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West Orange Times & Observer Thursday, Mar. 5, 2015 6 years ago

ATHLETE OF THE WEEK: Alvin Bryant

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by: Steven Ryzewski Senior Sports Editor

Junior track star Alvin Bryant is off to a fast start to the season this spring, taking home first-place honors at recent meets like it’s no one’s business. Bryant competes in the 4x100-meter relay, the 4x400-meter relay and individually in the 100-meter and 200-meter events. The Panther standout, who also plays slot receiver and running back for Dr. Phillips on the football field, took first place as an individual over the weekend at the competitive Lake Brantley Invite. 

Your name has been popping up quite a bit for first-place finishes these past few weeks. How have you felt on the track?

I feel like I’m doing all right. I feel like there’s a lot more pedestals I can climb as the season continues. But, as of right now, I’m at a good spot.

Which event do you like the best?

I honestly like the 200 (meters) best because it shows all-around athleticism — the way you get out (of the block) and the way you can hold your stamina in your system and burn it all out the last 100 meters.

What do you like about competing as a team member in the relay races?

The relays, I like begin depended on and showing what I can do for a team.

What do you like about competing as an individual?

I like showing what I can do when I am just racing for myself.

What do you need to improve on over the next few weeks?

Honestly, my block starts, I need to train a lot harder. Just put a little extra time in.

What’s the dynamic like when you’re running as an individual but trying to help the team win a meet?

Really, I’ve just got to go out and do what I’ve got to do. It puts a lot more on you knowing that your team is depending on your points.

How much downtime did you have between the end of football season, with the deep run into the playoffs the team made, and the beginning of training for track?

This year, I had about a week-and-a-half, and then I went right into track conditioning. 

How did you mentally handle the disappointment of the loss in the regional finals in football while getting yourself ready for track?

I just knew that I was going to be on relay teams, and I knew I had people depending on me to go out and do what I had to do, so I really couldn’t let it bother me. We’ve got another season this (fall) to give it our best shot.

What’s it like when your goal is to be the top runner in a very competitive state?

It keeps me going, knowing that I can’t stop because there is always going to be someone behind me and there is always going to be someone working probably as hard, or twice as hard, as me. So I’ve just got to work three times as hard.

So which sport do you prefer — track or football?

I can’t even tell you. My heart is ripped in half. So, really, if it comes down to a college offer (between the two sports), I’m going to have the toughest time, keeping me up all night, to figure out which one I’m going to go for.

What’s something about you a lot of people don’t know?

The only thing no one would suggest I do is I eat a lot of junk food. I eat a lot of junk food, and I drink a lot of Dr Pepper. It’s the worst habit I’ve ever had. 

Did you see blue and black or white and gold with the dress photo that went viral?

I saw white and gold (the day of) but this morning, I saw blue and black. It was really scary.

What are your favorite college and pro football teams?

College is USC because all my family is out in California, and I just grew up with the Trojans. And in the NFL, I’d say it was the Eagles, but only because of Michael Vick. I’ve grown up following Michael Vick — I always tried to play quarterback in (youth football) — I just loved him.

Who are some runners you look up to?

Mainly I watch Usain Bolt; he’s my inspiration. He’s the fastest in the world. I watch his videos and try to tweak a couple things and use his techniques. One of the track runners that I watch in college is Reginald (Reggie) Glover. He runs for Georgia and he came (to Dr. Phillips) — he’s been my older brother since I came here as a freshman and he took me under his wing.

As someone with a strong chance of going to college on a scholarship, what are you considering as a field of study?

It could change, but as of right now, I’m looking into engineering just because I’m good with my hands. I like taking apart things, putting them back together, fixing a lot of things.

What was it like to have won a state championship as a freshman?

It gave me the drive to just keep it going, because I knew the feeling and the feeling was nice.

Obviously you’re in the midst of track season, but what do you think is the outlook for the football team next fall?

In the fall, with the returning players … we look like we’re going to have one of the best shots in (Dr. Phillips) history at winning the state championship.

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