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Alexa Efraimson Turns Pro, Signs With Nike - DyeStat

Published by
DyeStat   on Aug 26 2014, 04:37 AM

Alexa Efraimson Turns Pro, Signs With Nike

By Doug Binder, DyeStat Editor

VIDEO INTERVIEW WITH ALEXA
 
CAMAS, Wash. -- Alexa Efraimson signed a contract to run professionally for Nike over the summer and it's a move that she hopes will accelerate her progress toward becoming an elite international track athlete.
 
Efraimson, 17, becomes the second high school female distance runner in two years to turn professional before graduating from high school and forgo collegiate eligibility. 
 
The reigning Nike Cross Nationals champion said choosing to turn pro instead of going through the college recruitment process was not an easy decision. But ultimately, it came down to the continuity of training with coach Mike Hickey and focusing on her individual development. Hickey has coached Efraimson since she was in the eighth grade and seen her through a string of successes that includes a World Youth Championships bronze medal, a Nike Cross Nationals title, and a U.S. high school record in the 1,600 meters.
 
“When you find the right method, and if it’s working, then it’s a good formula,” Efraimson said.


Like Mary Cain before her, Efraimson plans to graduate from high school and enroll in the college of her choosing in order to pursue a degree. She is not yet close to deciding where to continue her education, but one  possibility is that she would apply at Oregon State, the same school where her mother, Chantel, was a member of the swim team and a graduate.
 
Efraimson is represented by Flynn Sports Management.
 
By turning pro, Efraimson will no longer be eligible to compete for Camas High School. Instead, she will seek competitive opportunities that allow her to develop her racing skills while also being challenged.
 
She said she has no regrets about moving on from high school competition.
 
“I love BorderClash and NXN and all those invitationals, but I’ve had my opportunity to run those races and win those races and now it’s someone else’s turn,” Efraimson said.


The opportunity to turn professional arose late in the spring and the Efraimson family weighed the pros and cons of turning pro versus taking the typical route of accepting a college scholarship.
 
“The conversation came down to getting the right level of competition for her and creating continuity of where the success was coming from,” Alexa’s father, Dan Efraimson, said.
 
Hickey said there are no set-in-stone competition plans yet but that he that cross country will be part of the equation, either this fall or at the U.S. Cross Country Championships next February.
 
Efraimson said she did not expect her life as a Camas High senior to be drastically changed. She’ll have the same friends, live at home, and continue to train with the benefit of Nike facilities.
 
Hickey has consulted with Nike Oregon Project coach Alberto Salazar over several years and said that there could be situations where Efraimson joins Cain and other Nike athletes for workouts.
 
“He’s a friend of mine and he’s a great coach,” Hickey said of Salazar. "He’s always willing to talk and share ideas. I value Alberto’s friendship and mentorship.”

Hickey will coach a small group, including Efraimson, but it will not be connected to any other Nike groups.

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