Beijing-bound Olympian track star has a local connection
Jul 09, 2008 | 807 views | 0 0 comments | 11 11 recommendations | email to a friend | print
San Juan County is laying claim to its first-ever Olympian, after Lindsay Anderson qualified for the first ever Olympic women’s 3000 meter steeple chase in 2008 Beijing Olympics in China by finishing second in the US Track and Field Olympic Trials in Eugene, Oregon last week.

Who is Lindsay Anderson, you might ask? She is a gleeful member of the “Myson” family clan, composed of the members of two families, the Moyers and the Andersons, who take up festive residence at Buckboard Campground on the mountain every summer to celebrate Pioneer Days in Monticello, participating in all the festivities and camping. They even had a family float in the parade one year.

The families first came to Monticello in 1980, seeking a respite from the heat of Lake Powell and found an abode on the Blues, one to which they have returned every year since, including 2008 when family from Utah, California, Arizona, and Idaho will once again congregate on the campground.

Lindsay, a 22 year old Morgan, Utah native, married into the popular perennial Pioneer Pilgrimage when she married Mark Anderson, one of ten cheerful children of Barbara and the late Gerald Anderson, also of Morgan, Utah. It was Gerald and Barbara, along with the Steve Moyers family of Arizona, who innocently began this yearly homecoming to Mecca,,,uh, Monticello, an outing that has grown from a start of about 13 people to now well over 60, including Barbara’s 35 grandchildren. A picture of Blue Mountain is even etched on Gerald’s headstone in Morgan, one of two such headstones in the northern Utah cemetery, according to Barbara.

Both Lindsay and Mark have run in the annual Pioneer Day 10K 5K race, a race Lindsay conquered resoundingly two years ago, soundly beating everyone including all the women and men (i.e. the Cave Man), about the time she began competing well in the steeple chase at Weber State. After continuing to improve over the last year, Lindsay and Mark, and her coach, Paul Pilkington, felt she had a legitimate chance at qualifying for the Olympics.

But, at the Olympic Trials, Lindsay had a formidable hill to climb, needing to place in the top three to qualify for the Olympics, and facing three runners who had recorded faster times this year. She started the race in a pack, in fourth place, where she stayed for about 5 ½ laps of the 7 ½ lap race that includes hurdles and a water jump on each lap. When the favorite an eventual winner, Anna Willard, took the lead in the last two laps, the moment of truth had arrived. The TV announcers didn’t give Lindsay much chance of qualifying, saying she didn’t have any closing speed if the race came down to a sprint at the finish. But Lindsay, a two time all American at Weber State and former NCAA steeple chase record holder, hung close to Willard, zipped past two runners and ran the race of her life, shaving nearly nine seconds off her personal best time to finish in 9:30:75, second only to Willard, who had an American record 9:27:59

About qualifying for the Olympics,”I just couldn’t be happier,” Lindsay was quoted recently in the Deseret News. “I am not going to be able to sleep tonight. I am going to be up just running in my sleep and not be able to calm down. I am just so excited. ... It is just a dream come true.” Unfortunately, Lindsay and Mark will not be able to attend the 2008 version of the Myson Mission to the Mountain, since she is in training for her early August trip to Beijing and the Olympic steeple chase. But most of the rest of them will be there. Stay tuned.
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