Captain and sprinter Marc-André Alexandre ’17 will lead the resurgent men’s track and field team as it gears up for a strong finish in the outdoor season, after the squad exceeded expectations in the indoor season.
Alexandre, a Montreal native, has been the Bulldogs’ top sprinter for almost the entirety of his four-year career. The holder of the school indoor 400-meter record as well as Yale’s second-fastest 100-meter time, the illustrious runner has already cemented his place in the program’s storied history as he enters his final season as a collegiate athlete.
During the past indoor season, Alexandre captained the team to a fourth-place finish at the Ivy League Indoor Heptagonal Championships, a feat not achieved by the men’s team since before 2009. Along the way, Alexandre earned first-team All-Ivy honors for the second time while running the second-fastest 400-meter time in the Ivy League all season. He also finished with two first-place individual finishes.
“Indoor Heps was huge — one of the best moments of my career,” Alexandre said. “For the first time since I’ve been here, I saw the team do really well at this event. I think that just seeing the confidence in my team and in myself translating into great things was one of the defining moments of my career.”
The Elis are three meets into the outdoor season, and Alexandre has already surpassed his win total from the indoor season, with two 4×100 relay victories and a win in the 100-meters at the Transatlantic Series last week. In that 100-meter dash, Alexandre ran a 10.58-second time, tying the second-fastest in Yale history, behind only teammate Vincent Vaughns ’20.
His accomplishments this season only add to his lengthy list of records and victories. In his sophomore season at the IC4A Championships, Alexandre set the school indoor 400-meter record by running a time of 46.83 seconds. That same year, he won the 400 meters at Heps, netting him his first All-Ivy honor, then did the same the next year and qualified for the NCAA East Preliminary Round.
Looking to the rest of the season, Alexandre said he wants to see the team try to improve upon its fourth-place finish at indoor Heps. He set his own personal goal at winning the 400-meters at the event.
“Heps is being held at Yale this year,” Alexandre said. “I really want to win the 400 meters and do well in front of my friends and family.”
Throughout his time at Yale, the captain has seen a large shift in the program and especially among the sprinters, he said. He credits part of this to having a more stable coaching staff after a period of transition during his freshman and sophomore years.
He singled out Assistant Coach George Evans as someone who made a large impact on his progress, helping him develop his speed. Alexandre also credits distance runner James Randon ’17, holder of multiple track records, and Denzell Jobson ’17, who walked on his sophomore year, as sources of inspiration.
In turn, Alexandre has, in the eyes of his coach and teammates, been an inspiration himself.
“Marc means a great deal to his teammates and the track program, not just because of his athletic achievements, but because he has led by example [and] always has a positive attitude and a genuine concern about the program achieving what we think it can,” Evans said. “He has been a pleasure to coach, obviously because he has been the class of the Ivy League in his events the past few years, but his sense of humor, quick wit and genuineness make the tedious practices and long season so enjoyable.”
Alexandre has also made an impact off of Yale’s campus. This past summer, he competed in the 400-meter finals at Canada’s Track and Field Championships and national Olympic Trials.
In a few months, Alexandre will hang up his spikes at Yale, and he remains unsure of whether he sees track as part of his future. He plans on potentially taking some time to travel and wants to focus on providing health care through humanitarian work either abroad or back in Montreal. For the time being, however, Alexandre will have the chance to close out his collegiate career in a strong fashion.
“Marc has been the unknown factor in a race and shown up big time, and he’s also come in as the heavy favorite and run unfazed,” Randon said. “Every time I watch him race, I’m excited. His passion and leadership were on full display at indoor Heps, and the team flourished. … He’s more soft spoken and will lead through his example, that of sheer determination for excellence.”