Middle-distance standout, Alex Kay, recently committed to pursue his academic and athletic careers at the University of Tennessee following graduation.
The Ocala Vanguard senior, took four official visits; with the University of Tennessee, Coach Sullivan, and Coach Foster sealing the deal.
A Team-First Atmosphere
"I knew Tennessee was the school for me because of more than just the tremendous facilities, resources, and opportunities, but rather the family atmosphere amongst the entire coaching staff and the relationships I built with the guys on the team," Kay said.
Kay has been a leader on the Vanguard team dating back to his freshman year in 2015. Year by year, Kay has improved in his performances on the track.
In his 2018 season, the Tennessee commit battled it out on the track to earn a third place finish in the 3A 800m state finals, running a time of 1:53.90. He holds PR's of 1:52.24 for the 800m, 4:24.01 for the 1600m, and 49.69 for the 400m.
A Program That Encourages Growth and Greatness
As primarily an 800m athlete, Kay was looking for a program where investing in a team atmosphere is the first priority -- he desired a school with high expectations that would set him up for success and push him towards greatness.
Kay will join a decorated program led by Coach Beth Alford-Sullivan who has claimed seven NCAA Championships, 15 SEC championships, 51 SEC medals and 94 All-American honors during her seasons at Tennessee.
"Tennessee truly felt like home from day one," Kay said.
Communities Turn Dreams Into Realities
Kay accredits the community around him for the success and opportunities he has been able to achieve -- the childhood dreams that have become realities.
"Continually thank the people who have helped you get to where you are because no one can do it alone," Kay said.
Under Coach James Travieso, Kay will finish out his last year at Vanguard as one of the top runners in the state for the 800m. He is a strong contender for the 3A state title and his team -- the Vanguard community -- will support him every step of the way.
"You have to remember what it took to get to this point," said Kay. " Remember all the hard work, the injuries and bad races you had to overcome, the success that you've had, because your past should be the biggest motivator for your future."