VanAlstine named Memorial Foundation Scholar Athlete

Will VanAlstine of O’Fallon has been named a Memorial Foundation Scholar Athlete of the Month for April.

A senior at O’Fallon High School, Will VanAlstine has a 3.6 GPA and participates in cross country and track. A 2019 MVP in cross country, he is a four-time state qualifier in cross country as well as a member of the all-conference and all-Metro teams for four years.  VanAlstine is a member of the National Honor Society, National Spanish Honor Society, Fellowship of Christian Athletes, Spanish Club Officer and Athletic Leadership Council. He was a volunteer track coach for Holy Trinity Middle School.  He plans to attend Xavier University where he was offered a position on the Cross Country and Track teams and received an academic merit scholarship.

The scholar athlete program, sponsored by Memorial Foundation in cooperation with Memorial Rehab and Sports Medicine and BJC Medical Group Orthopedics and Sports Medicine recognizes senior scholar athletes from a high school in Memorial’s primary and selected secondary service area. The monthly award winners from September 2018 through April 2019 will be eligible for one of two $1,500 scholarships to be awarded in May 2019.

Will VanAlstine signs to run for Xavier

VanAlstine surrounded by family and OTHS coaches.
(Submitted Photo)

Senior OTHS cross-country runner Will VanAlstine recently signed a letter of intent from  Xavier University, located in Cincinnati, to run cross country and track. 

VanAlstine said he was looking forward to running at his college home.

“I chose Xavier because of their strong academic and athletic programs. I look forward to being a Musketeer,” VanAlstine said.

Will VanAlstine keeps up the pace to run at State

Will VanAlstine

Senior Will VanAlstine has been the top runner for Boy’s Cross Country throughout the 2018 season, according to head coach Jon Burnett. 

Despite missing the spring track season due to an injury, VanAlstine healed, trained and returned this season with high goals for himself. 

“He has rehabbed that injury and trained this summer and has taken a lot of the guys with him, Burnett said. “That has helped the team to get to the point that it’s at right now.” 

Burnett said that VanAlstine has shown to be a good leader of the varsity team. 

“The guys of the team respect his ability and they try to emulate the things he does in practice,” Burnett said. 

While VanAlstine plans on running in college, Burnett said that he has not yet decided on a school to attend. 

“There are schools looking at him but he hasn’t decided yet.”

Burnett said he would call the Boy’s Cross Country team an “over achieving group.” 

“We started the season with a goal to try to qualify for the state meet,” he said. 

Burnett said that in order to qualify for state, the team would need to place in the top five at the sectional meet.

“We were hoping to be the fifth team when the season began and as the season progressed, things have gotten better and this past weekend – in stead of placing fifth – we placed first at the sectional meet,” he said. “The guys ended up being sectional champions. This team has one goal and they overshot that goal and created higher goals for themselves.” 

Burnet said he has “no idea” how the state meet will go this upcoming weekend, and described it as an “insane” kind of event. 

“You take the 25 best teams in the state – you fire the gun and just watch them all go.”

Burnett described the team as a mix of nervous, excited and confident. 

“They are confident that they can go up and do well but nervous. You have to do this all in one day,” he said. “They are excited because the goal of every runner in the state is to get to this meet and compete and they get the opportunity, which is exciting.”

Burnett said that VanAlstine sets high standards for himself. 

“He sets the bar for himself and he goes after that,” Burnett said. “Sometimes he sets goals and I have to pull him back a little bit into reality – but that’s kind of the way he is. He dreams of these huge goals and goes and chases them.”