May 23, 2013 in Washington Voices

Lewis and Clark’s Golikov finds niche in shot put

Track standout also plays cello, has interest in activism, culture
By The Spokesman-Review
 
Dan Pelle photoBuy this photo

Alexandra Golikov, a senior at Lewis and Clark High School, works with Mukogawa Fort Wright Institute students. She plans to attend Modesto Junior College in California next year.
(Full-size photo)

When Alexandra Golikov, 18, attended a shot put and discus camp last summer, the Lewis and Clark High track star was baffled when she tried to throw a hammer for the first time.

“I was totally the worst in the group,” Golikov said, laughing. “But then something changed. It clicked. It felt all natural and suddenly I could do it.”

Modesto Junior College’s throw coach Bob MacKay was in charge of the summer camp, and when camp was over Golikov sent him a letter talking about her newfound fascination with the hammer. Soon she had an invitation to visit Modesto, and now that’s where she’s headed after high school graduation.

“I just fell in love with the place and with the team at Modesto, and they have a good music program,” Golikov said. “That’s very important to me as well.”

Golikov was born in Spokane and raised mostly by her mother. She has contact with her father, who lives in Russia, and she’s going to visit him this summer. She plays the cello “quite well” by her own assessment and would like to pick up violin as well.

She’s tall, confident and straightforward. And she’s very curious about other countries and cultures – she’d like to live in Denmark for a while, she said.

Her career plans include becoming an activist or perhaps a social worker.

“Nutrition is something I’m very interested in, so I could see myself working for something like better school lunches,” Golikov said.

While at Lewis and Clark, she joined the Peace and Justice Action League of Spokane’s young activist leader program.

“Now I feel like I can change something if I want to,” Golikov said. “I won’t be one of those people who is just complaining about things. I’ve become a lot more self-sufficient.”

She and her mother recently got matching tattoos.

“It’s the Celtic knot symbolizing mother and child,” Golikov said, showing off the simple black design on the inside of her left wrist.

Golikov will be a bit of an orphan next year because her mom is going to Japan to work for two years.

“I’m not too worried about it,” she said. “I have good friends here. I can come back and visit.”

She said she’s had an amazing time at Lewis and Clark.

“It’s just been great,” Golikov said. “I’m a product of some really great teachers here and an awesome mom.”

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