has been used over the years when we’re on the line for a big race, is “Money’s in the bank, and it’s time for a shopping spree.” Basically, the money is symbolizing all the training we’ve done and when you get to race day you run as hard as you can and use all the training you’ve been given to “go on a shopping spree.”
AT: What’s the best part of being on the track team?
AK: Probably just getting to train with my friends every day. Every day, you get a break from class and the stress of school, and you get to work hard in a different way.
AT: How did you first get into running?
AK: I was a soccer player in high school and I wanted to get in shape for soccer, so I ran track.
AT: What is your favorite track memory?
AK: Probably last year at the ECAC meet, I got to watch one of my teammates, Emily Moore, break the school record in the 5k. A few minutes later, my team broke the record in the 4×800 relay.
AT: Who is your favorite athlete?
AK: Jordan Hasay. She’s a long distance runner who was very successful in college, but after college she had her breakthrough and now is one of the best marathoners in the country.
AT: What is your favorite sports team?
AK: Right now, I have to say the Eagles. I’m a Philly sports fan, so I’m into all of the Philadelphia sports teams, but right now, the Eagles are my favorite.
AT: What is your favorite movie?
AK: I think my favorite movie is the Benchwarmers. My friends hate it, but I love the stupid humor. I know almost every line.
AT: What is one thing we don’t know about you?
AK: I really like fun socks. I have all kinds of socks, like Spongebob [socks], all kinds of food socks and a bunch of others.
Disclaimer: Amy Hewlett is the sports editor of The Lafayette and teammate of Kwapinski. Hewlett did not edit the content of this article.