Warren County High School graduate Andrew Alston of Virginia University of Lynchburg won the National Christian College Athletic Association National Championship in shot put during recent national indoor track and field competition.
The son of Andrew and Sharon Alston of Warrenton, he is a 2015 graduate of Warren County High School, where he placed second in regional and fourth in state competition in shot put and received a track scholarship to Virginia University of Lynchburg.
A Dean’s List student with a grade-point average more than 3.5, Alston is a junior majoring in business administration and was named Mr. VUL in the fall. A two-sport athlete, he has been on the football and track teams for the Dragons since his freshman year.
VUL head track coach Anthony Franklin described Alston as a great leader for his teammates and a natural fit for captain of the track team.
“He is grounded,” Franklin said. “When he talks, people listen. He leads by example.”
The Dragons face stiff competition throughout the season, facing teams from NCCAA Division 1, 2 and 3 colleges and universities. Alston has met those challenges head-on, finishing in the Top 10 in indoor and outdoor track at nationals in his freshman and sophomore years.
This year’s nationals, held Feb. 21 and 22 in Ohio, included 27 participants in the shot put event. Franklin described the competition as grueling with preliminary and semifinal rounds before the top nine athletes advanced to the finals.
Alston finished as a national champion and All American with a throw of 15 meters and 22 centimeters, just under 50 feet.
He described his success as a blessing from God.
“It meant a lot,” Alston said. “It was a blessing from God. I give God all the glory. Without Him, nothing would have been possible.”
Alston has joined the VUL record books as the university’s first athlete to qualify for nationals in track and its first national track champion.
Franklin described him as an outstanding student, athlete and person in general.
“He can get the job done,” the coach said. “He is a fine young man. In morals, he is at the top of the list.”
What else can you do after winning a national championship? Alston plans to work hard to continue to improve his skills in both track and football. There is still outdoor track competition to go this year, and then senior year in both sports.
“In track, (I want) to improve on technique, craft and ability, to give everything I’ve got in my last year in football and track,” he said.