Athlete Spotlight: Alex Ehrenthal ‘19 - Concord-Carlisle (MA) Track & Soccer
By Blaise Siefer for Mass Prep Stars
CONCORD, Mass - For his entire life, Alex Ehrenthal '19 had called soccer his number one sport. Playing for the prestigious club FC Boston Bolts in both the fall and spring, Alex had only decided to run indoor track in high school to keep himself in shape for soccer. That all suddenly changed when he began to be recognized as one of the best sophomore milers in the state.
Since he was eight years old, Alex had played for soccer club FC Boston Bolts. Alex had always had an affinity for soccer, and considered it to be his favorite sport the entirety of his adolescent years.
“Soccer was always been my favorite sport,” explained Alex. “It had been a passion since a young age and I was able to continue my love for the sport at the Bolts.”
Alex played on the Academy, or “top” team, where he competed against some of the best teams in the nation, including the some Major League Soccer (MLS) youth teams.
In order to stay in shape during the offseason, Alex signed up and began to run indoor track his freshman year for Concord-Carlisle Regional High School. He was not able to compete in cross country or outdoor track and field, however, as both interfered with his busy soccer schedule.
With freshman year indoor track being his first experience running competitively, Alex was not sure what race he wanted to run. That year, he ran both the 1k and the 1-mile, where he hit personal records at 2:48 and 5:01, respectively. Although Alex never won a race his freshman year, he began to receive praise and recognition from his coach, Mary McCabe.
“As a freshman, Alex was very good at moving up through the crowd,” McCabe explained. “A lot of times new runners sprint to front and die, but he would sit in back and move up lap after lap. Just the way he was racing was really impressive for a freshman.”
Alex also was making an impression on his coaches and his teammates in a different category.
“Alex is also an important runner to the team because of the camaraderie he has with the other runners," McCabe added. "The good-natured personality he brings with him makes him special."
Alex comes from a family of runners. His father, Dave, ran track at Bates College. His sister, Margot Ehrenthal ‘17, is also an elite runner at CCHS, and is committed to run track at the University of Virginia.
“My family never wanted to put pressure on me to run track”, explained Alex. “But when I began to run, they were very happy.”
After his freshman season, Alex still didn’t think that track was something he wanted to pursue. Although he had good times for a freshman, he remained humble and stayed focused on soccer.
Entering his sophomore year, Alex decided to participate in indoor track again. Still playing central midfield for Boston Bolts, he decided to run to stay in shape, just as he had done the year before.
When Alex first began indoor track his sophomore year, he still didn’t know what race he fit in with. However, in his first mile race, he clocked in at 4:46, a notable fifteen seconds shaved off from his previous personal record from freshman year.
“My initial thoughts after the race were that I should begin to focus on the mile,” said Alex, with a laugh.
McCabe was also happy with Alex’s time.
“I am always pleased when someone starts the season with a [personal record]. Given all of the time that Alex had devoted to soccer I wasn't entirely sure what to expect in his first sophomore meet. A 15 second PR is a great start to any season!”
After that first race, Alex began to primarily run the mile. He ran it three more times that year, and improved by at least three seconds in each race.
By this time, Alex was receiving a lot of attention. At the end of January 2017, he was invited to the MSTCA Coaches Invitational.
“It was an honor to be invited,” said Alex. “I was nervous but also excited to run at such a prestigious meet.”
Alex didn’t let his nerves get to him, and he ran a 4:35 mile. He had improved by a staggering seven seconds from his last meet. “It was super unexpected and exciting,” he said.
Alex’s final indoor track meet of the year was the 2017 MIAA Division 3 State Championships. He was seeded fourth out of twenty-one kids for the mile.
“When the race first started, I remember sticking towards the front of the pack, and I had no intention on looking back,” said Alex. He ended up finishing in second place, where he clocked in at 4:32, yet another personal record.
Alex also ran the 4x800 meter relay at the meet. With three other talented members of the team, they finished at 8:36, which gave the team some very crucial points, helping them finish in second place for the meet.
With his second place mile finish at the divisional meet, Alex qualified for the MIAA All-State meet, which would be held a few weeks later on February 26. However, Alex had a conflict with soccer, which was becoming a theme in his life.
Alex, pictured with trophy, after helping the CCHS Boys Indoor track team finish second at the MIAA Division 3 State Championships. Credit - Scott Matthews
“Over February break, I had a trip to Spain with the Boston Bolts. I was upset that I couldn’t make the meet because it was very selective and it would’ve meant a lot to run in it,” he noted.
After his soccer trip, Alex attended the annual indoor track banquet, where he received a DCL All-Star award.
“The Dual County League (DCL) coaches vote for the All-Star awards," said McCabe. "It is always a distinct compliment when coaches from opposing teams recognize your achievements! It was a well deserved honor.”
Alex began his spring soccer season in March with the Bolts, but missed running and his track teammates day by day.
“My sophomore indoor track season began to truly spark an interest in running for me," Alex said. "I had so much fun with the team and I really missed running during the soccer season.”
This prompted Alex to begin rethinking his priorities. He had always loved soccer, but track began to grow on him.
On Monday, March 27, the last day of outdoor track signups, Alex made a decision that frankly no one was expecting. Alex had decided to quit soccer to pursue track.
He first notified Coach McCabe, of his sudden decision. When she first received the note, she wasn’t too quick to accept it.
“I told him to make sure the decision was the right decision,” she said. “I didn’t want it to be because he was tired or having a bad day.”
Alex stuck with his decision. He had made the signups just in time, and began running for the outdoor track and field team. “I was really excited,” laughed McCabe. Not only would this be Alex’s first time racing on an outdoor track, but it would also be the first time since age six that he would not be playing spring soccer.
Not only did McCabe express excitement for what the team can accomplish this spring season with Alex, yet she also expressed her excitement for the next year.
“On the boys side, we have a very young team and a very big distance squad,” she said. “If everyone stays healthy and continues to do the work, I think we'll see some interesting things next year.”
2017 Season Update: Unsurprisingly, Alex has already run well this season. On April 29th, he set a personal record for the 1600 meter race during the 4x1600 meter relay, clocking in at 4:29. This was the best time on his team, and he helped them finish second out of seventeen for the relay.
In the Route 228 Freshman and Sophomore Invitational on April 8th, where Alex ran a 4:38 mile and won the race.
The Dual County Meet vs. A-B, where he clocked in at 2:03 for the 800 meter, finishing in 3rd.
The Weston Twilight Invitational, where he ran a 4:29 mile, finishing in 9th out of 36.
The DCL Championships this past Wednesday, where he ran a 4:34 mile in 90 degree weather, still finishing 3rd out of about 30 in a very competitive race.
Keep updated on Alex's times on Athletic.net
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