At first glance, his understated persona is easy to miss in a room of his peers. Washington State’s Jeshua Anderson stands out at the track among muscular men and women - world-class hurdlers and sprinters - stretching to warm up for another more practice.
Anderson keeps his mind fixed on his goals. He knows his own style styles, what bad habits to correct, what techniques to tweak and what thoughts he should muster to motivate himself.
Any runner knows the shortest distance between two points is straight line.
Anderrson, The reigning NCAA 400m hurdle champion is straight up, with no sugar coating - about his goals and the 2010 NCAA Outdoor Track and Field Championships in Eugene, Oregon.
PreRaceJitters’ caught up with Jeshua to discuss the 2010 season and more.
PRJ: Is breaking the NCAA record of 47.10 on your list of goals?
JA: Yes it is.
PRJ: What are your goals for the outdoor NCAA Championships in Eugene?
JA: Hopefully to win another title.
PRJ: How did you get started running?
JA: My uncle [John Anderson] ran hurdles in high school and then at USC. After I played football by freshman year in high school, my coach urged us to run track that spring.
PRJ: Were you always an intermediate hurdler?
JA: I started running both hurdles but enjoyed doing the 110m hurdles more those first few years.
PRJ: The 400m hurdles is considered by some as the most difficult race in the sport.
JA: I think it is. It is a man’s race. A lot of people call it that.
PRJ: So far this season, you have run 49.11 over the 400m hurdles. Has the change to the NCAA qualifying standards for nationals affected your season in terms of the way you and your coach have approach this outdoor season.
PRJ: By all accounts, you were having a successful college football career. Walk me through the decision to concentrate solely on running track?
JA: It was a rough decision. I still love the sport but I didn’t have the same passion for playing the game that I had when I first came in as a freshman. I still would love to play.
PRJ: You suffered a difficult injury last season, what did you learn from the experience?
JA: Staying healthy is a big factor in whatever level you’re at, but you have to get your body looked at right when it bothers you and not let it bother you more and more by training and competing. Trust how your body feels. [Last year] I was out there trying to run in front of family and I disregarded how my leg was feeling.
PRJ: What is your toughest workout?
JA: Running the 4-mile runs in Fall training. I also trained with the cross country/middle distance runners this winter so I did a lot of miles.
PRJ: Edwin Moses was a really solid 800 meter runner. Will we see you run the two-lap race?
JA: Edwin Moses is a great role model for me. I have run the 800m throughout the year to help my strength level out.
PRJ: You set the then high school 300m hurdle national high school record with a time of 35.28 seconds and have won a pair of NCAA titles. What is the difference between running in high school and college?
JA: The extra 100m added onto the race. When I ran the 300m hurdles it was more of a sprint race for me and I didn’t get tired. Now, the 400m hurdles is a technical race and you find spots in the race where you can rest and spots where you can move throughout the time. It is more of a technical race now.
PRJ: You grew up in the California and now train in Washington.
JA: This [Northwest weather] prepares you to appreciate the heat and warm weather more. Running here you have to toughen up and though it out. We have some tough runners here. When I was being recruited, I knew what the weather was going to be. You have to get your fitness level up and run through the training and get ready to run in the heat and get your times down.
PRJ: Thank you for your time and best wishes this season.
PreRaceJitters.com talks with Nicole Leach after winning her semifinal heat of 400m hurdles in 55.83 seconds.
Former Baylor Justin Boyd talks about competing the 400 meter hurdles in the 2009 season.