While many runners would be content with winning league titles,
no matter where they are, Alex L’Heureux wasn’t.

The fifth-year senior transfer is in the middle of his first and
last season for the Michigan men’s cross country team. L’Heureux
left Lehigh University in Bethlehem, Penn., during his junior year
to run his last year of track and cross country for the
Wolverines.

L’Heureux moved from Canada his sophomore year of high school to
Palm Beach, Fla., with his family. During his two years of running
for Gardens High School, he won state titles in cross country, the
mile and the two-mile. L’Heureux wasn’t very familiar with the
colleges in the United States, and when Lehigh was the first to
recruit him, he signed.

While at Lehigh, he won the Patriot League Championship for the
indoor 800-meter, the mile, the outdoor steeplechase and was
runner-up in cross country in 2002.

L’Heureux couldn’t help but think that he could do more, but he
needed to go elsewhere.

“Once I got to running for them, I realized that this wasn’t the
place for me,” L’Heureux said. “I started to find out more about
college running, and I kept hearing about Michigan.”

He began to look at Arizona, North Carolina State and Michigan,
but his visit to Ann Arbor sealed the deal.

“Once I came and visited and I met (Michigan coach) Ron
(Warhurst) that was it,” L’Heureux said. “I had made my
decision.”

Convincing a coach to give a scholarship to a senior with one
year of eligibility left isn’t always easy, but exceptions were
made.

“It doesn’t usually work, but this has worked out pretty well,”
Warhurst said. “He had a desire to transfer for Architecture and
for running.”

L’Heureux left his lead runner role at Lehigh, and has become a
solid fourth man for the Wolverines. L’Heureux and senior captain
Nick Stanko have consistently rounded out the team’s scoring in the
fourth and fifth position, possibly the most important ones for the
Wolverines this year. Stanko sees the commitment in his fellow
senior.

“He thinks for the team. Everything he does, he does for the
team,” Stanko said. “It’s his last year and he wants to do a lot
for the team. He really respects Ron and listens to him.”

L’Heureux’s willingness to listen and learn has been a great
example for the younger members of the team.

L’Heureux has hopes of making the Canadian team in 2004 after
college, but for now, his sights are set squarely on the
Wolverines.

His move to Michigan has already paid off with dramatic
improvement in his running times, but a top-five finish for the
team at nationals in November would surely be a reward in
itself.

 

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