Shae Anderson Dishes on Her Huge Season, and Shares Race Video With Us!

The Norco senior has been tearing it up this season, recording CA-leading times in the 400 and 800 while also ranking in the top 4 in the 100, 200, and 300H.

If you haven't caught on to the Shae Anderson phenomenon, you haven't been paying attention! I first noticed her when she clocked a sub-60 400H at the USATF Junior Olympics. She went into training through the fall and winter, and then emerged to win the 300 and 600 at the Winter Championships. Since then, she's gone through the roof: 53.10 for 400, 41.38 for 300 Hurdles, 23.96 for 200, and even a state-leading 2:11.09 for 800! I reached out to her to catch up on her backstory and find out her future plans, and she was kind enough to provide some thoughtful and detailed answers...and she also sent me some previously unpublished videos of her biggest races this season! Check them out below:

1. First and foremost, congratulations on your Winter Championships! How do you feel about your performances there? Did everything go according to plan? Did you surprise yourself with any of the results?

Thank you!  I think I did very well for the amount of races I ran in such a short period of time.  Yes, I did surprise myself with the result of the 300m.  My body was tired and tight from the 600m I ran just before, so I didn't think my 300m race would meet my expectations; however, I ended up breaking my personal record by over a second.  I think I could have run in the 37 second range if I was fresh and had not run five previous events. 

2. If folks in California haven't watched out for USATF results, they might not know about you. You ran 24.63 for the 200 and an impressive 59.44 for the 400 Hurdles this past summer. That's the #2 returning time in CA and #6 in the nation! What led up to that breakthrough race at the USATF Junior Olympics?

What led up to the breakthrough was my commitment.  I was not able to run the whole spring season leading up to the JO's last year, so the only option was to qualify and compete in the National Junior Olympics to get at least some competition in before the end of track season.  I worked extremely hard for two months so I could reach my goal for the season - and it paid off. 

3. You haven't competed in scholastic competition until this year. Why is that? What drew you to Norco this school year?

Actually, I have competed in scholastic competition.  I competed for Norco High School during my freshman year and made it to CIF in both the 400m and 300m hurdles.  After having moderate success as a 9th grader, my father, Mark Anderson, who is the former USA and UCLA Decathlon champion, introduced me to the Heptathlon.  I  fell in love with the multiple events and the challenge to get better in each of them.  For a variety of reasons, I elected to be home schooled, which gave me the flexibility to work with my father and develop the multi-event disciplines.  Due to CIF regulations and the home schooling process, I was unable to compete at the high school level.  My father joined the Norco HS staff as a volunteer track coach, so he could continue working with me, along with other athletes.  It's been a great season so far.  I'm so happy to be part of a team and finish my final season of high school track at Norco High.

See Shae battle with Jurnee Woodard en route to 41.38 300H at Redondo:

4. You competed in a wide range of events at the Winter Championships, from the 60 Hurdles to the 600. What do you consider your best event? Which event is your favorite? Do you have any other events you plan to try?

Out of the 4 events I competed in at the Winter Championships, my best would be the 300m.  If I were to say what my best event is out of all the track and field events I participate in, it would be the 400m.  It also happens to be my favorite event.  In March, I ran a PR of a 53.10, which was the US #1 ranked time.  I recently tried the triple jump for the first time this spring and won the event in my first meet.

5. Where are you in the college process? Do you intend to compete in college? If you haven't decided, what are you looking for in a college? If you have decided, what attracted you to that school?

I plan to compete in college and took my first official visit last fall.  Due to my breakout season, I am humbled and grateful at the many scholarship opportunities I've been offered.  I am currently still taking official visits.  There are many great D1 programs; however, I am also looking for a strong academic opportunity that will fit well with my future career goals.

6. After doing so well thus far this year, you have to be looking forward to the championship season. What are your goals for this spring?

My spring goal is to have a good competition at Arcadia Invitational, and hopefully set 3PR's in the 100m, 300mH, and 200m.  The following week, I would like to better my competitive marks at the Mt Sac Relays, competing in the 100mH 400m and 200m races.  After Mt Sac Relays, I will be running in league meets and competing in a variety of events in preparation for CIF, Masters and State.

Watch Shae's CA #1 US #2 53.10 400 at the Cougar Classic

7. Who is your primary coach? What kind of relationship do you have with your coaches? Do you get more technique instruction, or more motivation, or a combination of both?

My father is my primary coach.  He schedules my daily training, conditioning and event work. I am blessed to have his experience and technical event knowledge.  He is my biggest supporter and motivator.

8. What does a typical day of practice look like for you? What about a typical week? How do you fit in all the events you work on?

A typical day of practice for me would be working on two events, along with running and strength conditioning.  I train approximately 4 hours a day, 5 days per week.  Fitting all my training, along with school, family and social life is a very difficult task.  My father/coach, my mother and I do our best to keep everything in balance.  It is definitely a team effort.  I am thankful to have my mom and dad's past world class athletic experience to learn from.  With a big emphasis on being healthy, happy and rested, we are constantly re-arranging my schedule to make it all fit.

9. If you could pick one track meet to compete in at some point in your life, what would it be and why?

If I could pick one track meet to compete in, it would definitely be the Olympics.  I would consider this one of my ultimate sports goals.  It would be especially meaningful to me because my father was the top US hope for the 1984 Olympics.  Unfortunately, he got injured prior to the trials and could not compete.  It would be amazing to compete at such a high level so we can both share the victory.

10. Tell us a little bit about you outside of track. What are your favorite/strongest subjects in school? Do you have any other talents (music, art, etc.)? Do you have any hobbies or other pursuits?

My favorite subject in school is math.  Due to my limited extra time right now, my life outside of track and school mainly consists of spending time at home with my animals; however, whenever I can, I enjoy yoga, going to the beach, and surfing.  I also really love art and can paint and draw for hours.  I am looking forward to pursuing a minor in art.

Shae has speed! Check out her 23.96 200 from the Cougar Classic: