Growing up in Dennery, Alva Henry probably could not have imagined being where he is now at the age of 18.
A freshman at Lincoln University of Missouri, he is following in the footsteps of Saint Lucian quarter-milers Maxime Charlemagne and Fabian Felix and distance runner Nessa Paul in Jefferson City. And he is hopeful of representing Saint Lucia in 2015 at the CARIFTA Games in St Kitts-Nevis.
Pursuing a degree in accounting, Henry is at Lincoln after having attended East NY Transit Tech High School in Brooklyn, New York. Before coming to the United States in 2005, he was a student at Aux Lyons Combined, where a certain Shawn Edward was one of his teachers.
Standing 6’1″ and weighing in at 158 lbs, Henry has improved considerably over the past two years, when he has been concentrating a lot more on track and field. He’s also begun to focus more on the 800m, which is where he is hoping to make major strides next season.
“It’s nice out here at Lincoln,” he says. “But training is really hard. It’s been great, though, makes me wonder what I’ve been doing all my life! I’m trying to break some national records and hopefully make the CARIFTA team next year. I know Marbeq [Edgar] has set some high standards, he has the medals to show for it. But I want to be part of it, and I really want to perform and represent my country.”
Henry, who competed against several young Saint Lucians on the New York high school track and field scene, has won medals at regional and national meets including the world-famous Penn Relays.
He visits home regularly, and in fact is hopeful of having a Lucian Christmas this year.
The teenager says he is anxious to talk with local athletics officials about his prospects for making the national team.