He will compete in both cross country and in the distance races in track and field with the Pioneers.

Mount Shasta High School senior Alexis Ramirez, who became an elite runner in the Northern Section, including earning a CIF State cross country berth, has signed with NCAA Division 3 school Lewis and Clark College in Portland, Ore.

He will compete in both cross country and in the distance races in track and field with the Pioneers.

Ramirez placed third overall at the Northern Section Championships last fall to earn a trip to the XC state championships.

He was 24th overall at the CIF State Championships last November in Division 5 out of more than 200 competitors.

Ramirez said that “it means a lot” to him to be able to accomplish his goal of being able to run in college and go to a good school. He said all his hard work as a runner and in the classroom has paid off.

Alexis said it was tough not being able to run track and field in the spring, with the season called off before it started due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Last year as a junior, he placed third overall in the 1,600 meters at the Northern Section Championships.

A number of schools showed interest in Ramirez, who is also an excellent student and plans to major in mechanical engineering in college. He recently earned a scholarship from the Nor-Cal Retired Coaches Association.

Other colleges that showed interest included St. Mary’s in the Bay Area and UC Santa Barbara.

Once the pandemic hit, Ramirez said he did not hear much from the other schools. He said he understood that things had been quite crazy with the pandemic and understood this was the reason he did not hear much from them.

But, during this time, he said Lewis and Clark still showed great interest in him and frequently checked in to see how he was doing.

“I was really impressed with the school and the running program and happy how they reached out to me,” he said.

Ramirez said the strong academics at the school, and how the school worked with him to create a financial aid packager that would help him attend the private institution meant a lot to him. He said he was impressed with the XC coach and the positive interactions he had with him.

Alexis also likes the fact the team will be quite young this year with several freshman runners and likes the idea of growing with them.

He said another positive is that Portland is a running friendly city.

“There are so many people out running and the city is full of trails,” he said, adding he has enjoyed the city during the times he has visited Portland.

Ramirez was raised in Weed and attended Weed Elementary before moving and then attending Butteville Elementary and going on to Mount Shasta High School.

Alexis began running in earned in 8th grade and said when he arrived at Mount Shasta High as a freshman, he realized he had a passion for the sport.

“I saw that this was something I was good at, and I could get better if I kept on working hard,” Alexis said.

He said his head coach Steve Nesheim did a great job working with him and teaching him how he could go about becoming a better runner. Alexis said the older runners on the team were supportive and willing to help. This meant a lot to him and that he has also worked to help the younger runners on the team as well.

Alexis said he plans to start sometime this week to put on YouTube, videos of his running regimens, and tips and advice for anyone that is interested. The videos will be found on YouTube at www.youtube.com/channel/UCT3cbjpsIscKhtJNf1t23PQ

His goal in college is to continue to get his times down and wants to get his mile down to 4.20 minutes, and his two-mile time down to under 9.30 minutes.

“That is definitely my goal,” Ramirez said. “I believe my times are going to be a lot faster.”

He said that having a number of fellow runners in college with his passion for the sport constantly helping push him will be a benefit.

With a young squad, Ramirez said he should be able to contribute right away.

He is hopeful the cross country season will happen this fall but understands things are still very much up in the air at this time.

Despite the track season being called off, Alexis started to keep on running and making sure he was prepared and in shape when he began college.

“It was a crazy time with the season being called off so I focused on my training and pushing myself to get better,” he said.

Unfortunately, while running one day, he suffered a hip injury and was out for about a month. He has been able to get back running the past three weeks or so, in preparation of joining his team this fall and is “ready to go.”