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Jeshua Anderson Sets Sights On Third NCAA Track Championship


The Memorial Day weekend wasn't completely devoid of interesting Cougar news: Jeshua Anderson posted an NCAA Championship qualifying time at the West Preliminaries on Friday, putting him on track to contend for his third NCAA title in the 400-meter hurdles.

Anderson, a senior, won the title as a freshman and sophomore, but came up short in his three-peat bid last year, when he took second. He currently owns the fastest time in the country this year at 48.13.

"Today, the first hurdle was all I really wanted to focus on and then each one because I didn't want to clip that and then lose my momentum," Anderson told WSU Sports Information after the meet. "Coach Mac (Mark Macdonald) wanted me to work on my right leg but I came off the eighth hurdle in cruise mode.

"These past few days I haven't been running like I've been running in practice. I've been cruising through and trying to make it through the rounds and get to the NCs. I learned about racing smart (as opposed to fast) through all these years of running against pros at the Olympic Trials and the USAs. They run a lot smarter and try and conserve as much energy as you can. That's the big plan: to hold onto whatever strength level you have and let loose once you get to the final. I'm sure I'll be running a fast time on that Mondo track in Des Moines."

Also qualifying on Friday were junior Joe Abbott and senior Anna Leyman, both in the 800 meters. The men's 4x100 relay team qualified on Saturday, while javelin throwers Marisa Tschida and Courtney Kirkwood previously qualified on Thursday.

High jumper Shawn Swartz competed and did not clear his opening jump of 6-foot-7, but I think I speak for everyone when I say who gives a crap because he's kicking cancer's ass.

The finals will begin in Des Moines, Iowa, on June 8.

Meanwhile, the rowing team has been competing at their NCAA championships, and after two days of racing, each of WSU's three boats will compete in the Petite Final on Sunday. The Petite Final determines places 7-12 in the varsity eight, varsity four and second varsity eight.