The latest eastern Idaho addition to Utah State’s cross-country and track programs has come by way of Sugar City.
Sugar-Salem senior Brennan Anderson signed with the Aggies on Wednesday in a ceremony at Sugar-Salem High School in the presence of family members, teammates, classmates and coaches. His tuition, books and fees will be covered by scholarships.
Sugar-Salem’s first individual boys cross-country state champion in school history, Anderson will be joining a program that sent its men’s and women’s teams to the NCAA Division I Cross-Country Championships for the first time last fall. He continues a recruiting pipeline that has sent Bonneville’s Coen Haroldsen, West Jefferson’s Tylee Newman-Skinner, Snake River’s James Withers, Shelley’s Mark Crandall, LeAnn Larkin and Paytin Drollinger to Logan.
“The days leading up to Wednesday, I was like ‘I’m gonna sign, I’m gonna sign,’” Anderson said Thursday by phone. “It’s great. I’m so excited to get faster.”
Anderson made his official visit to Logan from Jan. 29 to 30, accompanied by Sugar-Salem head cross-country and track coach (and Utah State alumnus) Brett Hill and Hill’s son, Taylor, one of Anderson’s fellow senior teammates. He was also recruited by the College of Southern Idaho and Idaho State, but he was impressed with Utah State’s atmosphere and athletic facilities.
“Utah State is just supreme,” Anderson said. “They really focus on the success of their student athletes to make sure thay have all the resources to succeed and more.”
The 2017 3A boys individual state champion and a contributor to Sugar-Salem’s threepeat of 3A boys cross-country state team titles from 2015 to 2017, Anderson concluded his high school cross-country career with a personal best of 15 minutes, 59.2 seconds for the 5k. In track, Anderson has won three state medals and has personal bests of 4:38.49 for the 1,600 and 9:48.29 for the 3,200.
Anderson said competing for Sugar-Salem has been ‘amazing’ and it helped him realize his dream of competing in college.
“Sophomore year, I worked hard to become one of the varsity runners,” Anderson said. “That’s when I realized I could run in college. Junior year, I realized I’d love to continue on and do this. I’ve learned a lot about believing in yourself from Coach Hill.”