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Anthony Sweet: Following dreams and inspiring others

Keira Ellenberger
Anthony Sweet running at the Mel Brodt Collegiate Open

Growing up, running was destined to be a part of Anthony Sweet’s life story. 

“I was kind of born into it…my grandma was a marathoner ever since the ‘70s, so she kind of passed it down, and it eventually got passed down to me, so I started running when I was 5 and never really looked back,” said Sweet.

And even from such a young age, Sweet’s competitive spirit was always there. 

“I figured it out pretty quickly…ever since a young age I’ve been pretty competitive…it kind of did come naturally, and I’ve taken it with me ever since,” said Sweet.

Despite figuring things out early, the road to Bowling Green was anything but ordinary. 

“My freshman year I started off at Kent State,” said Sweet. “Going into the summer, I talked to one of their coaches and he gave me the idea I’d have the opportunity to walk on. He said to train, and run a few races unattached. I ended up talking to a new coach they brought in, but it was the same thing. He wouldn’t give me the opportunity to try out.” 

Once the COVID-19 pandemic hit, Sweet decided he still had the strong desire to run. 

“I used it as a bigger opportunity to get in shape [and] push my fitness. I put my name in the transfer portal…Western Kentucky ended up being my favorite after talking to the coaches,” said Sweet. 

Western Kentucky seemed like a fit. There was mutual interest between Sweet and the coaches, and the summer training went well. Sweet even had family who lived only 30 minutes from the university.

Even so, it still wasn’t smooth sailing once he arrived. 

“After I decided to transfer there, I started on their summer training plan immediately” said Sweet. “I trained great all summer, got there, and it wasn’t the best experience. I loved the school, loved my teammates…[but] it just wasn’t the right situation for me specifically. After my sophomore year, I decided to transfer out.” 

Sweet had another year of running under his belt, but his desire to compete in the right environment was as strong as ever. He ended up at Ohio State next, once again looking to walk on. 

“They also gave me the idea I’d have the opportunity to walk-on there. Same thing, nailed summer training, then August came…[and I] ran times as fast as their guys, yet they still wouldn’t add me.” 

Instead, Sweet turned to the Ohio State Running Club, where he set a then-record in the 8K. He tried out for the team again going into the following year, but the story was the same one he’d heard before. 

“That’s when I decided…I had a year and a half of eligibility remaining…so I opened my recruitment in the fall.” 

Once Sweet found BGSU, everything clicked. 

“I had a few official visits, but ultimately ended up here. It’s my favorite school. I love the team, love the facilities, [and] love the coach!” 

And the match is easy to see. In his short time as a Falcon, Sweet has finished second on the team in two of their four races, and first in another with a personal record in the 8K race. 

“It feels natural. I’ve always loved the team environment, and having that now helps me to excel…it’s crucial for me!” 

But Sweet’s impact on the environment goes both ways. 

“In the past few years, obviously we’ve been towards the bottom of the Mid-American Conference, and that’s something that I was brought in to help change,” said Sweet. “[They] wanted me to be a leader to the team and help this program take the next steps.” 

And take it from Head Coach Lou Snelling, he has.

“Obviously he’s not been here very long, but I think that the things you really care about as a coach, he’s filled those areas very well,” said Snelling. “From a leadership standpoint, he’s stepped in and done a really good job taking some of the younger guys under his wing, and that’s been great to see as well. He seems like a great teammate.” 

In spite of all this, the men’s team is still a year removed from a team that finished eighth out of eight teams at the MAC championships. But Sweet knows that his purpose is served towards something bigger than himself. 

“I would take being seventh, or being sixth…Obviously, it’s unrealistic to be thinking you could jump from eighth to first, but tiny improvements year after year are the key to success in my opinion, so that’s really my goal right now and the team goal to take that tiny success and apply it to next year and the coming years to build that atmosphere and culture to benefit future athletes here,” said Sweet.

Sweet’s currently pursuing an MBA, but rest assured- running is never far from his mind. 

“Down the line I would like to use my knowledge I’ve gained over the past years to help other athletes, I think it would be very cool to coach high schoolers as well,” said Sweet. “That’s definitely something I want to do.” 

That characteristic cuts to the core of who Anthony Sweet is- not just a gifted runner or hard worker, but a man committed to the betterment of those around him. 

For more stories related to BGSU Athletics, follow Falcon Media Sports Network on X (@bg_fmsn).

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