Since the day his father talked to the Minisink Valley High School track and field coach, Alec Faldermeyer has been paving his road to the Olympics, and his journey has been furthered through hard work, motivation and support from his family and coaches.
Sports have always been a major part of his life ““ his interests range from baseball to soccer, and even football. It wasn’t until his father, Alan Faldermeyer, encouraged him to try track and field that he found his sport. After trying discus throw and shot put, Alec Faldermeyer knew that the hammer throw was his calling.
The New Yorker had never been to California before his recruitment trip two years ago and was immediately drawn by the weather.
“I get real sick of having to train in the snow and freezing cold every year,” Faldermeyer said.
“I love being able to go out and train in shorts and a T-shirt any day of the week, not having to worry about rain or snow or cold weather,” he added.
Transitioning from the cold, humid New York weather to sunny California was an easy change. This transition was only made easier when his sister Andrea, a law student at UCLA, joined the team.
Like Alec, Andrea Faldermeyer competes in throwing but sibling rivalries have not gotten the best of them, at least when it comes to track and field.
“My sister and I are competitive in just about everything we do so we’re always trying to beat each other at something,” said Alec Faldermeyer regarding his bond with his sister.
“I would say throwing is one of the things we aren’t that competitive about actually. We both kind of focus on doing our own thing at practice, but just about everything is some kind of competition.”
Faldermeyer owes a major portion of his success to his father for encouraging him to be the best at everything he does.
“He brought me to every practice I ever had and pushes me 100 percent of the time to do the best that I can,” Faldermeyer said.
Men’s track and field coach Mike Maynard sees the product of his father’s dedication every day.
“As a young man, he was really driven and motivated to do the things that the mission statement for UCLA track and field states,” Maynard said. “He is such an easy athlete to work with because of his work ethic and his desire to be great.”
Pole vaulter Mike Woepse, a fellow sophomore and teammate, believes Faldermeyer has a major impact on the team. With his own success, Faldermeyer pushes and encourages his teammates to compete at their highest level and come home with a sense of accomplishment.
“He has always been there for the team and always exceeded the team’s expectations for him,” Woepse said.
Faldermeyer is currently ranked fourth in the NCAA for weight throw and remains undefeated. In just two weeks, he will be competing for the NCAA title in hopes of ending the indoor season with the same momentum that he started with.
At the end of it all, Faldermeyer’s dream job would be to follow in Maynard’s footsteps and one day become the UCLA coach for track and field.
For now, though, Faldermeyer is content to get out in the sun and show why he’s one of the top throwers in the nation.
The upcoming NCAA Indoor Championships will provide the burgeoning star with an opportunity to do just that.