As the NCAA Indoor Track & Field Championships draw near, we’ll take a look at the path that each of Clemson’s six individual qualifiers took to get to the meet in Albuquerque, N.M.
One of the biggest supporters for the Clemson Track & Field program is also one of its star student-athletes. Andrea Foster, a senior middle-distance runner from Georgetown, Guyana, is a vocal leader at practice and on campus, always encouraging her teammates to be the best version of themselves and never shying away from an opportunity to share her positivity with others.
Foster’s senior season started in an untraditional way, as the middle-distance runner was a part of the women’s cross country team during the fall. Foster’s time with the distance group was full of great success, as she ran personal best times in three of her four races and was a top-seven finisher in the team’s race at the VertCross Invitational.
Following the conclusion of the cross country season, Foster called upon the newly acquired strength to compete in five different events throughout the season and log a world-class mark in the women’s 800 meters early on in year.
Foster opened the indoor season by competing in the 300 and 600 meters at the Clemson Opener, running 39.60 and 1:33.32, respectively. Following the winter break, Foster competed in the 1000 meters at the Orange & Purple Elite and ran 2:50.52, nearly a 17-second personal best from the time she earned during her first two years of collegiate competition while at Essex County College.
Foster, who is an 800 meter specialist, made her season debut in the event at the Clemson Invitational on January 18, running a personal best of 2:05.30. Foster’s time would also serve as the world’s leading mark at the time it was recorded. At the South Carolina Invitational, Foster ran in her fifth different race of the season, earning an indoor personal best, and team-leading mark, of 55.35 in the 400 meters. Foster has run an indoor personal best time in all five events which she has competed in this season.
At the ACC Championships in South Bend, Ind., Foster was clinical, racing four different times across three different events. Foster’s weekend started in the DMR, where she ran a perfectly executed 800 meter leg for the team and handed off the baton in first place. Day two of action would see Foster run a comfortable time of 2:07.65 to win her heat in the qualifying rounds of the women’s 800 meters.
The final day of competition would see Foster run a pair of blistering fast times. Foster would finish second in the finals of the 800 meters, crossing the line with a new personal best of 2:04.98 just moments behind her teammate Laurie Barton. The time would rank Foster within the top-16 in the nation and would solidify her spot on the line at the National Championships for the event. Foster’s time also makes her tied for the No. 5 performance in Clemson’s history for the event.
Foster would close out the day as the leadoff leg of the women’s 4×400 meter relay, helping the team to a second-place finish in the event.
The prelims of the women’s 800 meters are set to be held on Friday, March 13 and will serve as Foster’s first time competing in an individual event at the NCAA Division I National Championships. But with her consistency, hard work and positive energy, Foster will be ready for her moment in Albuquerque, N.M.