You'll have to excuse Alexus Henry if she hasn't gotten back to your congratulatory texts, DMs, calls, voicemails, Instragram posts, Facebook messages, or Snapchat whatevers from the weekend.
She simply doesn't have enough time in the day right now.
That'll happen when you become the first female in the history of UT Arlington to win a national championship, which she did by capturing the high jump crown at the NCAA Division I Outdoor Track and Field Championships in Eugene, OR on Saturday.
Henry cleared 5-feet-11 1/2 inches on her second attempt to beat out Cincinnati's Loretta Blaut and UC Davis' Erinn Beattie, who tied for second after clearing the mark on their third attempts.
She is just the third UTA track and field athlete ever to win a national championship, joining two men: Gilbert Smith (long jump, 1983) and McClinton Neal (400m hurdles, 1990). The best previous finish by a UTA woman track and field athlete at the national championships was fourth.
"Honestly I can't even put it into... it's incredible, " she said. "To be the first female in school history to win a national title is beyond me. Not that I didn't think I could do it, I knew it was very possible. But it's way different actually going out there and doing it."
Henry, a junior from Bridge City, Texas, didn't just have to beat the other competitors, but also had to work through brutal weather conditions, which included spurts of hail.
"That was scary but I had that happen during state my senior year in high school," said Henry, who entered the NCAA meet ranked third in the nation with a school and conference record set earlier this year (6-1 1/2). "So I put myself back in those shoes because, that same year, I was able to win the state championship and break the state record for 4A. I just remembered that I had to stay calm."
Henry won back-to-back state high jump titles at Bridge City as a junior and senior, setting the Class 4A state record in 2015 with a mark of 5 feet, 10 1/2 inches.
"We would get random spurts of super, super bad rain," she said. "Right before my second attempt is when it was hailing. We tried to wait it out as long as we could but the official told us we had to go out there and jump regardless of the situation. I was fortunate that it cleared up right before i took my second attempt at 5-11 1/2. I felt like that was a sign. 'OK Alexus this is your sign to clear this jump right now.' So I took my attempt and was able to clear it. That was the jump that got me the national championship."
It was the cherry on top of arguably the most storied season of any kind in UTA history. Henry, who won the 2018 Sun Belt Conference Outdoor high jump championship, set four school records (indoor high jump, indoor pentathlon, outdoor high jump, outdoor heptathlon) during the 2018 indoor and outdoor seasons. That's more than any male or female athlete in program history.
"For me it's still surreal. It hasn't completely hit me yet," she said. "I think once I go home and get to celebrate with my family it will hit me then. Every morning when I wake up I just think, OK it wasn't a dream. I'm actually the national champion. But it hasn't hit that I finally actually did it."
Henry actually woke up a bit later than normal on Monday as she tries to get her body used to Central time again. Oh, and she also woke up right next to her national championship trophy, which she says she'll give to her coach, Brandon Berger, for him to put in his office until she graduates.
"Kind of corny, but this morning I woke up, kissed it and hugged it, told it 'good morning,'" she said.
How did a national champion caliber high jumper end up at UTA? Henry said she took all five of her official visits, one to University of Albany, West Point, Louisiana-Monroe, Georgia Tech and UTA. But there was just a great feeling about Arlington. It was far enough away from home (a little over 300 miles) but close enough.
"I'm very family oriented. A big deal for me was not going too far, but I also wanted to experience of also going off to college," she said." As far as distance, UT-Arlington was a great choice. And I had already competed at UTA for summer track so it was a feel that I already had."
That feeling she had on Saturday was one of pure jubilation, one the rest of her family and friends wanted to share with her. She waited as long as she could to take her phone off of airplane mode before finally giving in.
"Once I finally did, my phone was going off," she said. "I felt bad. My mom (Shelly Smart) and my brother (John Smart) actually came so I told my mom, 'OK momma I'm going to turn it on and hurry up and respond to some of them and then you'll have my attention.'"
She'll get back to you when she can.