Alec Hornecker parlayed a second-place finish at 4A state cross country into a scholarship to Portland State University. Photo by Alan Versaw.
Alec Hornecker's Best Marks:
1600 Meters - 4:28.78 (at altitude)
3200 Meters - 9:45.00 (at altitude)
5K Cross Country - 15:15
Tell us first about the decision for Portland State. What pushed that school ahead of all the other possibilities on your plate?
Making the decision was one of the hardest things I've ever had to do. I had so many great options and there were so many amazing programs that made me feel like I was part of the family. The University of North Carolina at Greensboro was one of my top options. I will never forget the coaches and athletes from this program. Seattle University was also really high on my list, But Portland State was the school that I could tell was the perfect fit for me. I loved everything about it. The team, the coaches, the campus, the location, all had exactly what I was looking for.
What do you plan to study at Portland State?
I plan on studying Business.
You had a great cross country season last fall and, like a lot of other athletes, not many track meets yet this spring. How does it break out between the 1600 and 3200 for you? Are they both of equal importance to you, or do you prefer one over the other? And, do you have a preference between cross country and track?
Both the 1600 and 3200 are extremely important to me. However, the 3200 is a race that I definitely enjoy more. I always feel more comfortable during that race because it is much longer and feels more steady. I know I have a better chance at winning state in this race. Last year I considered myself more of a track guy but after my senior year cross country season my mind has changed. I thought I had no chance at a cross country state title at the beginning of my senior year but I quickly realized I had a shot at it. I love all these races though. Every time I step up to the line I give it my all and nothing less.
Winter is probably the toughest time in Colorado for distance runners to stay sharp. What was your winter training schedule like this year?
This winter I didn't get much running in. I struggled with a knee injury that Is finally behind me and now I am back on the track a have a couple good races under my belt. My coach, Jen Byrne, and I are working real hard to make sure I am prepared for state and I have some additional coaching from Dave Reece. With all this amazing help I feel so much more confident. Even though I missed a long and important offseason of training I am very excited about the next 5 weeks leading to state.
If you had to pick a single favorite highlight of your high school career to date, what would that be?
This year's state cross country meet was the highlight of my career. I was seeded 2nd going in but I knew that if I had the race of my life I might be able to win. I also knew that I could just as easily get 10th even if I ran a great race. I was so nervous going in with such a good field but I ran smart and got second, two seconds behind the leader Tanner Norman. I was the fourth fastest kid in the state that day behind Ben Butler, Paul Roberts, and Tanner Norman.
And what goals motivate you as you approach the end of your high school career?
I know that it will be really tough but I have a chance at winning state. I have a lot of work to do and I need to run really well, but I know I have a chance. I am also very inspired by my new coaches and I want to impress them before I jump into their program next year.