Shae Anderson On Picking Oregon, Making History And Her New Nickname

Shae Anderson, a recent graduate of Norco High in California, emerged in 2017 as a national force in high school track and field en route to two California Interscholastic Federation championships in the 400m and 300m hurdles, a history making double in the state. Over the season, Anderson displayed rare versatility in the sprints, hurdles and field events and finished her season with the No. 8 all-time 300m hurdles performance and 15 all-time best 400m dash from a high school female. Following her spring season, Anderson chose to continue her track and field career at the University of Oregon. 

Shae, congratulations on a remarkable season and the decision to continue your career at the University of Oregon. Which college programs did you ultimately narrow down your final list to, and what went into the final decision to choose Oregon? 

The University of Southern California, San Diego State University, and Oregon were the colleges I narrowed it down to. It was a super hard to decide because all three are outstanding. They all have great track programs with amazing coaches. Ultimately, it led down to what school would fit me academically and athletically and it came down to my decision being Oregon.

Why was Oregon a great fit? 

Oregon was a great fit because I will have some of the country's best track athletes to train with and they can help push me to the next level. Also, when I was on my visit I really connected with their training program because it is somewhat similar to the way my Dad and I train. I'm planning to major in business and Oregon has one of the top sports business programs and that really excites me to learn more about that industry.

Was there a "This is home" moment for you? 

Yes, there was. When I was on my visit I didn't want to go back home. I really connected with the environment and people in the community.

Was the recruiting process a whirlwind, considering you had to navigate things after the early and regular signing periods? Or was it less stressful because you put little pressure on yourself to decide so early? 

It was easy, but it was hard at the same time. It was hard because there were a lot of people pressuring me for the answer and I was constantly asked when I was going to finally commit. But what made it easy was that I completely turned my mind off about the whole thing during state and leading up to the USATF Outdoors Championships. I just focused on the meets and didn't feel rushed to make a decision right away and possibly make the wrong decision.

Do you have an idea of what you may run in college? You were one of the most versatile athletes in the Class of 2017, so is there any chance you could compete in the heptathlon? 

I haven't discussed with the coaching staff what events I will be pursuing for the season, nor have I thought about what events I would do. I'm keeping all my options open. So I could do a heptathlon, but there's a less likely chance that I would. The events I would be interested in doing are the 100, 200, 100h, 400, 400h, long jump, possibly the 800 and to be a part of the relays.

Which future teammates are you looking forward to training with? 

I'm super excited to be teammates with all of the sprinters, such as Arianna Washington, Hannah Cunliffe, Deajah Stevens, Jasmin Reed, Lauren Williams, and everybody else. Also, I'm also excited to be a part of a team with some of my distance friends as well.

Your story was a pretty unique one in track and field. As we wrote earlier in the year, you competed outside the high school system for much of your career until you found a home at Norco. What was the experience like this season? 

The experience was so awesome. I can truly call Norco my home. If it wasn't for Norco being so supportive of me,  I don't think that my season would of ended as amazing as it did.

How rewarding was it to finish off your high school career with a state title in both the 400m and 300mH? California only has one champion in each event ... so that has to be special. 

It was really special to me that not only was it the first time I competed at state, but I was able to claim two state titles and make history by being the first female athlete in California to accomplish that double.

You PR'ed in the 300mH at the state championship meet and secured a top 10 all-time performance in the race. What was that like? 

It surprised me that I PRed. Right before the 300 hurdle race I felt very light headed and super nauseous. I didn't think the outcome was going to be that great. But I ran my race and acted it like it was my last race ever and pushed really hard at the end. When I crossed the line I pumped my fist up because I was so happy the race was over ... and that I didn't faint.

You had an immensely successful senior season, posting a No. 8 all-time performance in the 300mH (40.31) and a 16 all-time performance in the 400m (51.99), not to mention quality work in the 100m, 100mH, 200m, LJ and TJ. How hard was it to do all of this within a given year? 

It wasn't really hard for me at all. I really enjoy doing multiple events. I don't feel challenged when I only do one event at a meet, so I always try to do multiple events and just have fun with it.

What will you remember the most from this season? 

What I will remember most about this season is all of the friendships I've made. There have been so many competitors I've meet at track meets who I can say are close friends to me now. Also, all the support from the track community, as well as Milesplit, who has supported me since the beginning of my season when I came out of nowhere.

What are your goals for next year, and in college? 

My goal is to have an amazing first year of college and see progression in all of my events that I pursue.

Quick Hits: 

  • Nickname this season? Slim Shady
  • Favorite warm-up song? Rolex
  • If you could have raced any one athlete this year that you didn't get a chance to, who would it be? Usain Bolt
  • Who do you pick: LA Lakers or Clippers? Clippers
  • Oregon weather or LA weather? Can't go wrong with LA weather

That's about it. Thanks, good luck next season and take care!