Danna Bender breaks school record


Elle Smith, Staff Writer

At a track meet on Tuesday, April 26, Danna Bender, a Junior at Clearfield Area Jr./Sr. High School, broke the school record time for the 300-meter hurdles. Although this seems like something an athlete would anticipate over the course of many years and months, this record came to her almost entirely by surprise.

Leading up to the season, Danna recalls that her biggest goal was to simply “transition from swim to track quickly without injury and to get some personal best times.” However, when she was unexpectedly placed in the 300m hurdles, an event she had never ran before, Danna was pleasantly surprised. “The first time I ran the race three weeks ago I thought I might have a chance [to break the record] but was not sure how it was going to go,” she said, “Last Friday at Lock Haven I had a huge time drop and got a half a second away, this is when it really crossed my mind.”

After discovering she had finally broken the record on April 26, Bender was thrilled, saying, “It felt like the goals from when I was younger finally became a reality and I was at a loss for words.” As the season moves on, Danna claims that she still wants to drop time in that event, as well as her other events. “I want to keep dropping time since I haven’t ran the race many times. I have plenty of areas I can improve in the rest of the season and even into next season.”

In addition to the 300m hurdles, Danna has also come very close to breaking the record for the 400m dash. “Ever since junior high…I always thought that if I wanted to break a record it would have to be in the 400, which is my other main event,” she claims, “I believe I can come close to that record if I really work for it but am not putting too much pressure on myself for it.”

Moving forward in her career, Bender says that she wishes to continue dropping time throughout the end of this season and during her Senior year, and that she wants to avoid injury and end her high school career on a high note. “I believe everyone should set high goals for themselves…” says Danna, “…never give up on them because sometimes they come unexpectedly in ways you would have never thought of.”