“The moral question was larger than the possibility of a win. How would I feel had I won by playing dirty? What is a victory if it is obtained unfairly? My experience with educational athletics has trained me to see that, even in a high stakes situation in which triumph is just within reach, a win is never worth compromising my values.”
She might not be one in million but she’s certainly one of 1,600. Pioneer High School student Alexa Easter runs with elite company as an athlete, as a student and as a young woman ready to face her next big challenge the same way she has overcome all the previous ones put in front of her.
The senior recently was named one of 13 student-athletes from a Class A member school to receive scholarships through the MHSAA/Farm Bureau Insurance Scholar-Athlete Award program.
Yes, one of 13 – elite company, indeed.
The above quote was part of Easter’s essay that is part of the requirements for earning a MHSAA/Farm Bureau Insurance Scholar-Athlete scholarship. Her values are important to her and winning isn’t winning if you have to sacrifice what you hold near and dear to your heart.
And Easter has done plenty of winning since she walked on the campus at Pioneer High School. Earning such a prestigious award as she turns the corner and heads down the home stretch of her high school career was “amazing.”
“This year there were over 1,600 applicants, so I was humbled to be selected,” she said.
The topics she choose to write about help define who Easter is and what makes her so special.
“I wrote one of my essays about subbing in for a talented senior for the final relay in the state meet when I was a sophomore,” she said. “The result of that race was to determine whether or not my track team won the state championship. I was nervous! We did what we came to do and all ran our best times individually, but my favorite part was my whole team celebrating our State Championship win together.”
Her second essay was about how writing, performing, and memorizing her TEDx talk helped prepare her for life after high school.
“I wrote my talk about how art helped me heal after I experienced a big loss, and how others can use art to help themselves,” she said. “I had a lot of fun writing it and I met some incredible friends in the process. The autonomy and self-paced work necessary for success taught me about myself as a worker and creative force. I learned how to take criticism on something important to me that I had never done before.”
The final prompt asked about the importance of sportsmanship is in educational athletics. She decided to write about the time when another runner hit her with her baton during a race at the MHSAA State Meet.
“The official couldn’t see the part of the track where we were, so it went unnoticed,” she said. “With no ref there, I could have hit her back without getting disqualified, but I chose not to, because I knew my coaches and the younger girls were watching me, even if the refs weren’t. Had I retaliated against the girl who hit me, it would have felt like a loss to my teammates, my coaches and me – no matter the numbers on the scoreboard.”
Easter ran three seasons of varsity cross country and will run her fourth of track & field this spring. She earned all-state honors in track and helped her team to the Lower Peninsula Division 1 championship in 2017. She also earned All-State academic honors.
“My seasons with cross country have brought meaning and joy to my high school experience,” she said. “Cross country camp this past summer was undoubtedly a highlight. On one of the first days we raced in Benzie, and we visited an alpaca farm on the car ride back to the campsite. I got faster almost every race at the end of the season, which was a wonderful note to end on.”
Easter was a cross country co-captain this past fall during her senior season.
“This year’s team is a group of women I look up to, both on and off the track,” she said. “We love to motivate one another in workouts and offer support when one of us is having a tough day. I cannot speak highly enough of them—they inspire me. Some days when I walk into the locker room I am exhausted, but my teammates give me the energy I need to run for miles. And they know how to make me laugh.”
Easter will most likely run the 200 and 400 meter dashes this spring for the track and field team – among other events.
“One of my goals for this season is to help create a team atmosphere that is as warm as it is hard-working,” she said. “I want to end the season faster than I start it and support my teammates in achieving their goals.”
Easter, the daughter of Kim Easter and Will Osler, also is an excellent student who carries a 4.0 grade-point average down the home stretch.
She participated in her third year of National Honor Society and fourth of student council, serving the latter as part of the philanthropy committee. She served as Link Crew leader and participated in multiple volunteer projects. She also co-founded PiHi Engineering Club and served as board member and director of community outreach for WSTEM Club.
She also earned National Certificate of Distinction from National Center for Women & Information Technology and received bronze medal in national French contest.
Yes, Easter has been quite busy the last four years. And that schedule helped her land in an Ivy League school.
Easter will be attending the Barnard College, the women’s college within Columbia University in New York City.
“I haven’t decided my major but I plan on pursuing club running,” she said. “I have always wanted to run through New York City’s parks.”
Each of the scholarship recipients of the MHSAA/Farm Bureau Insurance Scholar-Athlete Award program will be honored at a halftime ceremony during the Class C Boys Basketball Final, March 16, at the Breslin Student Events Center in East Lansing. Commemorative medallions will be given to the finalists in recognition of their accomplishments.