MTZ Cross Country Anderson declares for Memphis
Ashleigh Anderson sings her letter of intent to compete at The University of Memphis in Cross Country and Track in Field last Wednesday.
By BLAKE FAITH
Mt. Zion Cross Country and Track and Field Senior Ashleigh Anderson signed her letter of intent to compete at The University of Memphis next fall.
Anderson chose The University of Memphis, because when she went to campus she felt like it was somewhere she could live and found similarities in her new teammates when she spent time with them.
Anderson chose her major as Biomedical Engineering. She is second in her class academically at Mt. Zion.
Anderson will take with her the team aspect of working together and the leadership qualities she has learned at Mt. Zion and will implement that at the college level.
Anderson’s goal for her freshman year is academically to get on the right foot with grades, because she plans to attend medical school. Her athletic goal is to make an impact on her new team.
“With the girls it’s going to be a competitive team,” Anderson said. “ But I’m ready to get in there and work hard and just get better as I get mentally stronger, physically stronger.”
Anderson’s cross country career consists of four straight trips to the IHSA State Championship. Her favorite memory at Mt. Zion was her last trip to the state championship due to spending time with the girls on the team that she’ll miss as well spending a whole weekend with just them.
Cross Country and Track and Field Coach Kelly Fox said that Anderson showed maturity as a freshman, but learned adversity throughout her high school career. When Anderson first started her freshman year, she suffered an injury that sidelined her freshman year cross country season.
Coach Fox said that the four straight state championship appearances set a tradition and standard for Mt. Zion Cross Country Program along with other team mementoes.
“She’s a great leader,” Coach Fox said. “And so all of those girls underneath her are going to be better and they are going to then kind of lead in and bring that younger group to rise up to where they’re at. And I give her most of the credit for making that happen.”
Coach Fox said that Anderson along with others helped set the bar for Mt. Zion Cross Country tradition and the bar will be continued to be met throughout the next few years.
Coach Fox said that Anderson knows that the team and Coach Fox herself will always be her home and family. Coach Fox called Anderson a daughter to her and stressed that Anderson can contact her no matter what.
Anderson will compete in the spring in Track and Field in the 800 and 4×4 1600. Last year the team took fourth in the state championship.