Julien Alfred becomes first Longhorn to sweep USTFCCCA Track Athlete of the Year awards

Lindsey Plotkin, Senior Sports Reporter

Despite being the first Texas Longhorn in history to sweep the United States Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association Track Athlete of the Year awards, Julien Alfred is still not satisfied. Alfred is the first Texas athlete, male or female, track or field, to win both the indoor and outdoor Athlete of the Year awards in the same year, after securing the outdoor award on Sunday.

Alfred is an 11-time USTFCCCA All-American, two-time indoor NCAA champion, two-time outdoor NCAA champion and two-time indoor NCAA record holder. Alfred, who is currently training for the World Athletics Championships, is still hungry for more.

“Everything I’ve accomplished thus far, it shows my hard work,” Alfred said. “I think there’s a bigger goal to be a world champion.”

Alfred, also a Bowerman award finalist, said she wouldn’t have had the success she did without the help of her coaches. Led by head coach Edrick Floréal, also known as Coach Flo, Alfred helped Texas women’s track and field win its fifth outdoor national title. 

She said that on the team’s side, they barely faced any difficulties with winning the national championship. 

“We really have great chemistry, we have work ethic and I think everybody works hard,” Alfred said. “If one person decided to slack off, we all picked up for each other and we also believed in each other.”

However, Alfred faced a few struggles on her own with staying focused mentally, but turned to her coaches to help her stay positive and work through her mental block. Alfred hopes that the team continues its strong mentality and work ethic to lead themselves toward another national championship win. 

“We had such a great team this year, and I’m hoping that the athletes coming in can also just see how hard this year was,” Alfred said. “To get to that point and just never be comfortable with the feeling of knowing you already won championships because I mean, everybody wants to beat Texas now.”

For Alfred, being the first Longhorn to win both the indoor and outdoor track athlete of the year is not the entire legacy she wants to leave. 

“It means a lot, and I’m hoping it can encourage athletes here at Texas to do the same and show them that it is possible — not only at UT, but also at home,” Alfred said. “Whatever you put your mind to, you can achieve. Having good communication and trusting in your coach and in yourself goes a long way.”

Alfred, a St. Lucia native, wants to inspire young athletes like her to be able to achieve their goals. She said if she could tell her younger self anything, she would tell herself to keep working hard and not give up on her goals. 

“At that time, I was trying really hard to get into a new environment and just to be in Jamaica and at some point, I wanted to give up,” Alfred said. “I will tell my 14-year-old self that ‘It gets better and don’t give up on yourself now. It will take a lot of hard work, dedication and sacrifices to get to the point you’re at right now.’”

With all of her success in college, Alfred is just now getting her professional career started. She is currently training for the World Athletics Championships that begin Aug. 19 while working toward her goal of being the fastest woman in the world, with no plans to slow down any time soon.