BAYFIELD – When Jordan Lanning steps onto the track, everyone stops to take notice of the Bayfield High School junior.
Through three meets this spring, Lanning has soared to heights few would expect to see early in the season. She has been dominant in the high jump and contended for first-place results in the hurdles while also leaping onto podiums in the long jump and triple jump.
Two weeks ago, she set a new stadium record at Bloomfield High School’s Curtis Clement Memorial Track when she cleared 5-feet, 5-inches in the high jump.
“I didn’t expect it,” Lanning said.
“The week before, I was at 5-01 in Farmington, then I went to 5-05 in Bloomfield. It was surprising.”
Though she was stunned to clear the 5-05 mark so early in the season, the result wasn’t unprecedented. She has a personal record of 5-07, and she cleared 5-05 at the Great Southwest Classic meet last summer in Albuquerque.
Last weekend, Lanning saw elite competition at the Palmer Terror Invitational in Colorado Springs. She competed against some of the top Class 5A athletes in the state, and the Class 3A athlete didn’t back down.
“It’s intimidating, but it’s really fun to be around those bigger schools and those athletic girls,” she said.
Lanning again won the high jump, this time as she cleared 5-05.25. She also placed second in the 100-meter hurdles behind a Class 5A runner from Cherry Creek.
She added a fourth-place finish in the 300 hurdles and was seventh in the long jump.
At Bloomfield, she won the 100 hurdles and 300 hurdles and was fourth in the triple jump.
Last year, Lanning placed third in the state in the high jump at 5-03.5. She also placed seventh in the long jump.
This year, she will aim for the high jump state championship, a third-place-or-better finish in the hurdles events, and she wants to podium in the triple jump.
“I can improve a lot still,” she said.
Lanning is a workhorse. She is so invested in track and field that her coaches often have to force her to take breaks in practice so she can be ready for each weekend meet.
“Her personality, she is so humble, but she’s very competitive and very dedicated,” BHS head coach Gary Heide said.
“As coaches, we actually have to pull her back from working so hard during the week because she has so many explosive jump events. We have to keep her safe.”
Heide called Lanning a great teammate and an example for her peers. He was excited when she joined the team last year as a sophomore.
She moved from Cripple Creek with her parents, Audra and Jeff Lanning, right before the 2016-17 basketball season started, and she was a big addition on the track and the hardwood.
This season, Lanning was named to the All-Intermountain League second team in basketball. She led the Wolverines with 9.6 points per game, and helped the team to a 7-15 overall finish, the team’s best since 2014.
“I fit in a little more this year since I kind of knew everybody,” Lanning said. “It was a fun basketball season, and we made it farther than we had in past years.”
Lanning is a perfect fit in Bayfield with her work ethic, and she enjoys the small-town feel where everybody knows each other.
By the end of the track and field season, it won’t only be Bayfield that knows Lanning’s name.
“She’s been ultra-impressive,” Heide said. “When she came from Cripple Creek, she was used to training on a dirt track at her old school. Having these facilities and being able to refine her skills, she is very exciting to watch.”