South Mountain Sprinter Alexis Center Achieves a First in her Family

This month, South Mountain sprinter and reigning state champion in the 100 meter dash, Alexis Center made it official that she will be achieving something that has not been done in her family.

Attend college.

She signed a letter of intent with Southern Methodist University on a full athletic scholarship to run track at the next level.

“I was very excited because I am a first generation in my family to go to college,” Center told Sports360AZ. “Since I started track I knew where I wanted to go and how far I wanted to go with track.

“I think it is going to a different state and being away from my family,” she joked. “Just a new environment and then just knowing that it’s an all girls team, so a lot more bonding.”

While running track at SMU, Center wants to study to become a physical therapist. She dealt with tendinitis in her hip and gained a passion for physical therapy while going through it herself to build strength in that hip.

In addition to being a star on the track herself, she is a big fan of the sport as well as she will tape international and collegiate meets on television to learn and refine her craft while watching the best. In particular, she keeps tabs on Jamaican gold medalist Shelly-Ann Frasier-Pryce. Center is pumped for the Rio Summer Olympic Games coming up this year.

“I have been watching the Olympics for a long time,” she explained. “Once I started track, that is when I started to really get into it.”

“Shelly-Anne Frasier-Pryce, she is one of the top sprinters because we kind of have the same mechanics,” added Center when asked who she pays the most attention to. “I like how she gets out and how she holds it down the whole track.”

Like Frasier-Pryce has defended a goal medal, Center looks to defend a state title as she is preparing for her senior year on the track for South Mountain.

“Just working on my off days,” stated Center. “No days off except like Sunday. And going out to practice every day with a positive mindset and ready to work hard.”

Track is not the only thing keeping Center busy this year. She is also involved in many extra curricular activities around campus including Student Government, Diversity Leadership Alliance and National Honor Society. Put all this together and Center is poised to flourish after high school.