Rising St Lucian sprint star Naomi London reveals how Julien Alfred factored in her decision to attend University of Texas

By November 13, 2023

In a monumental decision for her burgeoning athletic and academic career, 16-year-old sprint sensation Naomi London, a two-time Carifta Games silver medalist, has disclosed the compelling reasons behind her choice to attend the University of Texas in Austin next fall.

London, who clinched silver in both the 100m and 200m at the 2023 Carifta Games in the Bahamas, expresses her eagerness to follow in the footsteps of NCAA triple gold medalist Julien Alfred, drawing inspiration from the Commonwealth Games silver medalist and World Championships finalists’ success.

"The main reason why I was committed to Texas was because of the environment and Julien. I was inspired to, and I think that I'll be very comfortable and safe up there. The environment was just what I need," London shared in an exclusive interview with Sportsmax.TV.

Amidst other offers, Texas stood out as the ideal fit for the talented sprinter. "I did get other offers, but I declined them. So I was just mainly focused on Texas. The athletes are very fun to be around. It makes me want to push more because they're very supportive, and I came from a club that always wants to see you grow up. So having a mimic of that in Texas makes me feel at home, and the coach as well, in that he only wants the best for you."

Expressing her desire for a challenging yet supportive environment, London emphasizes the importance of pushing herself to the limits. "I want somebody to push me to my limits, and I think that's the best and right option that I should go for right now."

 

When questioned about her academic aspirations, London mentions she's still exploring options. "I have not decided what I'm going to study, but I'm working on ideas into what course I want to take."

London's commitment to Texas, however, extends beyond education, as she is driven by the ambition to become an Olympian and a World Champion. "I'm actually looking forward to being an Olympian and a World Champion as well. It's not only about the education. I mean, it is about the education, but there's a balance."

In her final season as a Longhorn, Alfred had one of the best NCAA Division 1 championships ever. She won the 100m, 200m and 4x100m relay which prompted her coach Eldrick Floreal to characterize her as the greatest sprinter in NCAA history.

Alfred's success at Texas has left an indelible mark on young St. Lucian sprinters, including London, and played a significant part in the teen’s decision to become a Longhorn. "It has influenced us a lot, especially me very much because Julien is a hard-looking individual that I really admire, which makes me want to push,” London said.

“She is the kindest person you could ever meet. I swear she's the kindest person you could ever meet if you actually meet her. She is dedicated. She is down to her work. She goes and gets what she wants."

With her own history in tow having been the first St Lucian to win a sprint medal at the Carifta Games, and inspired by her rising star compatriot in Alfred, London looks set to create her own legacy at the University of Texas and beyond.

“Having that and having seen that (Alfred’s success), just makes you want to look at, you know, do I actually want to do I really want to go through what she's gone through? Everybody has a different path.

“So it's not like I'm going to go through the same thing as her, but I know that there's something different out there for me. She has influenced me very much and I really appreciate that. I mean, I love Julian. We all do. She's been remarkable and watching her success over the years has inspired a lot of people.”

 

Leighton Levy

Leighton Levy is a journalist with 28 years’ experience covering crime, entertainment, and sports. He joined the staff at SportsMax.TV as a content editor two years ago and is enjoying the experience of developing sports content and new ideas. At SportsMax.tv he is pursuing his true passion - sports.

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