Altstadt excited about competing at next level

Anna Altstadt signs her letter of intent to run track for the University of Akron (Ohio), a NCAA Division I program.

BY COREY STOLZENBACH
sports@dcherald.com

This year was supposed to be a year of redemption for Anna Altstadt.

The senior runner at Southridge competed at state in the 400m dash as a sophomore in 2018, registering a time of 58.44 and finishing in 16th place. Success as an underclassman might often translate come junior and senior year, but Altstadt had a couple of tough breaks that didn’t go her way.

She endured a hip injury when she was a junior, and though she competed at sectionals, she didn’t make it to state. Altstadt was ready for her senior track campaign, until COVID-19 forced spring sports to be canceled before they ever started.

However, her running days aren’t over yet. She signed her letter of intent last month to run for the University of Akron (Ohio), an NCAA Division I program.

“I’m excited for the level of difficulty that I’ll have,” Altstadt said. “I’ll always have competition, and there always will be good people to run against. So, that’s really fun.”

Altstadt said she did have offers for club volleyball, but says she has a smaller build for the sport. She chose track because of the mental toughness required to compete in the sport, and made multiple visits to the campus.

“I did a little research on her and saw that she was a multi-sport athlete,” said Trey Brokaw, a coach for Akron track who recruited her. “The more I researched, the more I noticed that she’s just an all-around athlete. So, that was what kind of got everything started.”

Brokaw loves that Altstadt is from a small town, and he himself can relate, having grown up outside of Raritan, Ill.

“She knows hard work, and that’s something you have to have to be successful,” he said.

She was really excited for this year. Her hips were fine after going to therapy, and said she was running good times in practice. Altstadt was hoping to win the Pocket Athletic Conference and also a sectional this year. She wanted to reclaim her sectional title in the 400, and add another in the 200 this year with the hopes of going to state in one of them.

Altstadt believes she is well rounded in many events and can do things as a utility runner. She anticipates she will learn discipline and time management while being there. Altstadt intends to study supply chain management.

Brokaw isn’t sure where exactly she will compete yet. He doesn’t think her 400 time is fast enough for Division I, but she could bump up to the 800. Brokaw likes that she was a volleyball player, and noted volleyball players make good prospects for the javelin throw. He added that Altstadt has potential in the high jump.

“Whether it’s long sprints, middle distance, heptathlon or maybe even high jump, I think she’s a bright future in any of those areas,” Brokaw said.

She’s hoping to develop more power and explosiveness. Altstadt credits Southridge track coach Ted O’Brien with helping her make workouts. She uses a treadmill that she runs on, and also has some hills near her house that she uses.

The mental toughness aspect of track is something she embraced, but it’s also something she believes she needs to work on and build her confidence.

Altstadt knows what her aspirations are when she joins the squad.

“I really just want to develop as a runner and kind of make my own mark there, and just be the best that I can,” she said. “I hope I can improve a lot and make a difference on our team.”




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