BY JIM SCHILTZ
CLIFTON PARK – Alexandra Tudor competed in three events for the host school Plainsmen Friday at the Shenendehowa Invitational. Today she’ll play a bunch of basketball games with her I-90 Elite AAU basketball team at a tournament at Union College, and then rush off to get ready for her junior prom.
“I go from the track during the week and switch over to basketball on the weekends,” Tudor said of her spring mix of sports. “I’ve been doing this since seventh grade and I’m used to it. It’s just different mind sets.”
Tudor’s first focus of attention Friday was the 100-meter trials before she headed to the triple jump area just outside the oval at Steuerward Stadium. She’s new to the triple jump, but has a goal to beat the school record of 37 1/4. She’s already gone 36-9 3/4.
“She has that competitive mind set,” Shenendehowa girls’ jumping coach Emily Patrie said. “She constantly wants to improve herself. She’s that kind of a kid. She just keeps going and going.”
Tudor has other goals lined up for her junior track and field season.
“The Sectional team title is first,” the 17-year-old said. “I want to run a sub 48 for our 4×100 relay, and I want to win the long jump at the state meet.”
She came close as a sophomore, placing third in the New York State Public High School Athletic Association portion of the meet with a school-record effort of 18-10. In the meet’s Federation portion the next day, she went 18-9 3/4 and took second.
“If she jumps how she’s capable, and how I think she’s capable, it’s definitely in the cards,” Patrie said of Tudor’s state meet bid.
Tudor won long jump titles last spring at the Suburban Council and Section II Group 1 championships and was best at the area’s state meet qualifier.
“She has that fire you can’t really teach,” Patrie said. “Not only competing against other schools. It’s competing against herself.”
Tudor has made tremendous strides as a basketball player, going from a sophomore reserve on Shenendehowa ‘s state runner-up team to a junior starter and impact player when the Plainsmen reached the state semifinals. She averaged just under 16 points, and, earlier this week, was named to the all-state Class AA 11th team.
“It was a great season,” Tudor, the Section II tournament MVP, said. “Obviously I wanted it to go longer, but it was so great how we grew as a team.”
The new-look Plainsmen went 22-3 sparked by Tudor and fellow junior guard Cam Tooley, the team co-captains.
“We lost a ton of talent, but no one understood the underneath talent we had on the junior varsity,” Tudor said. :”I’m so proud of every girl on the team.”
Since the close of the basketball season, Tudor has received basketball offers from Long Island University-Brooklyn, Saint Francis University (Pa.) and Saint Francis College (Brooklyn). More are certain to come.
“I got to be a captain and be more of a leader,” Tudor said. “I think the college coaches wanted to see how I acted in that role.”
Reach Gazette Sportswriter Jim Schiltz at 395-3143, firstname.lastname@example.org or @jim_schiltz on Twitter.