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In the Summer Olympics of 2008, Lindsey Anderson, then Weber State University student, competed in track and field.
To get into the Olympics, runners must make a certain time in an Olympic trial. Once a runner makes that, he or she moves on to the Olympic trial. The top 24 runners make it into the Olympic trial.
Anderson qualified early in her senior year and finished second in her Olympic trial.
“Her senior year, she was pretty dominant,” said Jim Blaisdell, head coach of women’s track and field. “She hit her stride and had an outstanding year.”
While preparing for the Olympics, Anderson trained year-round, running 75-90 miles a week.
“In some ways, you don’t live a normal lifestyle, because you are training so much,” said Paul Pilkington, head coach of the cross-country team and the assistant track coach. “You can’t have distractions.”
Pilkington has coached Anderson since her junior year at WSU and trained her ever since.
“It brings a lot of joy to me to see her do well and be successful,” Pilkington said. “It’s what you hope for.”
Anderson didn’t make the finals at the Olympics, though she was only 5-7 seconds away from qualifying. Only 12 runners make it to the finals.
Anderson said she has a hard time putting the experience of being part of the Olympics into a few words.
“It was such an incredible experience,” she said. “A year or two before that, I never would have thought it happened.”
Anderson has also competed in two World Games. The World Games occur every two years and are similar to the Olympics, but they specialize in track and field.
Recently, Anderson took a break from competing to have a baby. Her baby girl is now nine months old, and Anderson said she wants to start competing again. She will be in some races in the fall, and she said she also hopes to race in the World Games next summer.
“I’m taking it slow and seeing how things go,” she said.
Anderson said that balancing running and everything else means she often would only have time to run in the middle of the night or during the day in the heat.
“Just like anything, you make time for things that are important to you,” she said.
Anderson was recruited to WSU after graduating from Morgan High School. During high school, she played soccer, ran cross-country and, in the winter, played basketball.
WSU has also been impacted by Anderson competing in the Olympics, according to Blaisdell.
“We have a very good program here,” he said. “Of course, when you have success like that, it helps to bring talented athletes into our program.”
Some of the students currently at WSU have almost had the chance to compete in the Olympics. One student qualified for the Olympic trials this year, but she had to step down due to injury. Another just missed qualifying for the trials.
Anderson currently works as an assistant distance coach at WSU.