The RunDown

The RunDown

Sharifian Hangs Tough


If setback has taught junior Alex Sharifian anything, it’s that you can never count yourself out. Starting out the season, Sharifian struggled through a hip issue that he was fearful would hinder his progress. However, Sharifian isn’t a man you can keep down. Starting the season, he had some rougher races. He said, “I ran 2:13, part of me was scared to be in pain.”

Part of Sharifian’s Road to faster races was a change in mindset and strategy. “I walked around like the sport owed me something…like success was given,” said Sharifian. A big change occurred when Sharifian was taken off the relay team at the Bergen County Relays. “I knew I had to make a switch.” Sharifian raced the 800 of a different race and came back shaving two seconds off his PR. “The idea was just to push the third lap as hard as I could, then close faster,” explained Sharifian.

With a spot on the championship caliber 4×800 team, Sharifian realized the only way to get his success was to chase it relentlessly.

At Eastern states, the junior realized that would be 1 of 3 races left to prove he belongs. Alex Sharifian was able to clock a 2:04 and help bring the 4×800 a combined time of 8:10. Sharifian realized the factor he was missing all along was grit. “Getting out in front, keeping that for a second lap and then pushing the third is all I had to do.” From there, all he had to do is use a classic Sharifian kick to seal the deal.

To end off Sharifian’s 2024 indoor campaign, he raced back-to-back weekends. At the State Meet of Champions, the junior ran 2:05 and came back on March 10th to run another 2:05. Whilst not securing any more personal bests, Sharifian showed resilience and inspired athletes who face setbacks. He proved it’s not over unless you quit, and Sharifian never quit. “There’s more to come in the Spring…why not sub-2?”

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