BERLIN - Alexa Kavarsky never intended on having a passion for track and field. Originally, she joined the team to stay in shape for soccer season.
But as the Berlin standout started becoming more successful on the track, she shifted her focus. It led to a Division I scholarship from Sacred Heart University, where Kavarsky will be running starting this fall.
“When I had begun my [college] search I was being scouted by college coaches for soccer,” Kavarsky said. “But I found it very difficult to stand out due to my size. It was also difficult to please certain coaches since every coach has a different playing style. With track, either your times are good or not, there is no opinion involved.”
Kavarsky liked the fact the sport has more of an accountability factor than team sports. Success or failure, she said, is solely on the one participating.
“Track is more of an individual sport besides relays,” Kavarsky said. “I also like the environment of track meets and having many different types of talent such as jumpers, throwers, sprinters and distance runners, all competing at the same place.”
When Kavarsky initially toured Sacred Heart, it didn’t take her long to make her choice. Between the coaches, the atmosphere and the school itself, she instantly felt at home. It also didn’t hurt the Pioneers women's track team has been highly successful as of late. They just won their fourth straight NEC Outdoor Championship.
“It was like I belonged there,” Kavarsky said. “I look forward to joining a competitive atmosphere, where I hope to better myself and help this team continue to be successful.”
She certainly was for the Redcoats.
This past season, Kavarsky, along with the rest of her 4x100 relay team - Nikki Xiarhos, Maxine Muscatello and Noelle Konior - claimed the Class M title with a time of 49.59. Individually, Kavarsky placed fifth place during the 300 meter hurdles with a time of 48.02 and 24th during the 100 meter hurdles with a time of 17.94.
“I worked hard and improved a lot this season,” Kavarsky said. “But I would not have been able to do it without my coaches, workouts and putting all of my effort forward. I knew I wanted to improve and I was determined to do so. I ended up being all-conference in the 300 hurdles and 4x100 and All-State in the 4x100, which I truly never thought I would be able to do when I started my high school track career. It’s such a good feeling to realize all the hard work was worth it.”
While running in the NEC - against school such as Wagner, Bryant and CCSU - will be more of a challenge than in the CCC, Kavarsky believes she is ready for the next level of competition, specifically at a Division-I program.
“I have been training very hard throughout all my years of sports,” Kavarsky said. “Playing soccer and running track during the same season has definitely helped increase my athleticism and work on managing my time. The program will be tough, but I am motivated and ready to take on this challenge and put my best effort forward in order to achieve great things.”
Shelby Iava can be reached at (860) 801-5096 or firstname.lastname@example.org