Barnesville senior Jacob Anderson came into the track season hoping for two things.
He wanted the opportunity to run at the collegiate level and he wants to get to the Division III state meet.
After signing his National Letter of Intent to continue his academic and track careers at West Liberty University, Anderson can fully look ahead to the remainder of the season and making a push toward Columbus in June.
"Jacob is a very hard-working athlete, who is a leader of our team," said Barnesville head track coach Dylan Rogers. "He does anything asked of him and one of his best qualities is that he's always wanting to do more not only to help himself get better, but to help the team get better as well."
Anderson, who liked the Hilltoppers because of its proximity, the campus and the coaching, is a versatile contributor for the Shamrocks.
However, it's in the hurdles where he fully excels. During his career with the Shamrocks, Anderson has focused on the 300 intermediate hurdles and owns a personal best time of 40.26, which he ran in the regional last spring at Navarre en route to narrowly missing the state meet.
"As a freshman, Jacob was overlooked by seniors in the hurdles, but he was our oldest hurdler the next year and he ran good times," Rogers said. "He really worked hard last year and his times just dropped all season. He's really matured physically and is running a lot stronger since last season."
Along with advancing to the regional final last season, Anderson was the bronze medalist in the OVAC Championships. He also ran on impressive 4x4 and 4x8 relay teams for the Shamrocks. Both of those units won the district championship and qualified for the regional.
This season, Anderson has been running more in the high hurdles to go along with the intermediates.
"I believe Jacob can step right in at West Liberty and contribute to their track team," Rogers said. "I don't think moving up to the 400 hurdles will affect him at all. I also think he can help West Liberty in the 400 or even the 200. Plus, he can contribute on relays. He's very competitive and will work hard, so he can compete well in any race."
Along with track, Anderson has also taken part in cross country, football and basketball.
Away from sports, Anderson has been involved with the annual Blood Bash at Barnesville H.S. and also the Spanish Club. During the summer, he works as a lifeguard at Barnesville Pool.
Jacob, who is the son of Jamey and Kassie Anderson, plans on majoring in nursing.
Staskey can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org