Brett Clevidence wasn’t sure he wanted to continue with athletics after graduating from Monona Grove High School in 2018.
He had just finished seventh in the 110-meter hurdles at the WIAA Division 1 boys state track and field tournament in La Crosse. As a senior, he raced 14 times in that event and finished in the top three all but twice.
Yet, his desire to enter college sports was encouraged by his two high school coaches, Brian Storms and Pete Casey.
“With hurdling or sprinting or anything, everyone wants to be successful at what they do,” Clevidence said. “For me, I wanted to be successful with hurdling or the best that I could be, and they were behind me pushing me every step of the way helping me hit times or correcting form.”
So, Clevidence became a member of the UW-Milwaukee men’s track and field team. While the COVID-19 pandemic wiped out the 2020 outdoor season, Clevidence has been an important member of the Panthers.
He got off to a good start during the 2019 indoor season as a freshman in the 60-meter hurdles with a seventh-place finish January 2019 at the Tierney Classic in Milwaukee. He followed that with a personal best of 8.53 seconds at the Meyo Invite at Notre Dame in South Bend, Indiana. Clevidence finished fourth in the Panther Tune-Up in Milwaukee and then took ninth place in his first Horizon League Championship meet in Youngstown, Ohio.
Clevidence continued his success in the 2020 indoor season with a sixth-place showing in the Tierney Classic on Jan. 18, eighth place at the ONU Invite on Feb. 1 and seventh in the Feb. 22 Panther Tune-Up.
In the 2019 outdoor season, Clevidence turned from running hurdles to throwing the javelin as he helped the Panthers take second place in the Horizon League championships in Youngstown by placing fifth with a throw of 156-feet-9-inches.
“I got started in javelin when I decided to give the decathalon a shot when I did club track with Eastside Sharks, and I wasn’t half bad with it,” Clevidence said. “I still think I could use a lot of work on form and technique.”
While many athletes were disappointed over not competing in sports this spring due to the pandemic, Clevidence looked at with a different perspective.
“It’s out of my control and I can’t do anything and being sad isn’t going to change anything,” he said. “I saw it as an opportunity to have more time to train for the following season.”