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An Interview with Lindsey Anderson
Interview by Ann Gaffigan
Conducted on May 2, 2007
Posted on May 4, 2007

Photo courtesy of Paul Pilkington
Lindsey Anderson, a senior at Weber State, is having an incredible year. She finished 62nd at the 2006 NCAA Cross-Country Championships, leading her team to a strong 25th place. She did not qualify for the 2005 NCAA Cross-Country Championships. At the 2007 NCAA Indoor Track & Field Championships, she finished 7th in the 5K with a PR (by over a minute) of 16:00.77. She did not qualify for the 2007 Indoor Championships. Now she has begun her outdoor season by setting a 10K PR of 33:16. She had never raced the event before except to score points after racing the steeplechase at the Big Sky Conference meet. Her steeplechase PR coming into the season was 10:20. She ran 9:46 at Mt SAC and this past weekend, at the Payton Jordan Invitational, she ran 9:39.95 to PR again and set a new NCAA Collegiate Record. It seems the sky is the limit for this senior. I couldn't wait to get an interview with her for!

You are having an incredible season. Looking at your results from previous years, you have really made a jump up to a whole new level. What PR's have you set so far this year? The 10K and the steeple? Anything else? How much time have you taken off your PR's and how do you think you managed to do this? What do you think are some of the key factors?
I have made a huge jump this year which has been fun because I've been able to set a PR in all my events! It started in cross-country where I ran the fastest 6k in Weber State History with a time of 20:50.1, which was right around a 1-minute PR for a 6k. During indoor track I set a new PR in the 3k (9:38.5 at altitude which converted to around 9:24) and the 5k (16:00.77). It was about a 30 second PR in the 3k and a little over a minute PR in the 5k. In outdoor track so far I've set PR's in the 10k and the steeplechase. I'd run [the 10K] before, but only in the Big Sky Conference meets after running the steeplechase a few hours earlier; so I'd just run it to score points, never for time. But I ran a 33:16 [at the Stanford Invitational in March] so I "PR'd" by about 3 and a half to 4 minutes! In the steeplechase my previous PR before this year was 10:20 so I PR'd by about 40 seconds with my 9:39.95 [at the Payton Jordan Invitational]! So that's the break down of my PR's.

I think there are two main reasons why I've been able to drop so much time. First, confidence. Second, Coach Paul Pilkington. And really I could just say because of Coach Pilkington because he's the reason why I have so much more confidence! Coach Pilkington was named the head cross-country/distance coach this year for Weber State and he's just done an amazing job with everyone. I've just been the lucky one to stick out a little more. I've really just clicked with his training techniques and coaching style and this year has come together better then I ever could have imagined. I have so much faith in his coaching that whenever he's said that I could do something I knew I could do it so then I just went and did it! I know that he wouldn't tell me I could do something if he truly didn't think I could do it and that has given me so much confidence in my running abilities. Because of him I've gotten a whole new perspective of running and racing. I get so excited for races because I can't wait to see what I can do! In previous years I don't want to say that I would dread racing, but I definitely didn't look forward to it like I do now. I have had good coaches before, but there was something that was missing and I've been fortunate enough to have found just what I needed to reach my potential working with Coach Pilkington.

After that I've also increased my mileage from previous years which has helped my fitness level tremendously, so that's definitely an aspect of it. Before this year I had worked up mileage from my freshman year and last year was probably in the 70-75 miles per week range. This year on the weeks that I don't race I'm usually around 80-85 miles per week.

Another thing, even though I've been racing so well I still have yet to be satisfied! After each race so far this outdoor season I've felt like that's the best I could have raced at that given time, but not the best I will race. I'm still hungry for more which also gets me excited for future races!
It sounds like you are in the Zone. I was in the Mt SAC race with you and noticed that you had a couple teammates in the race with you as well. How close are they to you in races and in practice? How has that contributed to your success?
First off, I love my teammates. I could not have asked for better girls to run with! I feel like I owe a lot of my success to them because not only do we push each other during practices, but off the track we are all such good friends so we support each other in everything that's going on! We are all competitive, but in a good way that pushes each of us to be better. We all get excited for each individual's success and I love when we can race together because it is just a huge boost to have your teammates in the same race as you! It's awesome knowing that we have 3 of the top 8 steeplechase times in the nation so far this year!! [Lindsey is ranked #1, and her teammates Sariah Long and Heidi Nouwhuis are ranked #6 (10:10.25) and #8 (10:17.45) in the NCAA, respectively.] We just build off each other and work together so well. And it's not only the steeplechasers, it's the whole distance team that has been together since the beginning of the year! We are all so involved with each other and we all get along so well that there is just a unique bond between us that is so awesome to be a part of. I'm definitely going to miss this team that I've been so lucky to be a part of!
Weber State now has the NCAA record in both the men's AND the women's steeplechase. Farley Gerber set the NCAA men's steeplechase record in 1984 with a time of 8:19.27. The record still stands. Is the steeplechase a tradition at Weber State? Are there other steeplers from there that have had success?
I definitely think the steeplechase is a tradition at Weber State. It all started with Coach Chick Hislop who just retired this past January. He coached Farley Gerber to the NCAA record and he was actually at the Stanford race when I broke the record, so that was neat! As a freshman he's the one who got me excited about the steeplechase and I've loved it ever since! With it being such a huge tradition here there have been many successful steeplechasers. This year has definitely been a highlight with there being 3 in the top 8 so far and that's because of what Coach Pilkington has done for the program. It's not just the women's team either, the men's team has some excellent steeplers as well this year, one in particular (David Olson) should place very well at regionals and nationals, so it'll be fun to have a bunch of us at the national meet representing WSU in the steeple.
If I'm not mistaken, this is your last year of eligibility. Do you plan on racing at the USA Championships this June in Indianapolis? If so, what is your goal there? Do you wish to continue running post-collegiately? If so, where will you train?
Right now I'm definitely planning on racing at the USA Championships! I think I could really do well there. I've had to re-set my goals many times so far this season because I've exceeded what I thought I could do, but I think I could do really well at the championships! Having the phrases "USA Championships", "Olympic Trials", "NCAA Record Holder" etc. are phrases that I never dreamed would be coming from me, especially followed by the phrase: "doing well!" So yes, I'm definitely planning on running post-collegiately and I honestly can't wait! it'll be a new adventure and that's exciting for me because this year I've felt like I've kinda started over in my running career, so it's a good start! I'm planning on training here in Ogden with Coach Pilkington and some of the other post-collegiate runner's that he coaches. I'll still do a lot of training with the WSU women's team as well. My husband still has a couple years of college left that he's planning on finishing here at WSU, so we'll be around here!
Thank you for your time, Lindsey! Good luck the rest of this season and beyond.
Anderson Stat Sheet:
Born:May 23, 1985 (Payson, UT)
Coach:Paul Pilkington
Husband:Mark Anderson
High School:Morgan High School (UT), Class of 2003
College:Weber State University, Class of 2007
3000m Steeple PR:9:39.95 (2007)
5000m PR:16:00.77 (2007)
10,0000m PR:33:16 (2007)
Accolades:NCAA Record Holder, 3000m Steeplechase
Current U.S. Leader and 4th on World List for 2007
2007 NCAA DI All-American in Indoor 5000m

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