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Two Utah steeplechasers have their eye on the prize

Two Utah steeplechasers have their eye on the prize



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The powerful United States track team has only two Utahns, but amazingly both compete in the steeplechase and both have their eyes on gold.

Former BYU all-American Josh McAdams and ex-Weber State star Lindsey Anderson run in the men's and women's steeplechase.

"Yeah, two steeplechasers," says McAdams, "I think it's a great coincidence that the two track people from Utah are both steeplechasers, and both of our coaches are from Utah here."

Anderson is about to make history. She is competing in the first Olympic women's 3,000 meter steeplechase, although the event is really an old idea.

"The steeplechase was born out a wager between oxford university students back in 1850," says Anderson, "It's 3,000 meters, a total of 35 barriers you have to hurdle, seven water jumps, and everyone's like, 'That's so crazy, such a hard distance, grueling event.'"

McAdams says his running career really started at BYU. He says, "I really took off with the training and everything. The roads of Provo and Orem are my home. That's my stomping ground."

Beijing is now the stomping ground for their most cherished event ever. Even though China has spent billions trying to clear out the smog, it is there.

Weber State's track coach says he's been over to China five or six times. "When I come in from runs and my clothes would just reek from the stuff in the air," he said.

He warns it could trigger Anderson's exercise-induced asthma.

But, Anderson says she can't focus on that. She says, "If I did start worrying about it,'OK, I do have asthma and it's going to hurt me,' then it will. But if I just stay positive and know everyone's dealing with the same thing, and I'll be able to go in and do just fine then I'll be OK."

Both McAdams and Anderson have come a far way to the Far East. McAdams says this has been the greatest year of his life so far. He says, "You have your goals at the Olympics, but just making the team is a dream come true."

Anderson adds, "To actually have it be a reality now for me is indescribable. You can't put the words into how it feels."

E-mail: tkirkland@ksl.com

Tom Kirkland

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