May 23, 2012
By Andrew Gilman | SoonerSports.com
AUSTIN, Texas -- Over the years, George Alex has to remind himself to slow down and be patient.
"An interesting paradox, for sure," he said. "Being patient is something I've gotten better at. You don't want to rush. It's delayed gratification."
Seems odd to be patient. Seems strange to want to slow down. After all, Alex has made a career with the OU track team by not going slow.
Yet, here he is heading into the regional championships, a spot at the national championship a real possibility, and Alex is talking about patience.
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"You learn to be mature," he said. "What you thought as a freshman is completely different as what you think as a senior."
Well, the thinking now is different for Alex, a senior from Phoenix, Ariz. He's the Big 12 champion this outdoor season in both the 5,000-meter and the 10,000-meter run, but he'll put all his energy into the 5,000, where he'll compete this weekend at the NCAA West Preliminary in Austin hoping to finish in the top 12 to make it to the NCAA Championship in Des Moines, Iowa.
"It's a good stepping stone to see where I'm at," Alex said.
He's never made the NCAA outdoor championships, but has an excellent record in his career. He was a Second Team All-American in the 3,000-meter run during the 2012 indoor season and won the conference indoor title in the 3,000 as well.
Up next: Well, Alex says he wants to see how much he's improved since his freshman season.
"I still have to be patient," he said. "But I think my running I.Q. has grown immensely. The big thing right now is momentum. It's important. There's no more workouts. We've done all the work."
That work has manifested itself into a great senior season for Alex. He broke the school record in the outdoor 5,000, running 13 minutes, 35.27 seconds and the indoor 3,000 (7:52.92). He also set the school record in the mile, running 3:58.76, as well as winning the Big 12 indoor title in the 3,000.
Yet, the one thing missing from his resume is a trip to the national championship.
"This could be my last one," he said. "I want to make the most out of it."