Beverly Hills High School's Alex Rohani was a junior when he at the CIF State Championships track and field meet in June. He finished with a time of 47.34, a new school record that earned him All-State and All-American honors.
Then in July, Rohani—whose parents are Iranian natives—ran for Iran's national team in the world junior track championships (19 and under) in Spain. Next year, he plans to compete in the Asian senior track championships in South Korea.
Rohani is ranked No. 32 in the United States in the boys 400m going into his senior year. He is the first Norman track and field state champion, and just the second state champion in the school's history.
So how does this star athlete plan to defend his title as a senior? Patch caught up with Rohani to find out.
Beverly Hills Patch: What do you like the most about track?
Alex Rohani: I like the feeling I get right after I win a race. In track, you win by these little margins, like two-tenths of a second. The difference between me and the guy who lost to me at state is a tenth of a second. It's really emotional. The daily trainings aren't very fun, but I always look forward to the race.
Patch: Have you started thinking about how you'll defend your title next year?
Rohani: The trainings will be more intense, the workout times will have to be faster. Apart from that, I'm not sure. I haven't talked to my coach much lately because I've been on break for three weeks.
Patch: What does "on break" mean for a track athlete?
Rohani: When I'm on break, I don't do any intense physical activity. No stretching. I just let my body rest.
Patch: Are you the type of athlete who can follow that rule or, as a runner, do you always feel the itch to get active?
Rohani: I like the break because we train the whole year basically. Training becomes tiring and my times get worse towards the end, so my break helps me get mentally ready again and get excited.
Patch: What are some other ways you prepare for your runs?
Rohani: I have a masseur and a physical therapist. Last year I had a back injury and I'd go to the physical therapist to strengthen my core and back area. I'd go to my masseur after every race to get my muscles loose.
Patch: You're about to enter your senior year of high school and you must have a lot of parents and friends asking about your college plans. Have you thought about where you would like to go to college yet?
Rohani: I've thought about it, but I haven't prioritized which college yet. I don't want to decide on a school and back out of it. I'll wait until I get the most college offers possible and then decide from there.
Patch: Do you have any idea of what kind of career you'd like to pursue after college?
Rohani: Yes. The dilemma I have between choosing colleges is whether I want to go to a really good school for running or a really good academic school. I want to be a professional one day—in business or real estate maybe. But I would also like to be a professional runner.
Patch: Do you have a favorite memory of high school so far?
Rohani: Probably winning state championships this past year because that was the best feeling, to be number one in the state.
Patch: You are part of the last class of students to be allowed into Beverly Hills High School through the . (Editor's Note: Rohani is a resident of Westwood and joined the Beverly Hills Unified School District in the sixth grade.) How do you feel about being one of the last permit students?
Rohani: I think it was better when they had permits. It allowed the athletic department to thrive. I think it's made the sports teams worse because the pool of kids to choose from is not as big.
Patch: When you won state, did you feel like the BHHS community rallied around you?
Rohani: I don't know how many people know much about track really. But some of my teachers played the race video in class and a lot of the kids at school knew about it. That felt really good.
Alex Rohani trains under BHHS track and cross country coach . His physical therapist is Cora Maglaya and his masseur is James Bandy.