Nickesha Anderson Brings Olympic Experience to Kansas Relays

April 21, 2011

The Kansas Relays have always been a fan favorite, and the 84th edition is seeing no change in the fan turnout – especially with the shot put competition taking over downtown Lawrence last night. So track and field fans wouldn’t think that one of America’s great track meets would need any new attractions to pull spectators and athletes to the event, but the Relays are seeing a turnout from many former Jayhawks, including Nickesha Anderson.

Kansas Relays fans will get to catch Anderson in action when she competes in the 200 meter preliminary round042111aaa_876_2081431.jpeg on Friday at 10:15 a.m. in Memorial Stadium, and then the finals of the event on Saturday at 9:50 a.m.

“I get to go back to my alma mater, to my place of comfort, it’s where I graduated college – it’s such a great feeling. Getting to go back to the Relays, of course I am going to be so excited. I probably won’t feel the excitement until after I am done competing, but it’s such a great feeling. The atmosphere around the Kansas Relays is great, just as long as the weather isn’t cold,” Anderson said with a laugh.

After completing her running career in Lawrence in 2008, Anderson hasn’t stayed far from the spotlight. The native of Hanover, Jamaica made it to Beijing, China for the 2008 Summer Olympics as an alternate for her native country in the 4×100 meter relay.

“I originally didn’t know that I had made the team, but when I got back home the following day (after the Olympic trials), I got a call letting me know that I made it – so obviously I was extremely excited. I was so excited that I couldn’t even talk,” Anderson said.

Making the Olympics is one of the greatest feats any athlete can accomplish, and, as she should, Anderson still relishes what she did.

“When I went to the Olympics, it was simply awesome – it was the single greatest feeling of all time. I can always say that I was a 2008 Olympian. It’s a tremendous feeling and no one can ever take that away from me, because I earned it.”

042111aaa_876_1466689.jpegAnderson still owns two indoor and two outdoor KU school records, along with two Anschutz Pavilion records. She holds the top indoor mark in the 60 and 200 meters – and holds the outdoor mark in the 100 and 200 meters.

“I got hurt after I left KU, and I haven’t competed as much as I would like to, so I’m very much looking forward to being able to run again at the Kansas Relays,” Anderson said. “To me, Kansas is my home. I’m always excited when I talk about Kansas, getting to go back is always an exciting time. Getting to compete in the Kansas Relays just gives me such a warm and loving feeling.”

Since her injury, Anderson doesn’t get to train or compete as much as she would like, but if someone calls her to train with them, she is there as soon as possible.

“Running is what I love to do, and if there is a meet that I can run in, I will almost certainly be there. I just show up and I do my thing, so that is basically where I am at right now. This is what I love doing, and when you love what you do, you will never feel like you are working a day for the rest of your life, running never feels like a job for me. Right now, I’m just doing the best I can to build back my confidence (from my injury),” Anderson said.

If everyone is as excited about watching Anderson run as she is about coming back to Lawrence, the 84th edition of the Kansas Relays should be a huge hit, once again.