A three time All-America for the Owls, Tom Anderson joins a long an impressive of cross country/track athletes who have run their way into the Keene State Alumni/Athletic Hall of Fame.
Joining the Owls after a record setting career at Franklin (NH) High School, Anderson came to Keene State determined to become the College’s number one runner. What Anderson lacked in natural ability, he more than made up for it with his unyielding tenacity and toughness that ultimately made him a champion.
“Tom had big dreams and high hopes for himself, that’s what made him so good,” said long-time Owl coach Peter Thomas. “He didn’t set limits on himself.”
Barely missing All-America honors as a freshman, Anderson came back his sophomore year to capture the Northeast Regional Cross Country Championship and place 11th at the national meet. “I was on cloud nine,” said Anderson about his performance at the regionals, I didn’t expect to win.
Anderson entered the NCAA race with national championship aspirations. Falling back in the pack after running with the leaders, Anderson overcame his disappointment to earn All-America honors. “I was feeling sorry for myself, and Peter got on my case. He knew how to push my buttons,” Anderson said.
A highly-motivated athlete both in practice and in competition, he returned following a red-shirt junior season to finish a career-best eighth at the NCAA Cross Country Championships as a senior, leading KSC to a fifth place team finish.
Anderson completed his KSC track career in style. Setting a personal best and school record in the 10,000-meet race at the Boston College Invitational, Anderson earned his track All-America award in that event with a fifth place finish at the Outdoor NCAA meet his senior year.
Despite his accomplishments, Anderson looks back at his KSC career with mixed feelings. “I wished I would have enjoyed it more because I was so hard on myself,” he said. “You never know when your last race is going to be your best I would say to any athlete now. If you get a personal best time, don’t sell yourself short, enjoy the moment.”
Anderson, who received his degree in business management in 1988, is currently a systems engineer at National Grange Insurance. Still an avid runner, he and his wife Barbara and their five children reside in Keene.