Coming off the longest competitive cross country running season he’s ever had, this past indoor track season flew by for Fairfield Prep’s Christian Alvarado.
But the standout senior distance runner made sure it didn’t go by too fast, as he had some fun and made sure to leave his mark as one of the best to ever run in Connecticut.
“It was definitely a historic season,” Alvarado said. “Breaking meet records at the state and regional level and being compared to the names of those records before me definitely makes me feel special.”
Alvarado, who will attend Georgetown this fall, is the Register All-Area indoor track MVP. He had a remarkable final indoor campaign where he went unmatched in the 3,200 in Connecticut, was a force in the mile and assisted the Jesuits in the relays.
He finished the season with two state records along with a New England record and title. He ranks as the fourth best runner in the nation in the 2 mile and 3,200.
But what might be most impressive about Alvarado’s accomplishments is the simple fact he didn’t set out to achieve what he did.
“I like to think of indoor track as a transition season in between cross country and outdoor track,” he said matter-of-factly.
All Alvarado did was simply win. He claimed first in the 1,600 and 3,200 at the SCC championships, setting a meet record of 9:20.36 in the 3,200. At the Class LL championships, he led Prep to an eighth-place team finish and impressively snagged victories in the 1,600 and 3,200.
At the State Open, Alvarado placed second in the 1,600, but followed that up with a blistering first-place time of 9:07.63 in the 3,200 to set a state record.
“Going into the indoor season I wanted to focus on the mile because the mile has always been my favorite event,” Alvarado said. “It wasn’t until I broke the State Open record in the 3,200 and nearly broke my personal record when I decided to focus on the 2 mile instead.”
With his attention solely on the 2 mile, Alvarado had arguably his best race of his indoor career at the New England Championships in Boston on March 1.
In a competitive race with Darien’s Alex Ostberg, Alvarado used his speed to gain some distance near the end and turned on the jets on the final lap. He almost broke the 9-minute barrier, but crossed the finish line in a New England and state record time of 9:00.29.
“It’s extremely hard to define a moment as great as that,” Alvarado said. “As a nationally-ranked distance runner I am constantly looking at the future and thinking about what I can do better to run faster sometimes immediately after I finish a race. Once I take a little time to realize the magnitude of the accomplishment and where I was a month or a year prior, it really puts into perspective how far I’ve come.”
What was also special about the moment was Alvarado broke the Connecticut indoor 2 mile record of 9:08.7 set by E.O. Smith’s Pete Fitzsimmons in 1975.
Alvarado finished the indoor season at the New Balance Indoor Nationals in the 2 mile, placing in the Top 20
While Alvarado didn’t have any specific goals this indoor season, his senior season running plan has included leaving his name as of the one best in the state — a feat he’s more than accomplished.
“(The goal) this year was to leave to my mark as one of Connecticut’s all-time best distance runners,” Alvarado said. “Seeing my name twice on the Connecticut State indoor track records list is reassuring that I have done just that.”