Jordan blazes to victory at Kincaid Park
Mirror Lake Middle School’s Ty Jordan doesn’t fold under pressure. Rather, he thrives on it.
Just as Jordan did in last year’s Anchorage School District middle school track and field city championships — where he won the 1,600-meter event — Jordan shined in the largest race of the cross country running season at Kincaid Park’s nearly 2-mile-long course on Oct. 6. Jordan blazed to victory in the eighth-grade boys race in 10 minutes, 39 seconds — 15 seconds ahead of second-place finisher Tre Washington of Hanshew, which won the team title. Mirror Lake was sixth as a team in the eighth grade boys race.
“He’s just got something special inside that pushes him,” Mirror Lake head coach Jerry Sather said. “We knew that from track last year.”
While Jordan’s first-place finish was expected, his dominance over the rest of the pack wasn’t, Sather said. Sather said he anticipated a much tighter race, as did other coaches.
“I think it surprised everyone, especially people from the other schools,” he said.
Jordan has a knack for peaking at the end of the season, Sather said.
“He just can step up at the right time, and he has no fear,” Sather said. “He’s got a love for the sport.”
Another factor that played to Jordan’s strengths was Kincaid’s hilly course. Jordan has always excelled on elevation, he said, something he discovered when he began running two years ago.
“I’ve always stuck to hills for passing people,” Jordan said.
After the start, Kincaid’s hills thinned out the front pack, Jordan said. As others slowed, Jordan picked up his speed, he said.
“I really like Kincaid,” Jordan said. “I love the hills on it.”
Jordan said his goal was to win his final cross country race as a middle-schooler.
“It feels great,” he said. “I love it.”
Fellow Mirror Lake eighth-grader Roan Hall picked off three runners in the final stretch to finish fourth.
“He really exceeded our expectations,” Sather said.
Hall said he typically doesn’t have a strong kick.
“Usually, I’m not good at sprints at the end,” he said.
But when assistant coach Mitch Tarter told Hall he was in seventh as he neared the finish line, Hall said he pushed harder.
“I wanted to get in the top five,” Hall said. “I’m happy about it.”
Hall said he wanted to run a consistent race.
“I was just trying to keep a steady pace,” he said. “I didn’t really have much of a strategy. I just went for it and sprinted at the end.”
Gavin Arnold was Gruening Middle School’s top eighth grade finisher in 18th place. The Colts finished fourth as a team.
In the boys sixth-grade/seventh-grade race, Goldenview’s Talon Stanley led his team to a first-place finish with a winning time of 11:07. Mirror Lake placed fifth as a team and Gruening was eighth.
Jared Bautista led the Coyotes with a 16th-place finish. He edged teammate John Weaver, who finished 17th, just before the finish line.
Weaver, who’s nosed started dripping blood halfway through the race, wasn’t distracted by the nosebleed. Weaver crossed the finish line with his mouth and chin covered in blood and dabs of blood on both hands.
Luke Oldham led the Colt sixth/seventh graders with a 24th-place finish.
Sather said he was pleased with all of his runners and that no other team works as hard they do.
“I don’t think any team improves as much as we do in a season,” he said. “We can’t ever do enough. They always want more in practice.”
Contact Mike Nesper at 694-2727 or [email protected]