Perry, Addison Look to Continue Success at ACC Outdoors
April 17, 2014
RALEIGH, N.C. - As the NC State track and field team opens competition at the ACC Outdoor Championships in Chapel Hill, N.C., multi-event athletes Alexis Perry and Jonathan Addison will look to claim victory, adding to their stellar sophomore seasons.
The pair have almost mirrored each other this season, setting personal bests in multiple events and being named to both the All-ACC indoor team and All-ACC Academic team.
"A lot of my success has been built off of last year," Perry said. "I had a pretty successful freshman year, and a pretty successful summer, so I decided to take all of that and try to keep that going for this year."
Last month at the Raleigh Relays, Perry set a new school record in the outdoor long jump, 21'02.00" (6.45m). The jump also topped Perry's previous personal best set on March 1 at the ACC Indoor championships where she earned a bronze medal and All-ACC honors.
Perry's accomplishments at State have all come on a surgically repaired ACL, after injuring her knee as a former competitive cheerleader in high school. However, according to many doctors--and Perry-- the ligament is actually stronger after surgery.
"When I got back healthy was just a mental thing, because I'm actually stronger than I was before," she said. "You constantly think in the back of your mind that you don't want to hurt yourself again. You're kind of reserved at first, but when I let go of that everything just fell into place."
Addison, also primarily a jumper, set a personal best this season in the 100-meter dash at the Carolina Relays, setting a mark of 10.73 seconds. In addition, he was given All-ACC honors at the indoor championships, and a silver medal, for his personal best distance of 25'3.25' (7.70m).
An engineering student, Addison said many people doubted his ability to compete at the collegiate level and balance successful grades in an engineering program.
"To me it just proves to people who said I couldn't do it that I can handle them both," he said about being named to the All-Academic team. "My GPA was really good last semester and being able to balance them both is just speaking like I'm proving them wrong."
Perry said her parents instilled importance in being a student before an athlete has paid dividends towards her success on-and-off the track.
"Being named to the academic team again has been really great and just shows that it's really important to focus on your academics as well," she said.
Addison and Perry are both local products. Addison attended Enloe High School in Raleigh, while Perry, a native of Durham, is a Charles E. Jordan alum.
Although both athletes ended up choosing the Pack, their decision process was not so similar. Addison said he actually wanted to get way from the area, but decided to stay because of the attraction of athletics, cost and engineering.
"I wanted to go to an engineering program and NC State has a good program," Addison said. "For the cost, track and engineering it was probably just the best fit for me."
Perry said her relationship with assistant coach Chris Coleman weighed heavily in her decision to attend State. "I've known coach Coleman, our jump coach, for quite a long time," Perry said. "The first time I met him I knew I liked him as a coach and liked what he was doing."
Addison and Perry were quick to credit their parents preparing them early for success not only athletically but academically as well. Perry said both her mother and father ran track collegiately, and started to prepare her for track during middle school.
According to Addison, his dad encouraged him to run track during high school to prepare for football season where he played both wide receiver and cornerback. He attributes his success to seeing others flourish in track and field, which inspires him to reach greater heights.
"When I see people do great things it really inspires me to do better because hopefully one day I'll be able to do it myself," Addison said. "Seeing people high jump almost eight feet, long jump almost 28 feet is really fun to see and I always want to try to be like them."
Perry said she looked up to former Wolfpack track and field star Karimah Sheppard--whose record she broke at this year's Raleigh Relays--because she competed in long jump. However, Perry's instilled importance of family drives her towards her success as well.
"My family, especially my little sister, is a lot of the driving force behind what I do," Perry said. "I always want to make them proud and set a good example, and be a role model, for my younger sister."
Head coach Rollie Geiger said having two multi-event athletes on the team plays a big role in the team's success on-and-off the track.
"It's always good when you're a coach and you have an athlete when you can do multiple things," Geiger said. "They're both great students, they come from great families, they're committed to track and field, they're committed to this university and it doesn't get any better than those two."