Up to the challenge
La Plata graduate Devine signs to Mount St. Mar y’s for track and field
La Plata High School graduate Alex Devine, whose relentless rehabilitation from an ACL tear in his right knee is a story worth telling on it own, recently signed his letter of intent to join the NCAA Division I Mount St. Mary’s University track and field team.
“I was very excited to sign with Mount St. Mary’s and happy to see all the hard work I put into the practice and the gym finally begin to pay off,” said Devine, who officially signed on April 13. “I picked the Mount because I felt very welcome and at home there when I first stepped onto campus. I really liked the coaches and felt like they wanted to see me succeed just as bad as I wanted to succeed.”
Devine, who injured his ACL as a junior as a member of the varsity football team in the fall of 2014, was told that he wouldn’t be the same athlete as he was before the injury. Physicians said he’d always notice a difference in his knee.
Luckily, for the Warriors, Devine took that as a challenge.
“Yes, they said my knee would never really feel the same and it still doesn’t,” said Devine, who was forced to miss the track and field season as a junior. “I just gave all my effort into rehab and I was able to start practicing a little bit after four months of rehab. I enjoyed the challenge of getting stronger than before I blew out my knee.”
Devine, who did his rehab at Orthopedic and Sports Physical Therapy in White Plains, returned to competition as a senior and put together an impressive season, capturing a Class 2A state indoor title in the shot put and outdoor title in the discus.
At the state indoor meet at Prince George’s Sports and Learning Complex in Landover, Devine threw a postseason-best 51 feet 11 3/4 inches en route to his first-ever state crown. He also was the Southern Maryland Athletic Conference and 2A East Region champion in the event.
During the outdoor season, the 6-foot, 230-pound thrower solidified his status as the best in the 2A classification, throwing 161 feet even at Baltimore’s Morgan State University in May. He placed runner-up in the shot put with a throw of 52 feet 10 inches and was an All-SMAC first-team selection in both events.
At the Waldorf Track Classic at North Point High School in April, Devine broke La Plata’s school record that was set by Matt Dyson in 1989, throwing 56 feet 2 inches.
“Wining the state title in indoor season was the highlight of my track career because I threw multiple PRs in the state meet and it felt awesome to do that in the biggest meet of my season,” Devine said. “I was also very happy to win in outdoor, but I didn’t throw as well as I wanted to and had bigger throws in my warmups.”
With his high school career now over, Devine is looking forward to starting his college career.
“Some of my future goals are to hit 60 feet in shot put and 180 in discus,” said Devine, who said he may compete in the hammer/ weight throw also. “My main goal is to the NCAA championships [in Eugene, Ore.].”
Devine, who maintained a 3.5 GPA at La Plata, said he plans on majoring in math, but is undecided at the moment.
Devine’s throwing coaches Michael Sturman (La Plata) and Kenneth Mitchell (Wise High School in Prince George’s County) were very instrumental in his development through high school in preparation for the college level.
“Alex is one of the hardest working athletes that I’ve ever coached,” Sturman said. “He went through a lot of obstacles, but he blossomed and had the best footwork that I had ever seen. To get a full scholarship and be a state champion was special. He deserved it.”
Devine noted that he worked with Mitchell every Sunday during the season, and with Sturman during the week.
“Coach Mitchell really helped me increase the consistency with my throws and with the recruitment process,” Devine said. “Both coaches help me get in tip-top condition after the injury.”
He added, “I will miss being on the La Plata track team. We had the same group of throwers pretty much since freshman year.”
La Plata High School graduate Alex Devine officially signed his letter of intent to NCAA Division I’s Mount St. Mary’s University for track and field. Pictured, from left, are Devine’s father Patrick Devine, Devine’s brother Ryan Devine, Alex Devine, Devine’s mother Veronica Van Deusen and Devine’s stepfather Pete Van Deusen.