Listen to June 14 Podcast Interview with Jeshua
June 10, 2011
DES MOINES, Iowa -- Washington State's Jeshua Anderson won the men's 400m hurdles for the third time in his four-year career Friday at the NCAA Track & Field Outdoor Championships. It was his second NCAA title running at Drake Stadium in Des Moines, Iowa, having also won in 2008.
After a 60-minute delay because of lightning in the area and running on a wet track with light rain, Anderson won the men's intermediate hurdles in a time of 48.56 seconds with Stanford's Amaechi Morton second in a time of 49.08 seconds.
Anderson, from Woodland Hills, Calif., came into the competition with the national-leading and fifth-best intermediate hurdles time in the world this year of 48.13 seconds with only one man, South Africa's L.J. vanZyl having run faster.
In the NCAA final race Friday evening, the soft-spoken Cougar senior took the lead from the starting gun and motored through the ten hurdles with his trademarked smooth and consistent pace, easily out-distancing Morton in the final sprint to the line. The four-time Pacific-10 Conference 400m hurdles champion, Anderson won his first NCAA title in 2008 as a freshman and repeated in 2009 but was the NCAA runner-up in 2010.
Anderson spoke with former Cougar volunteer assistant coach, decathlon world champion and Olympian Dan O'Brien immediately after the race for the television broadcast and said, "The big thing was to stay focused. Last year we did a little different training. I came here focused. The track was wet and there was the delay, but I'm blessed with the time and thankful for another title. I wanted to run faster but within the conditions, I'm thankful."
"Jeshua wasn't bothered by the rain delay probably because the same thing happened to him at the US Junior Championships (in 2008 at Columbus, Ohio) his freshman year," Cougar hurdles coach Mark Macdonald said. "He isn't really fazed by this kind of thing probably because he knows he's better at recovering and warming up faster than anybody else. He was not rattled at all, just confident the whole time. The entire week he was very professional in how he handled the wind of the qualifying round and then the wet conditions today. The past few weeks he's had the added pressure of agents telling him that another NCAA win would mean so much money for his professional career. And he did a great job of managing that factor too."
Only four men have won four NCAA titles in the same event and now 44 men have won an NCAA Championships event three times. Anderson joins former Washington State greats and three-time winners Gerry Lindgren (three-mile run 1966-67-68, and six-mile run 1966-67-68), John van Reenan (discus 1968-69-70), and John Ngeno (six-mile run 1974-75-76). Two men have won the NCAA intermediate hurdles three times: Ralph Mann of BYU (1969-70-71) and Danny Harris of Iowa State (1984-85-86). Mann was a double Cougar: at BYU as an undergraduate and he received his doctorate degree in biomechanics at Washington State in 1976, later authoring instructional books about sprinting, hurdling and golf.
"I'm grateful for the opportunity to have Jeshua Anderson on our track and field team for the past four years," WSU Head Coach Rick Sloan said. "He exemplifies everything we want from a student-athlete. I'm happy for Mark Macdonald and the work that he's put in with Jesh to get him to this point. I look forward to watching Jesh in the Olympic Games hopefully."
Anderson plans to compete at the USA National Championships in Eugene, June 23-26, and will continue training over the next year in order to pursue a place on the 2012 Olympic team.