By Samantha Meyer
The Cleveland State University track and field team has traveled all over Ohio in 2020, facing Malone University, Youngstown State University, Kent State University, the University of Akron and many more teams. The Vikings have found a lot of success during the month of January, with many athletes recording top five finishes during the month.
In February, the team traveled to Akron, Oberlin and Kent. On Feb. 7 and 8, half the team traveled to compete at the Akron Invitational. The distance team had amazing performances from junior Anna Brandt and freshman Hannah Korte. Brandt recorded Cleveland State’s top individual finish, placing sixth overall in the 800-meter run with a time of 2:15.61. Korte also had a top 15 finish in the 3000-meter run, finishing with a time of 11:13.46. Brandt was very happy with her race, especially knowing that she was up against some tough competition.
“I was very pleased with my 800 at Akron,” Brandt said. “Going into the race, I knew that there would be great competition to compete against to improve my time. Mentally, I was excited and ready to race. I was hoping to place a little higher, but being within a second of my career [personal record] was the highlight of my race.”
While one half of the team competed at Akron, the other half traveled to Oberlin to compete at the Oberlin College BSN Invitational. Three women represented the Cleveland State in the 800-meter run. The top finisher in the race for the Vikings was by freshman Margaret Smith, who finished second overall with a time of 2:26.53. Sophomore Grace Holmes finished ninth with a time of 2:42.35, and freshman Kayla Zdanowicz was a second behind Holmes, finishing 11th with a time of 2:43.03. Brandt believes that the training routine has helped the team improve on their times in their respective races.
“Training has definitely prepared me for racing as our coach [Jason] Hudson puts us through difficult and rigorous workouts that will help us improve our aerobic capacity and endurance,” Brandt said. “He talks about race strategy with us so that we know what to expect and how to respond to moves made by our competitors.
The team participated in the Doug Raymond National Qualifier on Feb. 14 and 15. Among some of the top performers were sophomore Monica Johnson, who finished sixth in the 60-meter hurdles, freshman Azsha Bradley, who led the Viking quintet for the 200-meter dash, finishing eighth and Brandt, posting a school record in the 3,000-meter run, finishing at a time of 10:10.70 to place sixth in the event.