Rider Goes The Distance, On, Off The Track

ST. MARYS — Senior Roughrider Alex Mielke is the kind of person who goes with the flow and he does not shy from hard work or from new experiences.

When his girlfriend’s family asked him to try his hand at water skiing on the lake behind their house, Mielke hopped right on. When his friends were all trying out for band, he picked up drumsticks and auditioned with them.

Mielke’s main focus as far as athletics is running. He is a member of both the track and cross country teams for Memorial High School.

“I run any distance, mostly the mile and the 800,” he said.

Running has been a social activity for Mielke since he was in seventh grade.

“I just mentioned it and tried it and never stopped,” Mielke said. “It makes me less stressed.”

Though he prefers to run with others, during the off-season Mielke has been instructed to run 40 miles a week.

“It’s not fun,” he said. “The hardest part is motivating myself. Once I get going, it’s easy. (I like) just seeing where I stand with other kids in our league and our state.”

Though trying out for band was a whim for Mielke, he found that he really likes playing percussion.

“I tried out in fifth grade, and they said I could do that,” Mielke said. “I like playing drums. I play the drumset at home every once in a while.”

Mielke plays for the symphonic and concert choirs, and is also in the all-brass band. He attended their recent trip to Florida.

“I liked the Blue Man Group the best,” Mielke said. “It’s like percussion, music and comedy all put together.”

He also participated in the solo and ensemble event that recently took place at Memorial High School, playing in an ensemble performance with other percussionists. Their song was “Millenium,” and they received a one — the highest score given out to performers.

“I was very surprised because we played it better (the previous Thursday) than we did on Saturday,” Mielke said.

As for looking toward the future, Mielke has a plan for college all worked out.

His first year, he will either attend Findlay or Lima’s OSU branch, and then transfer to the main campus in Columbus. Mielke plans to study physical therapy, although he is still unsure which career path this will lead him to.

“My mom was a physical therapist and she said I might like it,” he said. “I observed it for two weeks. I liked it because I’d be able to help others get back up on their feet after surgery.”

Though college will be unknown territory, Mielke said he is ready to be done with high school in the academic sense.

“I feel like (college) won’t be as bad because I’ll have more free time,” Mielke said. “And I’m paying for it, so I have to care.”