Photo Credit- Jeshua Anderson
Joshua Anderson (@JeshuaAnderson) is one of the best 400m hurdlers in the world.A record time of 35.28 posted him as the nation’s top-rated high school 300m hurdler, Jeshua was one of Seattle Post-Intelligencer Stars of the Year. In high school, he was also an All- American wide receiver, who helped lead his high school team to a 13-1 record and winning the Los Angeles City Championship.
As a senior, he recorded 40 catches for 1,013 yards and 10 touchdowns for Taft, he also set a single-game and City record with six touchdown receptions against Gardena. He set a school record with 11 grabs for 304 yards in the same game, recording over 100-yards-plus in four games. Ultimately, landing him a football scholarship to Washington State University.
As a Freshman in college, he earned a starting spot on the varsity team playing in 12 games for the Cougars in his debut season.He would also receive the team’s weekly Cougar Claw Offense Award following his performance against Arizona State. In his debut Cougars game, he caught 12 passes for 372 yards and two touchdowns.
During his sophomore year, at Washington State, he completed 33 receptions for 305 yards and two touchdowns.
He started the final 11 games, grabbing five catches against Baylor University & Arizona State respectfully. After touchdown catches against Portland State and Oregon the following week he would go on to win the WSU ‘Big Play’ award.
After the conclusion of his sophomore year, Jeshua decided to focus solely on track and field. He would go on to win three NCAA titles and an incredible four consecutive PAC-10 championships. He represented Team USA twice as a Cougar, winning NACAC U-23 in 2010 and the IAAF World Junior Championships in 2008.
In 2011, Jeshua grabbed the second-fastest 400m hurdles time in the world and earned a place on the USA team for the IAAF World Championships. The time of 47.93 gave him his first American championship.
Jeshua moved training bases to Phoenix, Arizona, in 2013 to join the World Athletics Center where he works with coaches Dan Pfaff, Andreas Behm and Stuart McMillan.
He has recently relocated to the Pacific Northwest to train with his former collegiate coach Mark Macdonald and be closer to his family members.
We recently had the opportunity to catch up with Jeshua Anderson to discuss why decided to not pursue a career in both football and track & field. In addition, we talked about what it was like competing against Super Bowl XLVIII MVP and his former high school teammate Malcolm Smith in College.
How did your time Washington State University help prepare you to be a world champion?
Being at Washington State was big time for me because allowed me to participate in both football and track. I was presented with a football scholarship and part of the reason for me to even accepted it allowed me to be a two-sport athlete. Track helped me stay in shape and help with my conditioning heading into football season. Being able to have some great teammates and coaching staff behind me played a tremendous part in the success that I have had in my career.
What degree did you receive from Washington State University?
I received my degree in Social Science and I minor in Business Finance and Communications
Your coach “Mark Macdonald” is on record saying that you are the best in the world at running the 400 mentor hurdles. In your own words can you tell us why?
I have a combination of speed, power, and endurance that works very well during this event. Being that football was my first sport the hurdles allows you to be an athlete and gets you in a rhythm. It was a long process and I must say back in high school our head coach suggested that we run track to keep in shape in the offseason. I would have to say Coach Macdonald made that statement because he sees how much I’m working on timing along with the speed, power, and endurance daily.
Can you describe to us what wearing the Team USA Logo means to you personally?
It is a tremendous honor to represent our country amongst other talented athletes around the world. Being the top three in each event for Team USA is always a challenge for all of the members. So, to make it out of those events to able to represent your country speak volumes for all participates.
You were a two-sport athlete when arrived at WSU. How did you make the final decision to only pursue track full time?
It was a hard decision because I had dreams on participating in both sports on a professional level. After a while fatigue played a big role in my decision to select track over football after my freshmen year. I still want to pursue both sports professionally, but I had to figure out a way to stay healthy and I decided to pick track and field.
Photo Credit- Jeshua Anderson
You had the opportunity to play with Malcolm Smith who was the MVP of Superbowl XXXVII. Can you tell us what it was like playing against him during practice?
We rarely had the opportunity to line up against each other during practice because he also played on the offensive side of ball as a running back. I also played on both side of the ball as a defensive back and wide receiver. We had the opportunity to match up in college when we played USC. During our time in college, USC definitely was getting the best of us, because we were working through a tough rebuilding period with the coaching change and trying to buy into the new system.
Who are some of the artists you are listening to nowadays?
Don Kennedy, Kendrick Lamar, and a variety of other genres of music. I still collect vinyl records it has just been a hobby of mine for as long as I could remember.
Why have you decided to train in Seattle instead of training in San Diego at Team USA Track and Field facility?
After I graduated in 2011, I did not want to come back home to train. So, I named the decision to begin my training in Arizona, but things did not go as planned. Word got back to my former coach at Washington State University and my wife and I decided it was in our best interest to come back to Seattle to train.