April 2, 2013
For senior Becca Alexin, the last four years have been the culmination of a dream that began nearly 15 years ago when she first attended the Alabama Gymnastics Camp.
"I have pictures of me and David (Patterson) when I was seven years-old," Alexin said. "I started coming to camps here when I was seven years old, so Alabama has always been a dream of mine."
Coached by her parents, Donna and Gene Alexin, she also watched as two gymnasts also coached by her parents, All-American Lissy Smith and 1998 SEC Freshman of the Year Robin Hawkins, became Alabama legends, which just strengthened her desire to be a part of Crimson Tide's legacy.
Now, that seven-year old dreamer is a three-year Scholastic All-American who is enjoying her best season as a senior. A three-year mainstay of the Tide's uneven bars lineup, she has been rock-solid as the Tide's second gymnast up week-in and week-out.
"It's just been awesome," Alexin said. "I've come so far, not just from my freshman year, but even from last year. It's just been awesome to know that's been a consistent thing for me and to know that each day in the gym, everything that I've worked for has paid off."
As a member of two NCAA Championship squads and the 2011 Southeastern Conference championship team, Alexin says she couldn't even begin to list all of the great moments that have come her way over the years, but there are a few that have a special place in her heart.
"I have so many, that's such a hard question," Alexin said. "But I will say that one of my best memories is from the 2011 SEC Championships - just the feeling that we had when we knew that all the hard work had paid off. Of course both national championships carry so many great memories - that was an incredible feeling both times, but I would have to say probably that SECs in 2011 is the one that really makes me smile."
And while she loves her championship rings and standing behind the first-place banner at the national championships the last two years, what she is proudest of to this point in her career are the moments that led up to those titles.
"I'm probably most proud of my team and everything that we've been through together," Alexin said. "Just everything that we've gone through together and the team bonds that we've made over the years."
Set graduate with a bachelor's degree in health studies this May, Alexin will return to Memphis this summer and start working on another dream.
"I would like to dance," Alexin said. "We'll see how things go this summer, if my body will allow it. If my body will allow it, there's a dance studio in Memphis that I'll train with and then I'll compete at dance nationals in July. So we'll see how that goes and see if my body is able to handle it and we'll go from there."
Regardless of how the summer goes, Alexin is planning on moving to New York City next fall where she wants to dance in the theatre, but will be looking to work in the creative arts in some way.
But for the moment, Alexin and her fellow seniors Marissa Gutierrez, Ashley Priess and Ashley Sledge still have the rest of the championship season ahead of them and more work to be done, which is why Alexin isn't focused on endings just yet.
Even though she's not ready to be done just yet, she already knows what her time at the Capstone has meant to her.
"It's been everything I could have imagined and so much more," Alexin said. "It's been a lot of hard work and a lot of commitment. But for everything that I've worked for and for the opportunities that have been afforded to me to pay off like they have - I could never thank Sarah and David enough for this chance, for this career."