Anderson has high hopes heading into National Tournament
Zack Anderson calls himself a small town kid, who’s always had a dream of wearing the red and white.
“Yeah since probably like fifth grade I’ve wanted to come to USD,” he says.
“He has the heart for the sport, he’s a great leader, and he loves USD, his mom and dad went to school here. So he was a kid who grew up wanting to be a Coyote,” said USD Track and Field Head Coach Lucky Huber.
Anderson is a Parker native and now a junior for the Coyotes, he is soaring to new heights at high jump. Heading into the national tournament, Zack is ranked fourth in the country. He’s coming off a performance at the Summit League Outdoor Championship where he broke the high jump record, jumping 7 feet 4 ¼ inches.
“He may be from Parker, but he is a big time talented athlete, and we see that every day in practice,” said Huber.
But Zack’s record setting career almost didn’t happen.
“I kind of got a humble awakening of like you’re body is a body, and anything can happen to it, so you’ve got to take every day and every practice not for granted.”
During his junior year of high school Zack was playing basketball, but hit a wall and broke his leg, then just six months later, the unthinkable.
“It was a blessing, but probably shouldn’t have happened that way,” said Anderson.
Zack and his friends were out driving when his friend’s leg hit the steering wheel, causing the car to roll.
“We were going about 65 and it just turned us sideways right away and we overcorrected a couple times but ended up going into the ditch, and sprung up in the air, rolled a couple times, and landed,” said Anderson.
After battling through both a broken leg and an injured back, Zack persevered, keeping his eyes on the goal of being a Division I high jumper. This week he will be on the national stage, proving that a kid from Parker *can achieve* his lifelong dream.
“When you have that kind of passion and that kind of love for this place, everybody else feeds off of that. And I would say that he’s really that emotional kid on our team right now, especially in the high jump group of raising that expectation, and how good can we be. It’s not me beating you, it’s all of us getting better mentality,” said Huber.
“There’s only 12 people that can beat me in the nation right now is a happy thought, but then my competitive side is like there’s 12 people that can beat me and I don’t like that. I think last year I went into it with the whole idea of this is nationals, and I’m just a kid from Parker I’m not supposed to be here. And then after indoors this year, I kind of had that same state of mind. So going into this one it’s going to be like ‘who cares if I’m from Parker, I did everything that anyone else has done’, let’s go make something happen,” said Anderson.
Zack will compete at the NCAA Division I National Tournament beginning on June 6th in Austin, Texas.