Redshirt Junior Andrea Alt balances two sports, classes, goals of being top 50 regionally

Andrea+Alt

Andrea Alt

Jamar Dunson and Jamar Dunson

Being a student-athlete is not easy. They have to juggle practices, games, scrimmages, school work and extra-curricular activities throughout the year.

For redshirt junior Andrea Alt, however, this isn’t the case. She balances classes and two sports: track and field and cross country.

“It’s hard work, but it’s really satisfying to know that I can excel in both areas in my life,” Alt said. “They’re both important to me and I put a lot of effort into both categories.”

Alt is currently majoring in secondary math education and is coming off a season where she was an Academic MAC Conference Honorable Mention in both cross country and indoor track. She also placed sixth in the steeplechase in the MAC outdoor track championships, setting a new personal best of 10:46.37.

While she was redshirted during her freshman year, Alt said the experience was an intriguing one. “You’re doing everything that all the rest of your teammates are doing,” Alt said, “but they get to line up with the jersey and you don’t.”

Being redshirted did give her more time to work on her academics and allowed for a smoother transition to college

“I had to focus on improving every single week when I was transitioning from high school to college,” Alt said. “So I could focus a little more on academics knowing I didn’t have the pressure of performing.”

After redshirting her freshman year, she’s become one of the best members on the team. In her first ever steeplechase event, she received an automatic qualifying mark of 10:55.98, winning the Toledo Dual meet in the process.

In terms of handling both sports on a yearly basis, Alt said head coach Lou Snelling helped her, as well as the team.

“Our coach, Lou Snelling does a good job of differentiating ‘we’re in cross country’ and ‘we’re in track,’” Alt said. “That kind of helps because it’s a full year at the end. If you don’t, it’s really monotonous because you’ve been running miles after miles.”

Head coach Snelling said Alt brings leadership and a level of competitiveness that encourages the team to do better.

“This is her second year being elected to team captain,” Snelling said. “She brings a fair amount of leadership which is nice … to have her grow into that role and help us get better.”

Snelling said that Alt’s work ethic is extremely high as well.

“She’s the type of athlete that whenever she has something to do, she’s going to figure out a way to do it,” he said.

Her teammate, redshirt junior Becca Rae, also thinks the same of Alt in terms of her leadership.

“Whenever we have issues, a lot of people feel that they can go to her for their problems,” Rae said.

What really makes Alt stand out as a player is her strong passion and desire to succeed, Rae said.

“She’s really motivated and has a lot of passion and drive for the sport,” Rae said.

Alt’s goal for the year is to have an “All-MAC performance” and place in the top 50 for regionals, she said.

“It’s been something that’s been on my list of things to do,” she said. “I’m ready to cross it off the list.”

Being a student-athlete in two sports and taking a full load of classes would make it easy for someone to crumble under the pressure. Alt, on the contrary, thrives off the pressure and uses it as motivation.

This year she has the chance to make history by becoming the first woman in almost a decade to finish in the top 50 regionally for BG. The Falcons will kick off the season Friday at the Mel Brodt Invitational.