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East County Athlete of the Week: Alex den Boggende

The Braden River High junior won the boys discus (137 feet, 4.5 inches) April 12 at the Manatee County Championships.

Braden River High junior Alex den Boggende.
Braden River High junior Alex den Boggende.
Photo by Ryan Kohn
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Alex den Boggende is a junior track and field athlete at Braden River High. He won the boys discus (137 feet, 4.5 inches) April 12 at the 2023 Manatee Country Championships, held at Manatee High. Den Boggende also competes on the school's cross country and basketball teams. 

When did you start participating in track and field?

I joined the cross country team as a freshman because people in my family run. At the time, the cross country coaches were also the track coaches, so almost everyone who ran cross country also ran track. I decided to join. Almost immediately, the coaches said, "You're going to throw discus, too," because I have a long wingspan.

What is the appeal to you?

I love how much you can do. You can pick and choose (events). Everyone here is a strong athlete in their own way. It's also a melting pot of athletes from other sports, and I love that. 

What is your favorite event?

I'll say discus is my favorite because its what I'm best at right now. I'm the most consistently good at it. All the throwers like to joke that track and field goes like this: 99% of the time, you (are bad). The other 1% of the time, you're amazing, and that feeling is why you do it. Discus gives me that feeling the most. 

Which event are you working to improve?

I have been disappointed by my 800-meter run this year. Last year, I could run 800 meters in 2:06 consistently. I was hoping to get down to 2:03 or 2:01 this year. I haven't been able to hit it. I have been running around 2:10. But I have gained about 25 pounds of muscle since last season, which has been helpful for discus and other things, but not for running. I'm still trying to get my ability back up. 

What track memory stands out to you?

At the first track meet we ever hosted here (in 2021), there were some alumni watching us. I threw over 30 meters that day. It was the first time I had done that. It was the first time I ever felt confident in my abilities. Every since then, it has felt like my event. 

What are your goals for the rest of the season?

I'd like to hit 45 meters (approximately 148 feet) in the discus. I think that's what I'll need to make it to states. Right now I'm at about 42 meters (137 feet). 

What is your favorite food?

I like any red meat. A (steak) fillet is probably my favorite meal, but sometimes I have a great cheeseburger and I don't think anything could surpass that. 

What is your favorite subject?

I'm taking AP U.S. history right now and we're getting into some interesting stuff. We're covering the 1940s-1970, and that's kind of when America modernized. 

What are your hobbies?

I like doing anything active. I like biking, especially out in places like Ruskin. They have phosphate mines there and they built trails into them. It's like mountain biking. 

What is the best advice you have received?

Regret the things you do, not the things you don't do. I'd rather try something like discus and maybe be bad at it than never try it. If you don't try, you'll never know if you're good or not. 

Finish this sentence: "Alex den Boggende is …"

Organized chaos. I'm busy all of the time, but that's how I like it. 



Ryan Kohn

Ryan Kohn is the sports editor for Sarasota and East County and a Missouri School of Journalism graduate. He was born and raised in Olney, Maryland. His biggest inspirations are Wright Thompson and Alex Ovechkin. His strongest belief is that mint chip ice cream is unbeatable.

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