Up to the chal­lenge

La Plata grad­u­ate Devine signs to Mount St. Mar y’s for track and field

Maryland Independent - - Sports - By AJ MA­SON aj­ma­son@somd­news.com Twit­ter: @aj­ma­son301

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.”

SUBMITTED PHOTO

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.

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