Q and A: Track and Field Athlete Marlyn Anderson
The son of Bruce Anderson, EWU’s all-time outdoor shot put record holder, has created his own legacy at Eastern.
By Fedor Gaponenko, EWU Sports Information
Like father like son isn’t always true, but in Marlyn Anderson’s case it is.
Following in his father’s steps, the senior is also an excellent shot putter for Eastern and just like his dad he plans to become a police officer. When asked why his dad was such a big influence in his life, Marlyn replied with, “He’s just a great guy; everyone who’s ever met him loved him.”
His father, Bruce Anderson, holds the all-time shot put record at Eastern (60-10 1/2, set in 1983). Indoors, Bruce ranks fourth; Marlyn had a chance to pass him but came up just short when he placed third at conference indoors. His throw was 56-11 1/4 while Bruce’s throw was 57-0 3/4.
With his career winding down, passing his father’s records is something Marlyn would like to achieve, but it isn’t too high on his list of priorities. Marlyn’s priorities are to enjoy every moment of his final season and do his best.
This weekend he will be in action at the Division I West Preliminary Championships in Austin, Texas. Marlyn hopes to bring his best and place into nationals. His mentality is that he doesn’t compete with anyone but himself, and his main goal is to throw a personal best.
Did having a father who is a record holding thrower for EWU play into your decision to be a thrower here too?
“Not necessarily, but because he was here it sets a goal for me to go after his records and keep the name on the list. I’m in the top ten, so my name is up there with him and that’s good. My reason to come here wasn’t because of him, it’s a good program here and everyone works hard so I thought I would fit in.”
Growing up, when did you realize you wanted to be a thrower at the collegiate level?
“I wanted to do it since elementary school when I learned that my dad did it, but I didn’t start until seventh grade.”
You came just shy of surpassing your father for fourth all time in the indoor shot put; do you have any inside jokes with him about trying to break his records?
“There aren’t really any inside jokes. In high school I won state for shot put and discus and he never won two for those so we have that. Other than that he didn’t throw discus in college so I have his record.”
With your career at Eastern winding down, what are some goals for these final meets?
“In regionals this Friday I want to go out with a personal best. I want to represent Eastern with a good throw and hopefully if I get a good throw, go to nationals.”
Between Shot put and Discus what is your favorite event?
“Shot put is my favorite because I do better in it. Plus I just find it more fun.”
Do you have special workouts to stay in throwing shape?
“Just the workouts that Marcia gives us. They work out perfectly fine and prepare us for the meets.”
What is the most challenging aspect of being a thrower?
“For me it’s just to keep calm and realize that I shouldn’t be competing against anyone but myself. If I do that I stay relaxed and I don’t worry about anyone else and usually that helps me to come out on top. If you put your best effort into the throw that’s the best you can do and you shouldn’t need to compare yourself to anyone else.”
What is the most rewarding part of being a Track and Field athlete?
“The most rewarding part is having the support of the team. We’re like a family. That’s the most rewarding part that when you come to college at Eastern there’s a family aspect. Everyone is cheering for everyone and it gets the adrenaline going.”
Do you have a favorite memory from your time here?
“Not really a favorite memory, there’s so many funny things always going on. One of my favorites was in a meet at Boise; Jon Buchanan fell in the shot put ring. The shot put clearly never left the ring, but I yelled out he’s still in and they let him re-throw it. He clearly scratched it, but when I yelled he stayed in they all laughed and let him have another throw.”
What do you think you will miss most about being on the team?
“Definitely the family aspect of the team, going out there practicing two or three times a day and hanging out with everyone. It was fun going on trips and going out to dinner with all the teammates.”
How has your EWU experience been outside of Track and Field?
“It’s great, the campus is great. I’m graduating with a 3.32 which is better than I could’ve asked for, for me at least. The classrooms are small so you get more attention from teachers, the atmosphere is great.”
Have you had a specific class that you enjoyed a lot?
“I’ve been taking criminal justice classes so everything is interesting to me because my dad is also a police officer. I came in my freshman year knowing what I wanted to do, so I declared my criminal justice major right away. My classes are all fun to me.”
It seems like your dad has a big influence in your life, what about him makes you look up to him?
“Just because anyone you talk to, his friends or people he just met, will come and tell you what kind of great guy he is. My dad isn’t a shy person and even if he doesn’t know you he can strike up a conversation and talk with you for five hours about everything. Everyone loves him and I have never heard a negative thing about him from other people.”
So what’s next after graduation?
“My testing date is on July 13th. Hopefully I can do fish and game or work in some county. I want to work around Chelan County hopefully.”