Belgrade High School Track & Field senior, Alex Turner, has run track since the seventh grade.
“It promotes individualism and it really has encouraged me to do better as an athlete," Turner said.
In the spring of 2020 when Covid-19 caused the track & field season to be canceled, Turner took his love for the sport and put it towards his passion to serve others in the military.
“I have taken stuff from track to the army and that probably would have to be the camaraderie and the brotherhood I guess, and encouraging the people around me to do better.”
Shortly after joining the military, life took a turn for Turner. On the fifth day of basic training, he lost his mother, Stacey, to a long battle with Alzheimer's.
“I was in that mode of just being broke down and not built back up yet. To me, it was just pure shock, I didn’t know how to react.”
Turner has honored his mom by carrying on her legacy of helping others by being a determined, positive person on and off the track. He's a National Honor Society student, a member of Speech and Debate Club, a youth leader at his church, a soldier in the National Guard, and a top competitor for both the Panthers' track & field and soccer programs.
"He’s a good person," teammate and battle buddy, Malia Hardy said. “He’s pushed through a whole bunch of things and still is doing it with a smile on his face.”
“Not everyday at a track meet of not everyday in life is great, but you would never know by looking at him," boys track coach, Scott Palmer said. "He could have the best race of his life and he could have the worst race of his life and he’s still going to maintain that attitude.”
That attitude is inspired by his mom.
"She was always a really loving and caring person to the end. She still had Alzheimer's and she still had issues, but she still tried to love and care for people even though she was going through some really difficult things."
Though Turner has faced another obstacle this season after breaking his wrist and transitioning from his main event, hurdles, to the 800, the mile, and the four-by-four relay, he keeps moving forward no matter the situation.
"I've been doing some long distance training and I took first in our last meet at Great Falls, which really surprised me honestly," Turner laughed and said.
"We have a very limited time here in this life, so it's really important to me that I plan accordingly and efficiently so that I can be able to get things done and live a happy life."
The senior plans to compete in hurdles before the end of the season.