Indoor track and field season is in full swing and St. John’s University junior sprinter Leah Anderson is having an impact. After topping Big East Conference standings and achieving a personal best in the 60-meter dash with her first-place finish at the Penn 8-Team Select, Anderson was named Big East Track Athlete of the Week.

Anderson said she sees her competitive skills evolving from freshman year to now. “I believe in myself more,” she said. “I believe that I’m fast and I am hard to beat. I will definitely take that along with me throughout the rest of the season.”

Now an upperclassman, Anderson is becoming more of a leader for the Red Storm. “It is sometimes very difficult because everybody has their own style of training, but I do, with a good heart, try to get everybody together,” she said. She encourages all the athletes to warm up and cool down from a workout together.

“Track is really hard,” said Anderson. “People do come up to me and ask, ‘How would you approach getting your confidence before running an event?’ I tell them, ‘Believe in your abilities and don’t hold back.’”

Anderson’s major is Illustration and she’s enjoying upper level courses. “I want to learn as much as possible so when I graduate and I’m out on my own I’ll do well,” she said. Her goals are to illustrate children’s books and comic books, and she is also capable of doing logo and t-shirt design.

The fast times are all the more impressive because Anderson had some health issues during the fall semester. She’s fully recovered and has a new sense of enthusiasm. More sleep is essential to recovery after training and she’s paying attention to what foods fuel maximum performance.

Her 60-meter time of 7.56 is in the top 100 in the nation and is a top 10 ECAC qualifying time. This helps fuel Anderson’s fire to compete at the NCAA Championships and score an entry into the U.S. Olympic Trials in the 400 meters, what she considers her best event. Following last weekend’s Dr. Sander Columbia Challenge, her 400-meter time ranks 16th in the nation.

“I’m excited to exude all that I’ve been working on and trying so hard to go faster,” said Anderson. “I’ve trained hard. I’m going to go out there guns blazing and really trying my best.”

This week, the Red Storm compete at the Metropolitan Championships. On Feb. 8, it’s back to the Armory Track for the Millrose Games.