Jordan track zeroes in on personal bests
May 25, 2017 04:41PM ● Published by Billy Swartzfager
A Jordan runner concentrates on the race. (Kenneth Damron/Jordan Head Coach)
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Setting new personal bests in individual and relay events has been a crucial focus for the Jordan High School track team for 2017. The Beetdiggers have worked since late winter on weekly improvement in hopes that the team will be well represented at the region and state meets to culminate the long season.
“We set out to have as many athletes as possible improve and set personal bests. Our goal is to have as many kids as we can for region and state,” said Jordan head coach, Kenneth Damron.
According to Damron, one of Jordan’s biggest strengths is work ethic. And, while many of the boys and girls on the team gripe about certain workouts, they never fail to push themselves as hard as they can during their least favorite exercises.
“Our athletes are extremely hard workers and want to get better at their events,” the coach said.
The team’s practices are broken into three different areas. Sprinters, distance runners and throwers are separated into groups so each area of specialization can work on specific things that need to be addressed for an upcoming meet.
“Each group has a unique way of approaching practice that allows them to have a detailed focus,” Damron said.
This year’s team is being led by many returning athletes. Seniors Spencer Curtis and Isaiah Jackson are both of the top male sprinters the Beetdiggers have. Collette Batty, a senior, and Daisy Lal, a junior, are two of the fastest sprinters Jordan has to represent the girls team. Senior Hannah Dutson is the distance-running portion of the team’s leader, setting a positive example for all of those around her. Nicole Freestone, a junior, and Pharoah Davis, a senior, have taken the reins for the field events this season, which include throwing.
The team’s focus on beating individual bests and working hard is an approach the coach has taken to combat the fact that Jordan doesn’t have one of the largest programs in 5A. Historically, the Beetdiggers have qualified many athletes for the annual state tournament by sticking to individual improvement as opposed to performance expectations for the whole team.
“We are a smaller team, so competing for a state title is probably out of reach. They all have set a high standard of practicing hard every day and pushing themselves to get better,” said Damron. “We go about achieving these goals by showing up for practice every day and working as hard as we could.”
Jordan hopes the individual success they have seen over the years continues for 2017. And, if the Beetdiggers stay on top of their regimens, they should have a strong showing at the state track meet at BYU. Jordan has an array of experienced athletes who are returning in 2017 after a productive 2016. The program may not be the largest around, but those who compete are just as hungry as anyone else, just as capable, because they work just as hard, according to their coach.
“The thing that has made me the most proud has been how hard this group of athletes has worked,” Damron said. “They have shown the ability to work as hard as anyone.”