From falling to the ground just feet away from a state title to being the top ranked 5A athlete, Henrik Anderson has done a lot of training and inner searching. This past weekend, at the Octoberfest Invitational he had nothing short of a break through performance with his 15:25 third place finish. That time pushes him ahead of Philip Lambert for the 5A State lead.
This up & down journey started back in 2015 during Henrik's sophomore outdoor season. The day and event that changed it all was the 4x800m relay where he toed the line against some big name teams and on that day Mountain View was ready to run.
After three legs they had a big lead and Henrik was on anchor duty. He held the lead strong until just a few steps before the line when he tripped, fell, and had to watch Zack Witt of Glen Allen pass him a few seconds later for the win.
He would probably be the first one to tell you that that fall was tragic. Not only did it stop him from winning a state title but it stopped three others too. That fall not only changed that event but really changed his approach to running and training.
"Because of what happened my sophomore year I can't make having a state title my ultimate goal because if I fall short I could be disappointed."
Now after finishing 4th, 3rd, 3rd, and 2nd in individual state competition at 1000m and 1600m he has changed his mindset and is ready for a stellar break through senior year.
"I Love being an underdog, I don't have to worry about being passed, I just worry about passing others."
You can see it in his running and even how he talks about that fall. Henrik is a changed guy and his new mindset is the perfect one to have. He is driven to succeed and his goal is not contingent on a single race. He also has upped his mileage and it is very clear that he is a different runner physically and mentally this year.
His progression shows that in itself. Here are his performances on the Great Meadow non-state course in order that they happened: 19:37, 18:06, 17:16, 18:22, 15:25. That newest 15:25 seems to be the new norm and not an outlier. Simply put, Henrik is the real deal and one of the few runners at the top of the state without a particular goal for time or place and that makes him a dangerous competitor.
Henrik's story isn't over yet, in fact the resurgence is just beginning and its looking like its going to be a good one. In his own way Henrik explained to us how great this season will be by telling us "my goal is to just run to my ability".
Without looking at times or place we're looking at a competitor who is very talented and ready for that comeback.