On February 20, Concordia senior Josie Herrmann etched her name into the record books of Cobber track and field at the UND Tune-up meet. Not only did Herrmann outpace Division I and Division II runners at the meet, but she also ran the fastest 800 meters in all of Division III at the time by 0.36 seconds.
“Honestly, I shocked myself,” Herrmann said. “I was not expecting to accomplish something like this so early in the season.” But she also said she was keeping an eye on the times of runners from around the country as they came in to see if she held onto her top spot. After a year without an outdoor meet and the indoor Division III national meet, Herrmann was eager to pick up right where she left off. She claimed first place in the 1000-meter at the MIAC indoor championship last season.
“Where we left off last year, I’m hoping to get to that point again and even better,” she said.
When it came to matching up against Division I and II athletes from the University of North Dakota and Minnesota State University Moorhead, Herrmann welcomed the challenge and rose to the occasion. She said she loves competing against them and it is nice to have that competition.
Herrmann not only competes with the bigger schools, but she won the 800-meter race the past two years at the UND Tune-up.
“It’s always fun showing Division III can compete,” she said.
Laura Januszewski, one of Herrmann’s coaches, was impressed with Herrmann’s time.
“This was the first time she saw 2:13 on the clock and it’s something she’s worked really hard to see,” Januszewski said.
Herrmann’s victory was not only an individual accomplishment, but a rallying point for the entire team.
“I remember seeing her coming around the final curve and saw her waiting to pass. I was ecstatic,” Isabel Frederickson, Herrmann’s teammate and fellow mid-distance runner, said, recalling the end of Herrmann’s race.
For Herrmann, the feeling was mutual.
“My team is just great, I love my team,” she said. “All of my coaches were pretty pumped too.”
Januszewski contends that Herrmann ran a perfectly executed race. But, just like any good coach who wants to push their athletes to be their best, Januszewski said, “I wish she would have kicked a little sooner, just to see what would have happened, but I think she’ll save that for the next race.”
Alongside praising her achievements on the track, Fredrickson had nothing but good things to say about Herrmann’s off the track actions as well.
“She doesn’t boast, she’s super humble and her personality is amazing,” Frederickson said.
Although track is an individual sport, Herrmann said she “of course” credited her team and her coaches with pushing her beyond what she thought was possible. “It’s kind of crazy to see the progress our team has made over the past few years running here. [Coaches] Marv and Laura have implemented some serious training that has brought me to my limit and beyond times I thought I could have been racing.” With the end of Herrmann’s senior season of indoor track quickly approaching, Januszewski set the bar high for Herrmann to finish strong.
“A new school record will be the icing on the cake that she’s looking for,” said Januszewski.