Rylee Anderson: The Big 12 Championship
The Big 12 Indoor Championship is just one day away.
It’s hard to express my excitement.
It’s another big event where I get to compete against the best of the best.
It’s an environment I love.
It’s an environment I thrive in.
As I get ready for the competition, I only focus on myself. After all, it’s the only thing I can really control.
This mindset helps me deal with the nerves and expectations.
And this weekend, expectations, in particular, are pretty high as I won the last two conference meets.
But if I can look at myself in the mirror after the event and know I put my best on the line, I know I can be proud of myself.
But hey, don’t let that fool you. I’m here to compete — and do whatever it takes to defend my title.
Being the defending champion, I feel like I have a bit of a target on my back. And I love that. I guess that’s what growing up in a competitive family does to you.
The Big 12 is full of incredibly talented girls. Any of us can win this event on any given day. It’s what makes it so exciting to compete.
I can’t wait to get out there tomorrow.
Building brick by brick
Since stepping foot on campus here at Kansas, I’ve been constantly adding and fixing little things here and there to try and get better.
This year, it feels like it’s all starting to come together.
When these little things are firing and going right, it all just seems to flow.
And that flow makes everything else easier, you know? It requires a ton of hard work, don’t get me wrong, but in our sport, the tiniest details make all the difference.
Sometimes, we work our butts off for weeks or months even — only to clear another centimeter.
But this centimeter is the result of all these little things coming together. It’s like a puzzle, almost. Everything has to fit.
And again, this year, these little things are finally falling into place — I couldn’t be happier about it.
It’s more than just physical
Another piece to this puzzle is the mental one.
In our sport, it’s bigger than you might think.
Sometimes, it’s already intimidating to just stare at the bar. It can get into your head easily.
Staring down a new challenge is unlike any other feeling, though. Seeing something new that you haven’t overcome yet can be thrilling, too. It’s a competitor’s high of sorts.
And you guessed it — I love that feeling.
Staring at a height that’s taller than me.
A height I haven’t cleared yet.
Nothing gets me more fired up than the challenge of those moments.
And just a month ago, I was experiencing one of those moments.
I lined up for a jump without knowing what clearing it would actually mean.
At this point, 1.84m was my personal best.
But as it turns out, 1.86m would not just break my PR, it would also tie a school record that’s been held for 29 years by Mary Beth Lebowski.
Of course, I had no idea at first. But after I made it over the height, my coach instantly made me aware.
It’s hard to put into words how much this whole thing actually means to me. I mean, it’s a record that’s older than I am. It’s crazy to think about.
It was a super special moment. One I’ll definitely never forget.
But now that I’ve tied the record, I want more — it’s just how I’m wired.
So I’ve got more heights to conquer.
The next mountain to climb
But for now, my eyes aren’t on record books or making history.
They are only looking at what’s ahead — the Big 12 Championships in Ames.
I’m beyond grateful for everything that happened in my career thus far, and for all the support KU has provided ever since I moved to Lawrence from Colorado back in 2019.
It’s been a wild journey that’s far from over.
Tomorrow, I’ll do whatever it takes to defend my conference title.
And I can assure you one thing — I’m ready to go, KU!