EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA

March 3, 2013

Around the Horn with Haverhill track star Alex Mayhew

Michael Muldoon
mmuldoon@eagletribune.com

---- — Haverhill High senior Alex Mayhew is a record-breaking sprinter and a bit of a free spirit.

He broke the school 55-meter record last week by running 6.50 but thinks he can run faster. He even has his sights set this spring on a mark held by the great Andy Alsup. That won’t be easy but he already has speedy marks of 11.11 for 100 meters and 22.78 for 200 meters.

Mayhew’s other love is cheerleading. He says that might not place him in the “In” crowd, but if people don’t like it, that’s their problem.

In this week’s Around the Horn, Mayhew talked about sprinting, cheerleading and why Haverhill should end the user fees.

What did it mean to you to break a 23-year-old school record while placing second at All-States? “It means a whole bunch to me. That I worked hard at practice and achieved my goals.”

Did you think you had it in you? “Me and my coach (Mike Maguire) were talking about it. ‘What do want to do today?’ he said. I said, ‘I want to do something big and have fun.’ And I did.”

What’s it like in the blocks? “Adrenaline and nervousness. I think, ‘I can do this. I can do this.’ The start was my weakness. It’s not any more. I was second or third out of the blocks. It’s from training every day. Even at the meet, I was practicing with (sprint coach Fred Tarbox).”

Can you run faster? “I’ll be running at New Englands (yesterday). My goal is just try my best. We know what I’m capable of now. My goal is to break 6.50 and possibly low 6.40s.”

What did you learn from being ineligible last winter? “You can put it all into school like you put all into a race. I’m definitely a better student than I was.”

What are your goals for spring track? “To go to New Englands and Nationals again. To break the 200 and 100 meter records for our school (Joe Hicks, 11.04, 2010 and Andy Alsup, 22.18, 1996).”

How big are you? “5-7, 150.”

You were a cheerleader in football, how did you get into that? “I did it my sophomore year at Haverhill. My junior year I did East Celebrity Elite in Tewksbury. I didn’t do any cheerleading this fall.”

Did cheerleading subject you to any razzing? “It was a pretty rough experience. They do make fun of you. I got made fun of every single day. It doesn’t really bother me. You have to do what you like to do.”

How did you get into it? “I love to do flips. I tumbled in the backyard every day. I loved it.”

Why didn’t you do it this fall for Haverhill? “I really, really should have.”

Was it because you didn’t want to be made fun of? “They can make fun of me every day, I didn’t care. I wish I made time. I regret it.”

What’s your best tumbling move? “Roundoff handspring, double back flip.”

Do you play any other sports? “I played middle school football. Once I got to high school, I didn’t think it was me. I was really good in middle school.”

Are you looking at any schools? “I want to go to community college then transfer to a state college. Absolutely, I want to run track.”

Do you work? “I work at Ravensburger in Newton, N.H.”

What’s something people don’t know about you? “I’m afraid of heights.”

Are you from an athletic family? “My brother, Patrick Mayhew, is really fast. He ran at Hyde Park High in Boston. I moved to Haverhill in the sixth grade from Boston.”

What was that like? “It was a big change. I was mad and shocked. But I found new friends. It was better for me and my family.”

What’s your dream job? “Athletic trainer or coaching cheering or tumbling.”

What is your pet peeve? “When people chew like cows. It drives me insane.”

Do you have any pets? “A dog, a Chihuahua mixed with Pomeranian, named Avatar.”

What is the most embarrassing song you have in your iPod? “‘We Are Who We Are’ by Kesha.”

If you were named principal, what’s the first thing you’d do? “I’d make all sports free. I know some really, really good people and they can’t pay for it. It’s a shame. And make lunches free.”

ALEX’S FAVORITES

Group or singer: Kid Cudi

Song: Memories by David Guetta and Kid Cudi

App: Twitter

Actor or actress: Will Smith

Movie: Fast Five

TV show: I haven’t watched TV in months

Athlete: Sprinter Tyson Gay

Food: chicken and broccoli that my sister (Cecilia) makes

Car: 1995 Chevy Chevelle 425 hemi

Restaurant: China Buffet